Saturday, 19 January 2019

Windsor Davies Remembered

Carry On England FilmPoster.jpeg
Photo: By Source, Fair use

The actor Windsor Davies passed away on January 17th at the age of 88. Windsor will be remembered best for his role in the classic BBC comedy It Ain't Half Hot Mum. He also appeared in more than a few films including two Carry on Films, Carry On Behind and Carry On England. he also had a role in one of Gerry Anderson's later projects Terrahawks providing the voice for Sergeant Major Zero.

A great character actor his presence was always felt with his distinctive voice and mannerisms. And of course there was that song which went to Number One in the British music charts!

RIP Windsor Davies. Part of a generation of comedy actors that will never be replaced.

Friday, 18 January 2019

New Music: Lovebites - Clockworks Immortality album

Today's post saw the release of the second album, Clockwork Immortality by the Japanese metal band Lovebites. There are 10 tracks on this CD which runs for a little over 53 minutes. The opening track Addiction really hits the mark with a heavy sound and cracking guitar solo. This particualr album is sung in English.

The band consist of Asami (vocals), Midori (guitars), Miyako (guitars/accoustic guitars and keyboards), Miho (bass guitar) with Haruna on drums.

Japan is producing some cracking rock/metal bands these days and their popularity in the UK is on the rise.  I was introduced to the scene via Scandal, Aldious, Mary's Blood and eventually Lovebites.

I do hope to feature other Japanese artists n the future and have pre-ordered the limited edition vinyl edition release from Aldious. In the mean time catch up with the video of Rising the single taken from the album

More info can be found from:

Thursday, 17 January 2019

New Wave of Persecution Against LGBT People In Chechnya

Cross-post from: Russian LGBT Movement

Since the end of December 2018, there is a new wave of persecution against LGBT in Chechnya based on the alleged sexual orientation of victims, both men and women. Information received by the Russian LGBT Network suggests that around 40 people were detained; at least two people were killed.

Igor Kochetkov points out that it is impossible to name the precise number of victims. “However, we know that around 40 people were detained, both men and women. At least two people died as a result of tortures. We also know that the detentions are conducted by the law enforcement officers, and the victims are detained in Argun. The local police makes every effort to prevent victims from leaving the region or applying to the courts in the future. They take away documents, they threaten the victims with the criminal proceedings against them or their close ones, and they force them to sign empty forms”.

According to the sources of the Russian LGBT Network, the new wave started after the detention of the administrator of the one group in the social network “VKontakte”, which happened at the very end of December 2018. This group was a space for homosexual men from the North Caucasus to communicate. It was followed by other numerous detentions. The Russian LGBT Network learned about this situation in the beginning of January 2019.

The Russian authorities are unwilling not only to stop the persecution, but also to acknowledge the fact of illegal detentions, tortures and killings of LGBT people in Chechnya. The only official reaction of Kremlin to the Report prepared as a part of the OSCE Moscow mechanism and devoted to the severe violations of human rights in Chechnya was the statement made the President’s press secretary. Dmitry Peskov stated that they would look over the report.

On December 20, 2018, the report devoted to the severe violations of human rights in Chechnya was published. The report was prepared by the Professor of International law Wolfgang Benedek within the OSCE Moscow Mechanism. Wolfgang Benedek conducted investigation and talked to the survivors, witnesses, human rights defenders and journalists. The report confirms the fact of mass severe violations of human rights in Chechnya.

The Russian LGBT Network works to support victims of LGBT persecution in Chechnya since April 2017. Since that time, the Network evacuated around 150 people out of region, around 130 people found sanctuary out of Russia.

New Music: Latest Single from Band-Maid

The new single from Japanese all girl rock group Band-Maid was released on January 15th and is only currently available as a download. I'll wait for a physical release which will probably be their next album.

Band-Maid's music is available via in the UK.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Fifty Years of Led Zeppelin & King Crimson!

A black-and-white photograph of the Hindenburg
Photo: By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use

Tonight's Parliamentary vote will no doubt be occupying the minds of most political bloggers tonight but not this one. Bored with Brexshit I am. So on to something a little different from the times when Britain produced great music and dominated the world of rock/prog whatever. A time when we still produced proper music like.

Well I like more to the point, but I don't think I'm alone in wanting to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of two albums and bands that had a great influence on music and those of my generation.

First up Led Zeppelin. Their first self titled album was released in January 1969 and was a mixture of blues and rock with both original and borrowed material. It was an immediate hit, reaching no 6 in the UK album charts and no 10 in the US.

Many of the songs are now rock anthems and though the critics apparently were not that keen led Zeppelin hit it big time. I was slightly too young to get this when it came out but collected the first three albums after purchasing Led Zeppelin 4.

Led Zeppelin's Official website can be found here:

Next up is another release from January 1969 In the Court Of The Crimson King by the prog rock band King Crimson another milestone in British music. It was to reach No 5 in the British Charts, 28 on the US Billboard and No 1 in Japan.

In the Court of the Crimson King - 40th Anniversary Box Set - Front cover.jpeg
Photo: By Source, Fair use, 

The band are preparing a number of release over the coming year to celebrate their anniversary including a special boxed edition of this album.

King Crimson's website can be found here:

Monday, 14 January 2019

Petition – protest against Malaysia’s ban on Israeli swimmers participating in Paralympic qualifier

Cross-post from We Believe In Israel

Malaysia has denied entry visas to Israeli swimmers to compete in the World Para Swimming Championships (29 July to 4 August 2019), a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Please sign and share (via email to your friends and family and on Facebook and Twitter) our petition protesting to the Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK and the International Paralympic Committee:

You can read more about this disgraceful decision here: 

Director, We Believe in Israel

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Is the far-left bubble bursting?

Yesterday the self appointed "Peoples Assembly" organised a demonstration to call for a General Election and obviously a Labour Government. It was a complete flop with probably nor more than 4,000 people attending, a large proportion of whom were trying to flog socialist newspaper and magazines to each other.

The Peoples Assembly is of course nothing of the sort and is run by the Counterfire group led by Lyndsey German & John Rees (a breakaway from the Socialist Workers Party). This couple also run the Stop the War Campaign and earn a crust or two by appearing on Press TV, the mouth piece of the gay hanging clerics of Iran.

Given the supposed size of the Labour left and their somewhat aggressive attitude you'd think that this demonstration would have attracted thousand upon thousands of the comrades. It didn't despite the fact huge numbers of Corbyn's supporters joined the anti-Brexit march last year.

The left has a problem. The new wave of young political activists are idealistic and particularly motivated by ideological rhetoric. They are very pro-Europe and have seen their opportunities taken away from them.  Corbyn has been rumbled as being anti EU.

Of course this could have been discovered quite easily by googling old Steptoe on the subject but so many of these people only see and hear what they want to hear. Until now....

The hardcore who turned out yesterday were the members of the sects and groupscules that always turn up no matter what, with half of them buried in the Labour Party or just proclaiming their love for the new messiah and it will be their party who will lead the proletariat to Nirvana.

Meanwhile despite the comrades are always falling out with each other. Even the much lauded Momentum has it's internal splits as Jon Lansman faces opposition. A breakaway group "Grassroots Momentum" died a death but it's main protagonists the vile Tony Greenstein and a deranged anti Zionist harridan Jackie Walker have re-appeared in Labour Against the Witch Hunt and Jews for Corbyn Jewish Voice for Labour.

All this infighting so typical of the far left continues all over the place even in the unions as the PCS union faces an election with no less than four far-left candidates all standing against each other.

No wonder socialism doesn't work. The socialists cannot even co-operate with each other.

Meanwhile the public seems to be uninterested in the various figures on the far left who have crawled out from under the rock in recent times and seem favourably disposed to David Milliband who despite having not being in the country for a while is still a possible contender for party leadership.

The rise of the left has been halted but it's not clear whether they will start to wither away immediately. Labour's membership is declining from a high-point caused by the "three-pounders" entering in droves but it may take time for sanity to return and probably not this side of the general election which is still far off.

Unless the Tories split as feared by the Sunday Telegraph today. That however is a tale for another day.