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Tower Hamlets Tea Dance

As soon as my recent 14 day isolation period was over I took to my bicycle for a trip up to Muswell Hill nearby to replenish our stocks of speciality tea from a shop there. It was somehow designated an essential shop, so was allowed to remain open over the lockdown. What a great feeling to be out and about in the open-air. Being stuck indoors 24 hours is very demoralising. Although it reminds me that even in good times, before the pandemic, there would be days when I imposed my own isolation behind a computer, wading through admin.


The country-wide lockdown ended this week, and we moved into a three tier system of restrictions. London is currently in the middle tier which means we can’t meet friends socially indoors. We are allowed to go to work, and musicians to record and film, so The Sunshine Kings tea dance band gathered in Tower Hamlets to record a video of our annual Christmas tea dance which we would otherwise have been performing for later in December. Residents of Tower Hamlets will be invited to watch when it is released on 17th December.

I had a sleepless night the night before the recording, worrying about what I needed to remember to bring (microphones, microphone stands, music stands, new Sunshine Kings banners, trombone, harmonica, mixing desk, speakers, leads, extension leads, band pads, amp for the bass player), hoping everyone else will get there, hoping there won’t be any problems with recording the sound from my mixing desk… while also worrying about what needs to be done to finish off my Christmas song and video and get that live as soon as possible. When I look forward to being busy again in the future I shouldn’t forget all the worries that come with it.


In the event everyone got there and performed well, and I hope that what we captured on the day will be good.

Sunshine Kings in action

As for the Christmas song, the drawings for the video to go alongside it have come back from my friend Caroline Jackman and they look really beautiful. I just hope the song will do justice to the drawings. The only videos I’ve ever posted on YouTube in the past have been quickly put together videos of my bands playing. Trying to create something more commercial that people will want to share around is a new thing. I think I’ll invite people to donate to a homeless charity if they like it and see how much we can raise, and put it on Bandcamp where people can buy a download. I’m quite excited / nervous.

In the mean time I’ve continued to work on other new songs which I’ll be able to play on gigs with my bands.

Now that shops are open again I’m getting enquiries for bands this month – playing Christmas songs outdoors. We jazz the numbers up in our own way which makes them fun to play. Cold gigs, but very welcome.

There was a grand announcement that the UK was the first country to certify the Pfizer vaccine as safe, and we are told that vaccinations will begin next week. I feel they should have made it clearer quite why the UK were quicker to certify the vaccine than any other country so that we know that no shortcuts were made.

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