North American Tour, European Thoughts

I’m pleased to say that the traditional end-of-tour “I fucking love you man” type platitudes between me and The Gaslight Anthem were more than just padding: we’re heading out on the road again in September, this time in the USA and Canada. I’m very happy about this. The dates are on my myspace / the gigs page. Check them out, come down, have fun.

The album is done now, which is a relief. I feel a massive weight off my shoulders knowing I don’t have to stay awake all night wondering if there’s anything to be done about a million tiny things, or whether I should just leave it. It’s coming out in the UK, Europe and the USA on September 7th this year, with a single / radio play preceding it. Can’t wait, personally. Playing at Middlesbrough Music Live yesterday was both a lot of fun and a reminder that playing out with my band is basically the heart of what I do. Getting back on the road is a priority!

I had some thoughts about politics in the last few days; it seems like we’re living through interesting times right now, in the UK at least. Much has been made of the BNP gaining a couple of seats. Obviously, that’s a bit shit (although given the total irrelevance of the EU parliament, and the fact it’s a mere 2 seats, not perhaps terrifying). The thing that’s been slightly bothering me though is the reaction from some quarters, particularly on the left. Talk of trying to block the BNP’s passage to Brussels, rallying against them, talk of how this represents a “failure of democracy” etc., seems a little petulant to me. They won the votes. That’s the system, that’s the nature of democracy. I’m deeply opposed to their policies, but more to the point I’m pro a liberal democracy. Saying democracy is defunct (or unrepresentative) just because you don’t like the results is like punching the ref at a football game because the other team scored against you. Personally, I’m pro the ref. The people who would out and out attack the BNP are just the flipside of that coin, in terms of their regard for democracy. The pointless battles between the Anti-Nazi’s and the NF in the 80’s (which basically kept the NF alive) are a case in point. The reason the BNP are shit is because they implicitly threaten a tolerant system. Stooping to their level isn’t a sensible reaction. Fuck the BNP, but do it through open, democratic channels. That’s my two pence, anyway.

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