More to Me Than HIV

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More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

Music

Writing 101: (Day 3) Write about three favourite songs

Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice

Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?
Nailing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance Number 5 on your alto sax. Making perfect pulled pork tacos. Drawing what you see. Or, writing a novel. Each requires that you make practice a habit.
Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think. Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.
Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

 

th-1

Writing 101
Day 3 write for 15 minutes about a song that means something to you.

Hazel o Connor as been a constant songsters from the first time I saw her on top of teh pops singing D-days in a black bra. my sister’s friend, Lulu had bought the single but didn’t really like it so she gave it to me. My best mate, Gary also liked Hazel O Connor, that song reminds me of how we each had a scrapbook album dedicated to all things Hazel, I wish I still had it, it would be a real time capsule of that time. I can honestly say no other singer/songwriter has been as constant in my life.
Around this time Gary and I went to our firts pop concert to see Haze, she had a support band called Bumble and the Bees, Hazel had just released her third album, Cover Plus, I didn’t really know any of the words but sang a long anyway, there was a girl in front of me who scowled, but I didn’t care. There is a song from that album called Animal Farm which had the film playing in the background. I would later read that book because of that song and really loved it, I also read 1984 and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. Gary and I had a great trip to Norwich and met other Hazelnuts, as us fans are called. Hazel’s mum, Joyce was waiting for all of us, Gary and I had Hazel O’ Connor printed on T-shirts, I remember Joyce saying, “ohh, lovely
T-shirts. I had a badge over the ‘o’ in Connor as I had misspelt it as Conner.
We had a great day going round Norwich Museum. There was to be a bigger Hazelnut’s gathering the next year called “We’re All Grown Up”, i had bought tickets, but ended up cancelling it as I had met a guy called Tim Brown. When we met I had a cup of tea he had a coffee, guess which song I connect with him! He later made up for it by taking me to The Windmill Theatre in London to see Hazel in a play about a couple who end up in the underground after a nuclea bomb. Hazel’s onstage boyfriend was coerced into taking blame for the bomb and his suicide was televised. He had his blood drained from his arm while Hazel sang a song, very grim!
I really liked Hazel’s next Album, Smile but it was during a time when her work was not being promoted by her record company due to legal wrangling, but it’s a great album. There were a good few years between taht time when I though Hazel had stopped making music altogether, but that wasn’t the case. Years later When I was seeing a guy called Wayne he had got me tickets to see Hazel at a hall in Derby. he wasn’t feeling so great so we just sat and listened to the music. it was around this time I found Hazel had made two more albums for the German market, with on elf my favourite songs, My Friend Jack being made into a video.

15 min free writing

Posted on by admin in creative writing, Hazel O Connor, Ipswich, Suffolk, writing 101 Leave a comment

80’s Pop rewind

With the summer riots of last year still fresh in our mind, every increasing joblessness, and the Conservative Government delivering a budget that once again sees them feathering the nest of their rich cronies, it’s as if we have collectively jumped in a time machine and found ourselves back in 1980’s Thatcher’s domain. 

Of course that era wasn’t all doom and gloom, there was the fashion that could not be ignored, our TV screens were awash with classic trash programs like Dallas and Dynasty but best of all was the music that made this particular time in history so memorable. 1981 saw the launch of MTV, were the visual impact was as important as the sound itself, and without a whiff of irony the first ever video to be played was Video Killed the Radio Star, by the Buggles

Looking back perhaps the monster the 80’s created is to blame for so much of the manufactured, over hyped pap churned out by the modern-day that is not to say that the 1980’s had its own fair share of forgettable tunes. Of course only time will tell when in twenty years time we will still be bopping around to Alicia Keys, New York State of Mind? (Yes definitely), Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, (probably) or how about anything by Justin Bieber? (Hopefully not).

The true test to any pop stars career will be partly down to image, but the thing that gives them longevity will always be well crafted music with lyrics that say more than, “Baby, baby, baby”, and yes Justin, that means you.

This month Brighton Dome saw the brilliant band The Stranglers take to the stage and remind us all just what make a great band. Memories came flooding back as they played hit after hit including their seminal single Golden Brown. Of course it helped that this particular song was wrapped up in mystery over what the lyrics were actually about, was it heroin use, a sunset or just a piece of toast.

June 3rd  2012, sees the Brighton Dome opening its doors to another 80’s music legend when Gary Numan will be performing all of his classic hits including his famous electro-pop style hits Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and Cars.

Later in the year, two very different styles of 80’s pop will be coming to Brighton. On the 12th November 2012, Joan Armatrading will be reminding us all, not only how beautiful her voice is, but also what perfect pop songs sound like. Armatrading back catalogue is filled with songs that would get even the most jaded pop junkie tapping their feet with her songs, Drop the Pilot (was that song really directed at straight women to give same-sex loving a try?) I Love It When You Call Me Names (never has S&M sex sounded so much fun), to the more heart wrenching ballads,  Love and Affection and Down To Zero.

A final treat for 80’s pop fans see Phil Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley came together as the Human League at the Brighton Concert Hall, 23rd Novemeber 2o12. No matter how many years have passed, this trio still manage to look as give moody looks that would make Victoria Beckham come across as the laughing Cow. Once again, this band’s music stands testament to just how  good the 80’s were and that there lyrical talents told great stories: Don’t You Want Me?, Mirror Man, and the political song, The Lebanon which stands as being just as relevant today.

The 80’s maybe remembered for many a disastrous hair cut, or dodgy shoulder pad, but as this list goes to show the music in the 80’s is something to be truly proud of.

 

 

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Brighton & Hove, Leisure, LGBT 3 Comments