R.I.P. Tony9 Oct 2020R.I.P. Tony Tony Williams and I shared the same birthday; well, almost; we were one day apart. We used to bump into each other at the end of January and wish one another many happy returns.Before I had started Lemonrock, Tony had been in a band called Cheetah, fondly remembered by his friends and family. But I met Tony when he had just put a new band together called Storm, with singer Liz, bassist Paul and drummer Tiran. They were a very entertaining band; great musicians, upbeat danceable songs... and a barefoot singer. I was in heaven; a live electric rock band, great real ales, in a tiny backstreet pub (The White Lion, usually) that felt like home. Did I mention the bare feet?! It was the early 2000s, when Lemonrock has just started. In those days, bands would email me their gigs, and I would add them to the web site, manually. Tony was one of Lemonrock's first ever customers. He would email me stories about his rock experiences with bands around the social clubs in the 70s and 80s. He had many interesting and amusing tales to tell. I got to know Tony and I got to like him for his honesty, his wit, and his love of music.But I never got to thank him for his best advice.About 10 years ago, we were in a St Albans pub, enjoying a cider (Tony) and an ale (me). My hi-fi was broken and I needed to buy a new amplifier. "Why don't you get a valve amp, Mac," Tony urged me. I told him that they were out of my price bracket (a good one cost thousands of pounds). But, guided by Tony's enthusiasm, I researched the web for valve amps, found a cheaper Chinese model, and took a chance. I have never looked back. My "cheap" Chinese amplifier sounded more musical than any transistorised amp, expensive or not, that I had ever owned. And I still listen to it daily.Tony - thank you for ALL the music. We will miss you.Mac--Anthony James Williams, 27th January 1954 - 27th August 2020
Prejudice, not science.28 Sep 2020Prejudice, not science. Stay with me on this one.https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000n22c/the-andrew-marr-show-270920201. TL;DRLammy: "It's not clear where [the 10pm limit] came from... [and it] has led to... people potentially spreading the virus."Dowden: "We are reducing the closing times in order to stop people staying later and drinking."The entire hospitality industry in the UK - including our pubs and our live music venues - continues to suffer massive financial loss because Oliver Dowden doesn't like the thought of people staying out late; nothing to do with Coronavirus at all.----2. For people with more time:Oliver Dowden is the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.David Lammy MP is the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice in Keir Starmer's Shadow Cabinet.You can watch them on Andrew Marr's show from Sunday 27th September 2020:https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000n22c/the-andrew-marr-show-27092020First, Marr interviews David Lammy MP.[Location: 36:00]https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000n22c/the-andrew-marr-show-27092020#t=36m00sMarr: "Is there any science [at all] behind [the 10pm curfew in pubs and restaurants]?"Lammy: (laughing) "No... It's not clear where [the 10pm limit] came from... [and it] has led to... people potentially spreading the virus."Marr: "... [so] this could actually make things worse?"Lammy: (nodding in agreement) "Worse."Later, Marr interviews Oliver Dowden.[Location: 54:04]https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000n22c/the-andrew-marr-show-27092020#t=54m04sMarr: "What's the science behind [returning us to] [the [10pm] last orders culture]?"Dowden: "We've all seen that... the risk here is, as people have more to drink, later on in the evening, the amount of social distancing reduces. People get friendlier with each other, and there's a greater risk of spreading."Marr: "Remember what happened in the last hour to half hour [of last orders culture]? Everybody just drank harder, and faster, and poured out all together, as is happening in London now. In other words, there is no science behind this, I put it to you, and it could make things worse, not better."Dowden: "No, there is definitely science behind it. We are reducing the closing times in order to stop people staying later and drinking."As you can see for yourselves, there is no mention of how this will reduce the spread of Coronavirus. And as Andrew Marr points out, nothing has changed. Dowden clearly doesn't understand that science, which is defined as "building and organising knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions", has not been used here.There needs to be proof that closing pubs at 10pm is effective against the spread of Coronavirus. No such study to produce such proof has taken place.Therefore, there is no science behind the 10pm curfew; just one man's dislike of people enjoying themselves in pubs.And while Oliver Dowden chooses to ignore scientific reasoning, our pubs and our live music scene are being deliberately and systematically destroyed.Mr. Dowden - you must use science, not prejudice, to make your decisions.--Mac MacLaren, Lemonrock Editor
Fool, stop.24 Sep 2020Fool, stop. As you all know its national punctuation day but lets not worry too much about that instead Id like to make a complaint to HM government regarding their arbitrary rules as followsCOMPLAINTPubs are being unfairly targeted by Boris and his team. I doubt Boris has ever been a regular in any real pub, where he would meet a wide cross-section of other people from different backgrounds. His bar - in the House of Commons - is subsidised by us, don't you know. They already have table service there, for all I know.Look, I get the social distancing thing. It's sensible to space ourselves apart. One-way systems, free anti-bac for customers, great. But asking pubs to implement table service will not make much difference to germ spreading*. What it will do is further alienate people from going to the pub, as will the nonsensical new rule of having to be off the premises by 10pm, with or without your plastic takeaway beaker. Boris is asking pub landlords to dig into their own pockets to source extra staff, more payment terminals, and, for the larger venues, new technology to enable people to call for service. At 2 days' notice. Pubs are already at risk of losing their licences if they don't implement spaced-apart queueing. We are already not allowed to move between tables. We go to the pub, we sit with up to 5 friends, and after we've had our heavily-taxed drinks, we quietly go home. No mingling with other tables, no hugging, no kissing, no shaking hands. It's a human need to socialise, and we're being denied our normal human patterns of interaction, to save the lives of all kinds of people, pub goers or not. I understand that. I do get the impression, though, that there are people out there rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of fewer drinking hours in our pubs. Reducing pub opening hours and stopping us hugging and shaking hands won't stop us going to pub, Boris. Pubs are here to stay, in your brave new, weird world, like it or not.If you like a drink, as many of us do; a sociable, intelligent conversation in a pub; then why not go an hour or two earlier, and if you like it, stay until closing time. The last thing that Boris needs is for drinking to be forced "underground". Just imagine losing all those billions of pounds of tax from the licensing industry that Boris needs to recoup the "help" money he has already paid out.Oh, and if I sound bitter, I should come clean: Boris hasn't helped Lemonrock with any help money, or me personally, during this crisis. Lemonrock and I are running on fumes. (If you had helped us, would I forgive you for this new plan? No.) We're not alone, I know. But Boris, my young chum, be careful. We're not all as stupid as you think we are, and if you don't show us all a bit more respect, you will be facing something much, much worse than a virus pandemic.Mac MacLaren, Lemonrock Editor* Why not stagger school hours (or pub hours) instead? That's a much better idea. And let's fine and ban anyone who doesn't wash their hands after going to the toilet, or who has dirty nails (I know who you are, by the way. Good job Boris has banned hand-shaking).
Nutty as a Fruitcake15 Aug 2020Nutty as a Fruitcake Cousins Ronald McBully and Pip iBully were out in their Lincoln gas-guzzler, looking for Copy Cats.They didn't like Copy Cats, because Copy Cats tried to confuse the public, just like they confused the Bullys.One day, Ronald and Pip went to the mall, and couldn't believe what they saw."Oh, no!" cried Ronald. "Look at that shop over there! It's got a similar name to my shop." And Ronald went over to the shop and shot the owner and all the customers inside.Pip felt a bit jealous."What can I do to show Ronald that I'm as dedicated as him?" he wondered. And then, 5 iMinutes later, he saw a logo on his iNews iFeed, and the logo made him feel sick inside, because the logo, from a yummy recipe company, was a bit like a fruit. "I can't allow this," said Pip to himself, and emailed a bomb to the recipe company, which went off a day later and killed all the employees."That's better," commented Pip to Ronald, the next week, when they were out in their gas-guzzler again, looking for more Copy Cats in the sunshine.But then Pip felt sad. It was fun killing other businesses, and he hadn't done it for over 48 hours.And then, out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a huge lemon, a bright yellow sign with a green leaf, hanging up over a cafe doorway.Pip started to feel excited again.---The McEditorhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53740820https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49254551
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