Ryan Aire – Musician & Artist

Here is another one of the films I worked on at Uni.

This is a short documentary about Ryan Aire, a Yorkshire chap with a penchant for Cream, art and budgerigars.

Ryan Aire – A life from stegzy gnomepants on Vimeo.

The Old Grey Stegzy Gnomepants Test

So following the untimely passing of one of my fellow students, I have been digging around my old archive to see what stuff I have from the time.

One of my favourite all time things was when I directed and produced a “Live” broadcast as part of my Media Production Degree. The first we heard of it was when our lecturer, Alf, told us the previous day we were to be filming and mixing a “Live” performance of the Music students. I had always wanted to produce a music video and my this was my chance. However, before you judge, there are some things you should know:-

  • The whole thing was unprepared.
  • The musicians had never performed with each other as a group before.
  • The musicians had only 3 days or so to practice.
  • The sound mixing came from the Sound Technology students who also didn’t appear to be prepared (as you will hear from the video)
  • I started to get into the swing of it by the third set.

Anyway, as you will see, there are some talented people out there. I just wish I knew who they all were! If you know, feel free to post a link to the video on your Facebook.

Bands from stegzy gnomepants on Vimeo.

Goodbye Santor

This afternoon I packed the last few items into the van and waved goodbye to Santor aka Gnomepants Manor.

It was sad to see it retreating into the distance through the wing mirrors and slightly weird to watch familiar sights of Brierley pass by for the last time. Weird because when I moved there, I felt unwelcome, lonely and out of place. As I left, I felt sad because there was so much I could have done and yet so much that I could not have done had I stayed. At least I stand to get £13,000 as my share of the sale. Clair invited me in to say goodbye to the cats but as I was with my dad I didn’t want to keep him waiting and I didn’t want to feel sad that I probably won’t see Yoda or Mrs Mop again.

So as I left Yorkshire, for possibly the last time, and into the North West the clouds burst and in some twisted bit of serendipity, it pissed it down with rain.

So much has happened since 2006, so much is still to happen. I just hope that 2010 gets better for all of us.

Landscape

If I fell through a hole in time and travelled back 45 years. If I then looked out of my bedroom window across the field behind the lane with no name and beyond the field behind the field behind the lane with no name, not only would I have upset Mrs Edson’s daughter, but I would have seen the winch wheel of a pit stack.

Long but because I am nice I posted it here as well as on blogspot

>Landscape

>

If I fell through a hole in time and travelled back 25 years. If I then looked out of my bedroom window across the field behind the lane with no name and beyond the field behind the field behind the lane with no name, not only would I have upset Mrs Edson’s daughter, but I would have seen the winch wheel of a pit stack.

As pinched from BAPIPHad I then gone downstairs and beyond the rear door of San Tor, tootled down the lane with no name and onto the corner of Church Street and Common Road I would probably have been able to see one of the largest collieries in the UK stretching out in the distance before me. There would have been power stations, winch houses, the constant drone of colliery activity and the like.

I would probably have seen a constant pedestrian traffic of orange overalls walking down the hill into Grimethorpe wherein those wearing the overalls would probably have stepped into a cage and travelled deep below the ground for a day of mining. In fact, had I gone to any number of places around the neighbourhood I would have seen similar sights of industrial activity. Trains and lorries laden with coal bound for the steel mills and power stations that peppered the vista.

People at a market I would have seen people milling about; doing their daily business with smiles upon their faces asking after neighbours and discussing Morecambe and Wise or some such. These same people would have been unaware of the devastation they would face over the next fifteen years or so. When their livelihoods were taken away from them by a government leader bent on revenge for the winter of discontent. A way to quell the voices of discontent and the socialism which threatened their brave new world.

Spin forward through time once more and where there was employment, there is but social decay in the shape of unemployment, bigotry and drug use. Houses that once were grand now look tatty and unkempt. Parades of shops that once boasted green grocers, fishmongers and butchers now stand boarded up and empty or populated by takeaways and offices of antidrug and employment building social enterprise groups. The contrast is vast.

2863774968_178f84e4be Travel to Liverpool 30 years ago and similar sights would have been seen, instead of coal miners you would have seen dock workers. Sheffield and Doncaster, steel workers. Newcastle, ship builders. The Midlands, motor industry.  An industrial past so memorable yet so long gone.  All gone. Thanks to the brave new world instigated by the Thatcher and perpetuated by the Blair governments.

Sure, industry would have struggled to compete with low cost foreign imports. It was a natural shift from production to service industries. However the speed in which the transition took place was so swift that few were prepared for the following years. This wasn’t 100 years ago, this was twenty to thirty years ago. Heck, even during my education traditional jobs such as butcher, baker, factory worker and the like were still discussed. Now, most of these jobs don’t exist.

Who to blame? The governments? They were the ones that set this passage in motion. The people? Reluctant to pay more for goods produced on home ground they would prefer cheaper imports to paying to maintain other peoples lives. Nobody? A natural transition that occurred as predicted by Marx? I can only speculate.

But what is clear is that since the industry was taken away very little has been put in place since. Sure Liverpool’s main industry now is education and tourism. Sheffield’s it could be argued is sport and culture. But places like the Midlands and Barnsley remain places difficult to find work in. Even the brief respite of call centres which have since been outsourced overseas only provided negligible difference.

As the population continues to grow unsustainably. The economy will continue to falter. Socialist ideals such as national health care and education  now too expensive at current prices will require more and more funding. The future is bleak, the future is most certainly not orange. Taxes need to increase. With increases in taxes, salaries will need to be increased. As salaries increase so will the drain on GDP. Inflation increases, held off artificially by government backing supermarkets and industry will surge and rocket, things will be bad.

Let’s think about a pie. Mmmmm pie. It is a nice pie. We all want a slice of this pie but some want bigger slices than others because they think they deserve a bigger slice. So to cater for the demand on pie we bake a bigger pie. But then people say that they want a piece of the pie that is comparative to the slice they think they deserve. The circle continues.

But let us go back to South Yorkshire and look around.

Think of the seaside town that is no longer popular with tourists. The once grand and splendid arcades now shuttered or populated by pound shops. The streets of dilapidated guest and boarding houses now multi occupancy dwellings inhabited by ne’er-do-wells, the down at heel and misguided immigrants. Pensioners wander the streets or sit outside once proud homes dreaming of times past when the new housing estate was once the local lido. Think of how this once popular place was alive with people happy and at peace now degraded, it’s heart ripped out by cheap foreign holidays. Then consider this seaside town land locked. You might now be imagining somewhere similar to Grimethorpe, Goldsthorpe, Mexborough and the like. Once proud pit villages populated by hard working proud people with facilities to cater for them provided by the pit owners.

Take the pit away and these places become that landlocked seaside town. The streets once burgeoning with shops now boast 1001 curries, kebabs and tanning salons. The schools once constructed in an age when architects considered the art of the building design instead of functionality now empty, burnt out or demolished. The churches whose congregations once boasted over 200 parishioners per service, now guarded by razor wire and awful looking grills to protect the already damaged stained glass windows. The pit itself, long cleared away, the ancillary buildings few of which remain are but depots for reclamation yards or meeting places for drug addicts and the destitute.

This is the brave new post war post industrial England. Sure there are sleepy villages, vibrant cities and bustling market towns in well to do areas, but for every Harrogate, there are many more Grimethorpes. These deprived areas like a rot will take a lot more than money, social schemes and the like to treat. With the decline goes pride, with pride lost there is little but apathy, with apathy comes decay. The wealthy international companies know this and they feast on the decay with their burger shops, their big name brand supermarkets, their "you must buy this because you need it" attitudes. Sucking the communities dry of the wealth which is then sent south or overseas and not reinvested in the local communities. We really only have ourselves to blame.


Cross posted to my Livejournal.

>Empee Empee

>

Jeff Ennis goes this year. He used to live next door to Mrs Edson you know.

I live in Barnsley East. I’ve never been canvassed by an MP and shoving your tatty bit of paper through my letterbox just makes the cats and the recycle bin happy.

Currently the potential MPs for my area are (in no particular order) –

 

jb John Brown – Lib Dem: Beardy gent

Former lecturer, former manager of a plastics company.

Been about a bit. Lived in places such as St Helens, Congleton, Barnsley, Sheffield, Doncaster and Loughborough.

Has a degree in Metallurgy.

 


 

cavenvinesCaven Vines – UKIP: Shifty looking beardy gent

Seems to be based in Rotherham which isn’t all that far from Barnsley East but still.

Has a bee in his bonnet about immigrants, muslims and Britain being British.

Says “We need representation by MPs who are not afraid to speak out for what the people of Britain want” – Well I want a new car and £10000 please 😀

 

 

 

 

 


  

barnsleyeast5 Colin Porter – BNP: Odious sounding shouty pointy man

Other than a leaflet buried on some nationalist website and a couple of news clippings about him being all shouty and pointy. The only  other reference I could find about this gent is this Youtube video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cPDF6IDxz4

Curious really. Considering he’s putting himself forward for election. Furthermore, he seems to be stuck on issues that have no weight on the global or national scheme of things. I’m sure people living in Warrington would be furious to know that truck drivers are driving along B roads in Barnsley…..

 

 


  

main-1607 James Hockney – Conservatives: Slimey looking toff

 

This guy seems to have a career covering the south. Cambridgeshire, Ely and the like. Apart from kindly “helping to get a Learner Centre up and running in South Yorkshire”. I doubt he’s even looked at Barnsley except on a map.

Oh wait…it appears he went to a brewery….in a different part of Barnsley. Bless him.

 

 


 

dugher Michael Dugher – Labour: The ungoogleable man.

 

Seems like this chap has been floating round the country like an unflushed turd. I doubt he even lives in Barnsley…or for that matter knows where it is.

However he does seem to already have some parliamentary connections so even if he doesn’t get the job he can still make tea and advise on whatever it is he advises on.

 

 


 

 

This, it seems, is the motley band of chaps that want my vote. Now apart from virtually no web presence, these guys seem to think that they can tell me what they stand for  by telepathy…or maybe some sort of osmosis or something. However, because I’ve lived my life wrong, I am unable to receive messages through the ether due to my fat head being somehow defective.

So, like last time there was an election my offer still stands. It even applies to the horrid shouty pointy man. Let us go for a pint at the Three Horseshoes and discuss why I should vote for you because unless you do…I won’t have any idea why it is I should give you my vote.

Politics

Jeff Ennis goes this year. He used to live next door to Mrs Edson you know.

So, currently the potential MPs are (in no particular order) –

John Brown – Lib Dem: Beardy gent
Caven Vines – UKIP: Shifty looking beardy gent
Colin Porter – BNP (see also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cPDF6IDxz4 to see how odious this man is): Shouty pointy man
James Hockney – Conservatives: Slimey looking toff
Michael Dugher – Labour: Seems like this chap has been floating round the country like an unflushed turd. I doubt he even lives in Barnsley…or for that matter knows where it is.

So…my offer still stands. Even to the horrid shouty pointy man.

Let us go for a pint at the Three Horseshoes and discuss why I should vote for you.


This is an abridged version of a larger post over on my Other Compost – stegzyblogspot

>Political Pints

>

The old soapbox Major. Margaret Thatcher had her gardening. John Major had his soap box. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown; cups of tea with grass root voters. What would swing me? Well a pint with me in my local would probably help…..

I’ve blogged before on how little contact my local political representatives have made to the people that matter (See these various Livejournal entries), those people being…well…me and others like me who are called upon to do their duty and put a cross in a box every few years. Indeed, the same really could apply to prospective MPs.

In all my years I’ve never been canvassed. Either in person or by any other personal means. Now I know some will say “Oh but Stegzy you daft pillock, there are far too many people for all the MPs to go and visit them all and that is why they have special talks and things in community centres”. Others might say “Oh well you should get leaflets and that through your door surely that should be enough”. Well no…it isn’t.

I'll have 10 pints and some nuts cos I'm 'ard me When I moved to Yorkshire the country was undergoing an election. I was new to Barnsley and had no idea who was who or what the the people who were asking for my vote stood for.

So, I took it upon myself to look up the local prospective candidates in the local press and on the web and I contacted all the candidates via email inviting them to come to my house and tell me why I should vote for them. (see this entry)

Surprisingly.

Nobody came.

Not even a “Thanks” or a “Hey yeah while I’m dead busy like I can’t really drop everything just for one vote”.

Stay seated it's my round Nothing

I thought to myself that come the general election I would extend that offer to the people hoping to be elected to parliament for the Barnsley East ward.

He'd rather have a cup of tea than a pint with meThen Gordon goes and visits some people at their house for a cup of tea.

Well. Fair enough, with having to finish my degree and being in two places most of the time I didn’t get round to making that post.

My intention, as I alluded to, was to invite political prospectives to come and tell me why they deserved my vote and not the other guy rather than have them shove a piece of paper through my door with a few general statements about what current issue they deem to have importance.

Now I can hardly expect Gordon, Nick and that other fella to come round to my gaff together and take me for a pint, but the idea would be nice. I can just imagine it, me and political big wigs having a pint in my local or, for that matter, in my lounge…like the lads…not that the “lads” ever come round to my gaff, but you get my idea.

JeffEnnis No, perhaps expecting the big fish to visit the tadpoles is a bit far fetched. But my local MP…well that’s a different matter. They’re not there yet. My current MP is Jeff Ennis, who, you might be amused to know, used to live in G the Human Dog’s house next door to mine. Anyway, I understand that Jeff is standing down at this election. I never got to meet good old Jeffy but I can imagine him sipping an ale with Mrs Edson (the lady that lived in my house before me) or nipping down to the Three Horseshoes for a little snifter of sherry with the lads.

So as there is a vacancy coming up and I’m still unaware of anyone wanting to try and fill Ennis’ shoes I thought I’d extend the offer once more.

Three Horseshoes It is highly unlikely that anyone from Barnsley let alone anyone from the Barnsley East and Mexborough ward will be reading this but hopefully some enterprising PR person will pick up on it and see it as a boon for selfpromotion. But…here goes…if you are a prospective candidate or are hoping to run for election as the MP for Barnsley East and Mexborough….get in touch. Please. Come and meet me and we’ll have a one to one. I will ask you about the issues that matter to me and which way you would vote on my behalf, should an issue arise in Parliament.

Of course nobody chuffing will come. Nobody ever does. And then I’ll sit there, vote card in hand, clueless about who to vote for.

Paint the town green

I grew up in Liverpool, UK.

Now Liverpool, as you might already know, has a large Irish community and where there are large Irish communities you also find large Irish families. So it comes as no surprise that in Liverpool, a good deal of the populace claim some sort of Irish decent.

However, Liverpool is not Dublin. It is not even in the Republic of Ireland. It’s English and, yes, very cosmopolitan. So you’ll get all manner of people there, Chinese, Asian, African, Dutch, Polish, French, Spanish, Portugese, American…If the ships came from there to Liverpool, you can guarantee that there will be some form of community there.

So it bemuses me how, every year, the Irish clubs and bars of fair old Liverpool city centre suddenly seemed to fill with people all claiming some link, no matter how tenuous, to Ireland. From “Oh my dad’s Uncles second cousin twice removed was Irish” to “I once sat next to a man who was drinking Guinness”, some how people seemed to claim some Irish decent.

Why was this? Ok, apart from the way the Irish seem to know how to chuck a party and they know how to drink and have a good time I could see no reason why so many people were so keen to acknowledge this Irish thing.

Then I moved to Yorkshire…..

Now I’m not familiar with any large Irish community in Barnsley. Nor have I heard anyone with an Irish accent. Fair enough, the Barnsley accent is an infectious one (I now catch mesen talking like a chuffin miner sometimes ‘appen) but still. And yet, had my trip into town today been my first ever visit to Barnsley, I would probably have been of the wrong opinion that there was a large Irish presence in the region.

How daft I would have been.

Of course, the true nature of St Patricks day is more insidious. As with all holiday celebrations they are a good way to generate revenue and profit. Take the large holidays such as Christmas. It is marketed as a festival of consumerism. Buy this, give that. Big is best.And so on and so forth.

Likewise smaller scale festivals such as Halloween and St Valentines day are marketed by the novelty and card publishing industries as a bit of fun “Give us your money for this bag of sweets/bunch of flowers/card etc or you will be seen as a social pariah”

And so, not to be out done, possibly the largest well known Irish based global industry use their heritage to encourage those free of purse, to splash out on drunken revellry and cavorting. Don’t call it St Patricks day….call it Guinness day as that is what it is. A day marketed by Guinness for the promotion of and marketing of Irish stout.

And while you’re at it, think as you sup your pint of Irish stout, why it is you never see any other type of stout for sale in bars. Is it because few breweries make stout these days? Well, partially, but it is mainly because Guinness rule the roost with their marketing prowess and brand identity. And so, in the UK at least, where we once had Murphy’s, Beamish and Samuel Smiths we are left with one choice of stout. Irish stout. Until recently, brewed under licence just outside Warrington. Which is in Cheshire, ironically. Where there are a lot of people who once watched Father Ted.