Beyond the Wings, July 2021

It probably won’t be available online for another month, but my latest English album – under my sleazy The Kev persona – is sounding amazing. Songs like ‘Cheap Hotel’ and ‘Satire’ are being recorded in a proper studio, with an excellent drummer and a world-class bass player.

Others, like ‘Cancel Me’, ‘Someone Somewhere’, and ‘Hope It Might Be So’, I have simply re-recorded at home.   

Output

Early this month I finished a new English song, inspired by recent romantic (mis)adventures.

And another classical guitar video.

And I continued with the miscellaneous covers. There is an endgame to this seemingly random assortment of songs. It can only be revealed if and when my album launch happens.

I also had another review posted by the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing.

Activities

This month I completed another draft of my novel, working title ‘Fallen Souls’. The latest rewrite was about fleshing out the character of the antagonist and giving him a backstory. Working on it is always emotionally and creatively draining, but writing scenes set during his school days was particularly triggering, dredging up countless teenage memories.

In-person gatherings are very much the norm again. I have continued to play new original songs at open mics and am again holding the thriving Socially Awkward Singsong at Manchester’s Castle Hotel.  

At The Lion’s Den open mic

Wider World

It is not an original observation that social media is a giant toilet that everybody is free to use and nobody is responsible for cleaning. Jonathan Frantzen criticised Twitter for being unconducive to seriousness or proper expression.

This month has been particularly depressing on social media. Andrew Lawrence, a comedian I admired a lot, posted a tweet about the England football team which seemed unambiguously racist, and I find impossible to defend.

Journalist Flora Gill tweeted about introducing a sort of gateway, entry-level pornography for people under eighteen. She apologised for the poor wording, but even so, what a stupid post.

Despite this, when someone is publicly shamed for a social media post, it is healthy to remember that the same thing could happen to anyone. And it is therefore unwise to take too much glee in piling on, as you could be next.

Online mobs, just like offline mobs, are dangerous, no matter how right they are.

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