Podcast | Mr. Speaker’s Christmas Single

We had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Donovan of Mr. Speaker about their newly released Christmas album and original Christmas single, Its Christmas Time.  All in aid of raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis on behalf of the MS Trust – a charity very close to the band’s heart. 

The interview was originally aired on our radio show on Monday 3 December 2012 and is now available for download as part of our regular podcast series.

Listen to the interview and hear the Christmas single here.

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Hell’s Belles Roller Girls

Hertfordshire’s female Roller Derby team on recruitment drive

Hell’s Belles Roller Girls, Hertfordshire’s first flat track roller derby team, are on the lookout for new members, with a new training course starting on May 27th. If you’re over 18, have skating ability or an interest in learning, then they would like to hear from you.

For those not familiar with the sport – it’s a full-contact team sport played by two teams of five on traditional four-wheel roller skates, a sport originally made popular over in America that has also grown increasingly popular over here since 2006. The UK now has its own Interleague Championships, with 40+ teams from Oxford, Milton Keynes and Beds, amongst many others.

Hells Bells will be looking to recruit both new male and female members – any men over 18 interested in becoming a referee or non-skating official can also apply, but you must be female in order to train with and be part of the team. There is no upper age limit. Protective gear including helmets, pads and gum shields is always worn. Training takes place on Sundays and Wednesdays (please get in touch for more information on times etc.), at Birchwood Leisure Centre in Hatfield.

If this sounds like the sport for you, or if you’d like further information, please get in touch.

Contact: Hell’s Belles Roller Girls, Birchwood Leisure Centre, Longmead, AL10 0AN Hatfield, United Kingdom. info@hellsbellesrollergirls.com

www.facebook.com/hellsbellesrollergirls

www.hellsbellesrollergirls.com

Rhythms Of The World announced in Top 10 Best UK Festivals

Songlines magazine has named Hitchin’s Rhythms Of the World Festival as one of the top UK festivals this Summer. This is fantastic news for ROTW and the local community.

http://www.songlines.co.uk/world-music-news/2012/03/announcing-the-best-of-the-summer-festivals/

Click here to find out more about Rhythms, which is entirely run by volunteers: http://rotw.org.uk/

Matt on Masks

 I’m writing this as a response to some of the beautiful creations worn on people’s faces over our last couple of Rogue parties; especially Halloween.

I’ve always been interested in masks from my very first drama lessons when we studied the ancient players from Greece who would play certain stock characters and rely on exaggerated theatrical gestures to compensate for the lack of facial expression. I found something really interesting about the ‘permission’ to act differently that you are given as soon as you put on a mask and hide your own face; something that allows you to step out of your own skin and ‘be’ someone else is always going to be interesting.

Masks have always been important in human history and used across the world in funerals, religious rites, celebration, theatre and battle. They are practically as old as humans first recorded uses of pottery and clay and remain at the core of costume and pretending. We have been exposed to them since we were very young and are probably too familiar to really sit down and think about them.

There is of course something very creepy and distrustful invoked by masks simply because the face is obscured. Who is this person in front of me their eyes laughing in the semi darkness? Sunglasses of course are un nerving and shifty because they rob you of the expression in someone’s eyes therefore masks can be scary for the opposite reason when all you can see that is human of someone is their eyes. You only have to think back to when you first saw pictures of the masked heavy metal troupe from Iowa that call themselves Slipknot to realise the intensity masks still offer.

Many psychologists including Jung have written extensively about the concept of ‘persona’ and the mask we wear every day to hide our true inner self from those around us. Jung also proposed that there is a dark side to the personality, well-know to the field of psychology as the shadow. It includes both repressed, instinctual feelings and untapped potential. To me, the shadow is not just the “evil” opponent of persona, but is also imagination and creativity left behind or forgotten because of sensible or supposedly good adult behaviour that most of us adhere to in modern times. We make a conscious effort in Rogue to bring you back a little bit of that childhood and to show you that it really is ok to be yourself; creativity keeps us young, happy and open minded and playing with Barbie dolls, space hoppers toy cars and masks allow us to be open and ridiculous with less fear of being judged or thought of negatively. At their core masks allow us to be someone else even if that person is actually just ourselves uninhibited.

 I guess that Rogue is in part about escapism and a loss of inhibition as it provides a chance for us all to go a little crazy, to get outside of ourselves and push a little harder knowing that we can hide behind our masks, hide a little in amongst all the people around us who are also here to get away with being silly. We wish to encourage you all to be yourselves or anyone else you want to be, to dress up and be exotic and different, to make beautiful costumes that inspire, arouse and intrigue, to dance without convention or self awareness and to know that all around you everyone else is too.

This Halloween party just gone was wonderful in terms of costume and we thank you all for making such an effort, where else in Herts can you see 7 foot tall Grim Reapers on stilts hobnobbing with Mexican bandits? However we wish to remind you that mask and costume are not just for Halloween and will be received with open arms (no matter how ridiculous your outfit is) at each and every one of our parties. You might even win a prize.

So for future reference please continue to dress to impress and if you don’t like the attention you can always wear a mask so no one knows it’s you.

words by Matt ‘Red’ Turner.

photos of Rogue’s Dia De Los Muertos Halloween Party by Gavin Felgate.

 This article contains an excerpt from The Healing Arts by Cathy Malchiodi.

If you want to see pictures of what the hell I’m talking about then please feel free to have a mosey around our facebook site.

COMMUNITY | If you care about live music, sign this petition

RHYTHMS OF THE WORLD celebrates 20 years this year, but it’s in danger.


What has become one of Hitchin’s major success stories in recent times is currently under siege from curtain twitchers and busybodies who can’t stand to see thousands of people having a good time listening to music and having fun. Please show them how selfish and uncommunal they’re being. We have a right to our festival two days in the year as much as they have the right to enjoy peace and quiet the remaining 363.

Please sign this and tell everyone you know about the petition to get the sound turned up at Rhythms Of The World – we can’t do it without you!

http://www.petitiononline.co.uk/petition/give-rotw-a-sound-limit-of-75db/2803