If you don’t like Elbow you will hate this…

This blog will self destruct in 7 days from now but in the meantime if you are an Elbow fan you will enjoy Guy Garvey rabble rousing his followers in Manchester Cathedral.  Note perfectly of course.  At one point (on Lippy Kids) he is supported to stunning effect by the Halle Youth Choir.

Just click here.

There’s something about Elbow that is particularly moving.  The songs are beautiful of course but it’s a combination of Guy Garvey’s plaintive vocals and his obvious passion for them that really tugs at the heartstrings.

Good on you boys.

What particularly pleases me about the Elbow story is that they all had to second mortgage their houses to make ‘Seldom Seen Kid’.  It was literally the last throw of their dice.  And it worked, netting them a Mercury Prize along with millions of record sales.

Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch.

Their latest album, ‘Build a Rocket Boys’ whilst not having the same impact as ‘Seldom Seen Kid’ is a beautiful record full of fabulous quiet anthems.


Cheetah Outrage

My sister, Emily, has been putting in awesome shifts – for, like, months – over the past seven years in South Africa (many as a volunteer) in support of a phenomenal wildlife charity called Cheetah Outreach.

Their raison d’etre is neatly summed up in the following paragraph…

It took 4 million years of evolution for the cheetah to become the exceptional animal it is today and only 100 years for man to place it on the endangered list. Now the fastest land animal in the world is losing its most important race: the race for survival.  At the turn of the 20th century, an estimated 100,000 cheetahs lived throughout Africa and in parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. Today there are just 7,500 cheetahs left and South Africa is home to fewer than 1,000 of these majestic cats.  Cheetah Outreach is an education and community-based programme created to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival. 

This year Emily was joined for over a month of her stint by her partner, James, in South Africa as she once again set off to hand-rear a bunch of Cheetah cubs.

The impact on James was huge, and not surprising, given his tireless fundraising and lobbying on behalf of his own non-profit organisation; The Lion Foundation. (The Lion Foundation is a non-profit organisation providing an umbrella for an ad-hoc group of friends to do diverse fund-raising activities. Since 1994 they have rattled buckets, bungee-jumped, paraglided (or paraglid?), run raffles and Open Days for, volunteered with and published donated works in aid of seventeen charities including ATD Fourth World; Pestalozzi Children’s Village, Kent; The Monkey Sanctuary, Cornwall; NARA; Children with Leukemia; Aid to Romania; Willow Foundation; ACTV; The Tibet Foundation; Durrell, Jersey.)

To say that James is enthusiastic would be something of an understatement and having returned to these shores he has set to with vim, vigour and a roar to raise funds for Cheetah Outreach.  Consequently he’s organising a fundraiser – principally in his Devonshire hometown of Bantham but thanks to the www everywhere really.

That’s where I, and you, come in.

As Northern ambassador for James’ uber-enthusiastic activity I am now on the campaign trail, imploring you, my beloved reader, to show some support for his efforts.

And so, if you feel the plight of the Cheetah is worthy of a little support join us in raising money to keep this fantastic beast and wonderful charity in rude health.

All you have to do is pledge a little dosh via the following (no doubt by now familiar) mechanism.

Log on to www.justgiving.com/cheetahoutreach-whf and stick in a few bob.

Go on.  Go on.  Go on.