Speak, Brother

Updates and musings from the guys

Looking at 2016 with a Wizard’s wise words..

I’m not normally a New Years resolution making chap.. Although I do like to try to remember what actually happened as 2015 flew by..

For one reason or another, over the year I’ve been watching the world much more closely than I have previously. Especially in the last few months, I’ve found myself starting to sink into a pit of despair whilst helplessly witnessing the happenings in Paris, the US, and especially in the Middle East. I’ve tried to look deeper than ever before into the details of the who, what, when and perceived reasons as to how the heck these tragedies happen.

The more crap I find happens in this world, the smaller this world feels to me. It’s pretty bleak to honest. The more attention I pay, the harder it is, but also the closer it all feels to home. And perhaps that’s a good thing. Because the more aware I am of people’s sufferings, the more I feel part of it and the more I treat them as a neighbour. No matter how far they are away.

But I can see it’s obvious no matter what the will of our world leaders, fear is spreading here in the West. Fear and uncertainty is a divider. And it’s easy to use things like our own national identity, skin colour, religion to justify that division. Separating ourselves from the problem in that we should just get on with our own lives and let the cares of others sort themselves out. I know most of us don’t mean anything in a Scrooge like ‘let them die to decrease the surplus population’ thing but I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves the question: ‘what can we possibly do to change anything?’

Right now in the north of Britain, there’s a whole load of record level flooding. 1000’s of homes and businesses are ruined. One man from Yorkshire who’s been really badly affected and had every excuse to be bitter and self occupied said this:

“All you morons vomiting your xenophobia on here about how money should only be spent ‘on our own’ need to look at yourselves closely in the mirror. I request you ask yourselves a very important question… am I a decent and honourable human being? Because home isn’t just the UK, home is everywhere on this planet.”

I do feel like if everyone remembered that we are all brothers and sisters on this earth, it’d be a lot easier to make decisions about people’s lives, over and above financial interest and well being.

In terms of myself and Speak, Brother in 2015.. Well, I could say that we’ve played 50 odd shows and launched two singles and videos (one for the Rugby World Cup of course).. In many respects, a good year.

But I have to ask myself the question: Does it matter?

A little critical I guess. But this year if I keep this kind of perspective then perhaps instead of just being a person in the music business, I’d be in the people business, making music. Maybe then I’ll find myself more often in a position to somehow make it matter.

Anyways, this is starting to sound like a Gandalf monologue with The Shire music warmly whistling over it.. ha! But I’m not going to apologise for that. Instead, I’ll leave you with a Wizard’s wise words:

“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

What do you think?



Sue Pritchard says:

Thank you for that James it makes an awful lot of sense to me. I look back at 2015 with very fond memories and some sense of achievement as I’m sure do you. I will try not to go on about rugby, Rugby too much but I am amazed by what the game and town achieved in such a small amount of time. For me I think what brings the biggest smile to my face is the diversity of it all. There were people of all ages,religions,races enjoying a sport that they had never supported or been a part of before. I was fortunate enough to go to a Japan game at Milton Keynes where I was surrounded by lovely Japanese people who were at the game to enjoy themselves and have a good time..we had something in common. I have made lots of new and I guess you would say unexpected friends.My point to this I guess is to concentrate on what we can achieve and not dwell on what we can’t. Look at what we have in common rather than dwell on our differences. We can change the world if only a piece at a time! Sue x

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