Anti Riot Rally Concert?? Not me!

I was shocked and surprised to see press releases and facebook event pages saying that I am playing an “anti riot rally” concert on Friday night!

I want to make it clear that I am absolutely not.

I have not even been asked to play this event so am puzzled how I ended up on the bill without my consent.

Moreover, if I had have been asked to play, I would have declined.

I know and like the people who are organising this event but, personalities aside, I think this concert is politically simplistic and serves no useful purpose.

I’m more concerned at the underlying social issues that led to the events of this week and I think there are far more complex factors at work.

The riots may have stopped for now. The inequality, greed and alienation at the heart of our society goes on unchallenged.

So to clarify – I don’t support this concert and I am NOT playing it.

Once I find out how I ended up on the bill, I’ll let you know.

UPDATE (Fri):

I’ve been told it’s a communication problem that led me to being on the bill. It strikes me that the problem might be that the main guy who runs Liverpool Acoustic isn’t directly involved with this.

I’ve asked the person who is running this “rally” directly why I ended up on the bill, so will let you know when I get an answer.

However, some of my followers are curious as to why I’m listed as Attending on its Facebook event page. After all, that makes me look like I’m supporting this event too doesn’t it?

Well I can explain that one, but I’m not happy about that either.

LA had organised a gig tonight as part of its normal schedule and I was going to that. That was pulled earlier in the week.

It would appear that Liverpool Acoustic’s organisers have simply altered the details from that gig and left any attendees in place.

This is a real breach of trust. I click to say I’m Attending a straightforward night of music and the next thing I’m listed without my consent as attending an anti riot rally being staged in a top floor art gallery.

This is a new event. A new event should have been set up and circulated, rather than invite me on one pretext, and then change every detail so it looks like I’m attending and supporting something entirely different.

I want to close by saying that Liverpool Acoustic have done wonderful things and are an invaluable part of Liverpool’s music scene and have helped countless acoustic musicians and promoters, and will continue to do so in the future. I really respect them and the work that they do and have a longstanding friendship with them.

Yet I do think they have made a huge error of judgement in putting their name to this event.

I also think the individual event organiser (who is NOT the same person who organised the original gig by the way) is out of order in taking that event and merely changing its details, and that Liverpool Acoustic need to delete that event page completely.

UPDATE (Fri PM):

While still unclear how I ended up on the bill for this, I’ve received an apology from the folks at LA and they assure me that they’ve learned lessons as well as going out of their way to put the record straight.

As I said before, the folks at Liverpool Acoustic do great work on the local acoustic scene, I respect the work they do, and consider them friends. That remains the case.

I still think this gig is ill advised, but given that I’ve made you all aware of the facts, and given that the gang at LA have done their best to make amends, I consider it the end of the matter.

Peace.

#alun parry#anti riot rally

Comments

  1. Mandy Vere - August 12, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    Well said, Alun – I was of course surprised to see your name on the bill! But it’s given you an opportunity to say some worthwhile things.
    Thanks.

  2. Chappers - August 12, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    Umm.. So, you’re not going then?

  3. sandy farmer - August 12, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    Dear Alun,

    I applaud your forthright statement and I agree with your views about simplistic interpretations of events.

  4. John Blakeney - August 12, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    well said Alun…….regardless of the good intentions of n event..permission needs to be given first to add a name to the gig…

  5. Tom Berney - August 12, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

    Well done Alun.
    THe concept of an anti-riot concert is misguided. An early bit of political advice I received was if you are in doubt about supporting a political issue look around and see who else is on your side. The concert organisers clearly haven’t done that.
    Nobody is “in favour” of the stuff that happend in the riots but the left knows it is the rotten at the core socio-economic condition of Britain that breeds the conditions for them. People at an anti-riot do are lining up with the Cameron junta in evicting families.cutting benefits and draconian prison sentences. Solutions that are not only immoral bur would make matters worse in the long term.

  6. Alister - August 13, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    Any publicity is good publicity Alun.

  7. julian roberts - August 13, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    hi all,

    I would like to respond directly to this as it seems to me to be something of an over reaction and i think that liverpool acoustic’s motives have been called into question. i supported this event and attended as sound technician.

    first of all, Alun you know where I live. I am friends with the people who have organized this event, and i was planning a CD to mark the occasion to aid in the support of those affected directly. my motivation behind the compilation CD page and for supporting this idea was very simple. I have been caught right in the centre of this riot, living on upper parliament st, and i can tell you now, commentary aside this movement was partly arranged as i have been affected directly by these events and it has been nothing short of terrifying. i am open to debate, as all of us involved in this event are, but it was a simple mistake by the organizer and to dis-respect those of us who have been not only terrorised but made to feel like prisoners in our own homes is the short sighted and ill advised thing here. in terms of support for those who may have felt isolated like myself, it was not ill advised at all.

    I certainly hope that you can get some perspective, trust me if you street were set in flames all you would want is order restored. i am more than happy to debate the wider issues but this gig was partly to protest against the violence and crime that have affected us directly and the event itself had very little political motive. had you come on the night and talked to us i think this would have been evident. perhaps we should have not called it what we did, but it was meant to be taken literally. I do love music, and i do hate rioting. doesnt mean i like our government or the mess were in now, just a simple statement.

    I certainly hope that by uniting together as was our intent that any billing mistakes can be overlooked as what they are- a simple mistake by moving an event around.

    In addition the comments on the events page seems to be very glitchy i had some removed from that page it seems, i do not think that anyone has been removing comments, rather its a facebook bug- of course anything that is directly offensive would have been moderated, as i am sure that you do yourself on your pages.

    peace, love, empathy
    Julian

  8. Matt Swift - August 13, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

    So much for not making your views personal Alun. The way you have delt with this has troubled me deeply. All it took was a personal message requesting / asking questions to the event organiser. Contary to your misguided views, this night was not a politically motivated one nor was it a ‘rally’ despite this word unfortunately finding its way onto my page. I set up LMHR to support the local communities affected by the trouble on our streets. I am by no way under illusions that our country does not have social inequalities and I resent comments such as “politically short sighted” as it wasn’t intended to be political at all!!!!!! Had you actually asked one of us the purpose of our evening you would have found that it was just to play music, as alot of us ad gigs cancelled in the week. Whatever the underlying issues I would be troubled by anyone supporting or advocating criminality and violence. You have said on several occassions that the matter is closed, and you even responded to my message saying you were content with the matter being settled so why then continue your tirade? I wasn’t going to get involved in these petty rants but feel I’ve been left with no option but to back my corner. I am saddened by what I’d considered a friend pulling apart something I had created with genuine empathy and peace in mind. You saw the words “hate riots” and jumped to conclusions so if anyone was short sighted I’d suggest you look closer to home. Prehaps had the evening been called “community peace concert” this would satisfy you more? End of the day, I was angry that music had been stunted at the hands of criminals which despite any other social issues is what those rioting are. Therefore I wanted to put on an event to show that music will continue in the city inspite of any unrest. We played songs and drank and chatted with friends, if that is a political rally then surely I am politically nieve sir!

    As a final note – I am not aware of any kinds of sensorship on our pages. Which I will add were set up as a network for artists to come together and show support for our communities – inclusive and not exclusive of ALL peoples. If any posts dissapeared, I’d suggest it was a facebook error rather than anything sinister – after all freedom of speach is what seperates us from extremist communist or fascist states.

  9. alunparry - August 13, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    Hi Julian

    I’ve disrespected nobody. I’ve put my position which is that I oppose the rally. I’ve also said tons of good stuff about Liverpool Acoustic which I stand by.

    Note that I’d have had no public statement to make if I hadn’t been listed as on the bill.

    But I was, so I needed to explain to those who broadly share my politics that I have nothing to do with it, because they were certainly very surprised at best.

    I did also dislike the fact that I was enlisted as an attendee of one event and it was then changed into another. I made my case and that was that.

    How I was put on the bill hasn’t actually been explained to me, but I’ve let all of this go.

    It seems some of the participants and one of the organisers has taken offence to the fact that I regard the event as politically simplistic, and have gone on record to say so.

    I’ll close by saying that while politically I don’t like the rally, I don’t doubt Liverpool Acoustic’s intentions.

    Rather it seems that LA has allowed this to be organised at arms length and have some lessons to learn about how that can work and backfire, and about who they allow to do things in their name in future. I’m personally not upset with LA itself.

    I needed to make a political point given that I was falsely linked to this rally. It strikes me that I’ve ruffled a few feathers of those who either organised it or took part. But hey, that’s politics.

    If I’d not been falsely linked to the rally, nobody would have had to put up with my views on it. But I was, so you have. Treat it as the inevitable price of the error and move on.

    Peace back to you,

    Al 8-)

  10. alunparry - August 13, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

    Matt, you deleted me from your Facebook three days ago for disagreeing with your stated view that the army should be on the streets. So I think you’d already made it personal and pulled the friendship.

    And like I say, I needed to communicate my non involvement to my own supporters seeing as LA’s error had told everyone I was backing it.

    I oppose it. You support it. That’s not personal. That’s a difference of opinion.

    Live with it and move on.

    Peace to you too.

  11. alunparry - August 13, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    Just to point out, the word “rally” wasn’t my description of it. It was yours.

    And the matter is closed with me.

    I’ve stated my case. You’ve not liked it. As I said, if I hadn’t been linked to it, I’d never have mentioned it anyhow.

  12. Graham Holland - August 13, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

    I just want to state that Liverpool Acoustic does not censor the comments on it’s main facebook wall or the event pages. There are only three admins on the LA facebook page and I’m not aware of any of us deleting dissenting comments. The only things I’ve ever deleted in the past are repeat posts with the same content (flooding) and posts that have no connection with the local music scene (spam). The only other comments I’d ever delete would be those that were offensive or against facebook T&C. If anyone wants to castigate Liverpool Acoustic or the event organisers then go right ahead, we won’t be censoring anyone.

    The original event was postponed followed a number of nights when Liverpool all but closed down after 6pm due to the concern from the authorities that the trouble would spread to the city centre (like it did in Manchester and Birmingham). Followed the police advice on Thursday afternoon not to change any plans for the weekend the replacement event was organised at very short notice. People have a right to disagree with the event if it doesn’t match their particular philosophy (and maybe a more suitable name would have helped) but it was never a party political thing, and to say that those who attended were lining themselves up to stand alongside Cameron is ludicrous. Yes, we made some mistakes along the way with the way the event was worded and with changing the original facebook event into the new one, but where people felt aggrieved we did whatever we could to rectify the mistakes and apologise where appropriate. No malice was ever intended by any of the Liverpool Acoustic team.

    Graham

  13. matt swift - August 13, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    One good thing to come out of this is finding out what people are really like – true colours and all that. So ‘lesson over’ really. I won’t say anymore on the matter and wish you all the best with your endeavours. I do have my failings we all do – but if I feel unfairly treated I’ll respond same as yourself. If a few disagreements and deletion of a fb ‘friend’ “pulls” a friendship I’d suggest it was no friendship at all – so another lesson to learn there. You don’t have to mention a persons name btw to make something personal. I studied politics at uni so don’t take kindly being told I am short sighted. A difference of political beliefs is never an issue – the way that manifests itself is and I feel you went about all this the wrong way in my opinion.

  14. alunparry - August 13, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

    Hi Graham

    I fully accept your explanation and will actually delete my update re the censoring.

    It looked rather odd that when people were on the page making little digs about my position, the one person who shared my view had their comment disappear.

    But I fully accept the explanation and accept that there was in fact no censoring.

    I do also accept that no malice was meant by you either, which is why I went to great pains to praise the work that Liverpool Acoustic do.

    I never myself said that LA was lining up alongside Cameron, but you’ve seen that you were open to that perception because people have interpreted it that way.

    It’s why I felt it important to disassociate myself from the event when I was falsely billed as supporting it and performing at it.

    You’re right, a more suitable name would have helped. I felt it was all a bit clumsy really.

    I have stated that I feel that Liverpool Acoustic did what you could to rectify the mistakes and apologise, and I am happy to repeat that again here.

    I continue to think that Liverpool Acoustic are an invaluable part of the music scene. I simply disagreed with the nature of this gig as you decided to bill it ie a rally against the riots.

    If I’d not been listed as on the bill myself, I wouldn’t have actually felt it necessary to comment on it. But I was so I did.

    In truth, I’m sick of the whole thing now and hopefully this puts the matter to bed.

    Chat soon

    Al 8-)

  15. Tom Berney - August 13, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

    Matt Swift,
    It’s not really my place to prolong this, but don’t you think it is a bit pompous to say you can’t be short-sighted because you “studied politics at Uni”? So did David Cameron… Also against the present background to say a billed “Anti-Riots Rally” is not political is remarkably naive.

    We have just seen a full day of the grey suits in Westminster conducting their own anti-riots rally all of them only addressing the criminality (which is not disputed)but all of them too scared to address the underlying social conditions and policies they approved thatplant the seeds for riots because that doesn’t play well in the Mail and the Sun.

    Condemning the riots is populist and easy. Condemning the discontent and alienation that has led to riots in France, Greece and Spain etc takes some insight and courage. It is also the only way that we will avoid more of them. I admire Alun for seeing that – as he always does.

  16. Yo Myopia - August 16, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Tom Berney,

    I hope that you’ll have the decency to retract and apologise for your pitiable comments alleging that the people who attended the event are lining themselves up with ‘the Cameron Junta’. As somebody who attended the event personally, who is ABSOLUTELY against ‘the Cameron Junta’ and who has the deepest empathy for the disenfranchised and economically and socially impoverished people of this country and has a full appreciation of the disgusting socio-economic putrefaction that runs to the heart of this country, I find your comments not only myopically and utterly incorrect but pointlessly insulting. How dare you use this as an opportunity to try to pin a brown shirt on people with such nauseating self-righteousness. I attended the event for various reasons: one being to make it clear that the riots would not interrupt my routine when other parts of the city were completely overreacting by locking-down. Not to apologise for the government. Nor to apologise for the blatant criminality of some of the riots. I also attended the event because if there was a political debate to be had on the night I could be there IN PERSON to challenge people on their views of the matter face-to-face where I felt it appropriate: without resorting to cowardly dick-waving over the internet. Did you consider that ? Of course you didn’t. Because your espousing the same sweeping generalisations as those that you are disparaging.

  17. matt swift - August 16, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    Yawn yawn… how do I stop getting updates from this website?
    Thanks.

  18. Tom Berney - August 16, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Well, I’m glad you thought attending an “Anti-Riots Rally” was the right way to show you were against the Cameron junta. I’m disappointed you found the people there nauseatingly self-righteous. I had assumed they were just a bit misguided :-)

    I live too far fom Liverpool to make attendance practical, but being called cowardly by somebody who hides behind a monicker like “Yo Myopia” is a new experience!

  19. Julian roberts - August 16, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    Hi all

    I would like to state that putting anonymous comments on a blog is not supportive or mature.

    I think we all have learned from this experience and all had a good chance to air our views.

    Time to move on- lessons have been learned by all. Personally I think having considered all the views that perhaps a gig with that specific title has done more harm than good. I don’t like violence and I support that stance. However, perhaps the wider issues were not considered in light of our own experiences, perfectly natural but let’s not start insulting each other. It’s just that divisive attitude that can lead to the very problems that we all are living through these days. Clearly, the time has come to draw a line and all move on.

    The very best to all,

    Julian xxx

  20. Rachael Dunn - August 17, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Alun had every right to post his views about being ‘against’ playing at and being associated with an anti riots rally,as it was against his politics etc … however in my opinion it all got very over the top and both sides were misguided.Liverpool Acoustic the mistake was rushing the event and then The wording/title of the event was not right and as a performer at this event stated this straight away on the event invitation itself,however knowing the motives of the organisers to be of sound character, I was more than happy to attend. Stuart Todd and Matt Swift just wanted to reclaim the event and make it about community and music. Big apologies were made to Alun and he did accept them although perhaps conditionally ?
    Unfortunately Alun continued to misrepresent what the spirit of the event was about and also threw around censorship allegations … this is when things got ridiculous and out of hand, although eventually he accepted that this was not the case and resolved to close the issue.
    This brings me to Tom Berney, as a supporter of Alun you also had every right to agree and voice an opinion on an Anti Riot Rally. This is just my opinion and im entitled to it just as you thought you were Tom, despite your political motivation, it was clear that the conversation between Matt and Alun had become personal not political and an intelligent person reading could clearly see some upset and sadness, however you decided to blunder in further with self righteous comments about matt’s eduction etc, again taking that stance to associate him and everyone with ‘David Cameron junta’.It is you who is misguided most of all and for a man of your years you should have developed some empathy and consideration by now, you did not have balanced information did you even see the event invitation and all the comments that put both sides forward? did you attend? no you did not, that’s the problem with political ego it rears its ugly head and never believes it is wrong. Without ego and without political motivation I say You shame on you Tom.
    Really hope this is the end of this now :)

  21. Tom Berney - August 17, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

    Rachel,
    I’m sorry you did not feel able to take Julian’s advice to drop it. I had intended to, but the string of insults you’ve posted about me does require a brief response. First off, it was Matt who made the self righteous statement about his education. I only responded to it. And no, I didn’t attend, nor would I have attended, an Anti-Riots Rally in this situation. I do not apologise for my politics. It was entirely predictable that in the aftermath Cameron would exploit ANY anti-riot sentiment to divert attention from the growing gap between rich and poor, and to further repress those who suffer from it. Four year jail sentences for posting a message in Facebook, jail for stealing a bottle of water, jail for receiving a pair of stolen shorts etc etc . These punitive sentences are unprecedented in modern times and are the actions of a privileged class bent on repressing opposition to the cuts to come. Osborne is even talking about *reducing* the 50% tax rate!

    I’m sure the concert/rally was well intended, all I’ve said is its title was misguided. That now seems to have been accepted. I think it’s important that we don’t muddy the water about whose side we are on.

  22. Rachael - August 17, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

    Tom
    I too am sorry that you found my observations insulting. I still feel you should have dropped your input at an earlier point and could have used more sensitivity. No one supported Cameron and I certainly do not dispute any of your comments in your last two paragraphs as you speak the truth …at least you see the event had honourable motives seems we are all on the side against Cameron and the waters where muddy from the offset. Peace restored :)

    the very best to you.

    Rachael.

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