Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I was fifteen when Focus blasted its insane way into my young life.  'Moving Waves' sent me to places too numerous and personal to even name.

Late last autumn, I was with my son at the home of his good friend, the wild and wonderful Matty. Matty's friend, a handsome young Jehovah's Witness, was there too, and this friend suddenly said,

"Hey, guys, you must see this..."

And he had YouTube blazing out with Hocus Pocus before you could even take a breath. He was so pleased to be showing us such a weird and revolutionary thing!  I loftily said,

"Young man, that guitarist is the great Jan Akkerman!"  I drew the name seamlessly from my bag of lost memories.  "I was listening to this before you ....etc."

Home again, I had YouTube do its magic and discovered that Jan Akkerman has been doing some stupendous things since then!

I also discovered that he was to tour the UK soon! God, how good life can be!   I booked, immediately, and seven long months later, on 1 May 2011, together with my man and my friend Tin (she of The CD Collection), floated blissfully down the M4, across the bridge and into Welsh Wales.  Oh, historic date!

The Globe, Cardiff, looked rough.  It looked the sort of place that you might enter, never to emerge again

We didn't care! 

Inside, we found smiling bouncers.  We breathed in fragrant smoke from joss sticks glowing in dark and intricate corners.  Up purple staircases we went, under great Moroccan lanterns and past psychadelic art never before dreamt of, and into the music bit!  There, huge Babylonian pillars in a North African casbah, and a stage all set and ready for The Jan Akkerman Band!  You could see Jan's Les Paul waiting there in its case. It was excitement enough just to see it.  And a nice Fender bass just waiting for Wilbrand Meischke to grab it by the neck and shake it into life.  Coen Molenaar's great pile of keyboards looked oh so promising.  Marijn van den Berg's drums looked good too.  They proved to be good and loud.

Jan arrived on stage all of a sudden and picked up that Les Paul.  An excited "You're a legend, Akkerman!" from the back drew laughter and some self-deprecating remarks from the Dutchman. Something to do with age making anyone a legend eventually.  Then, it began.

But I can't tell you what it was like because I went into a realm that simply cannot be named or described.  That's what sublime music does to one, I guess.  So take a look at these links, and see what you think.


I can just say that Tin did go up to the sound man in the interval and asked him to turn it down a bit.  Does that tell you anything?

I wish this was my photograph

Wilbrand Meischke, who was standing nearby, rather ironically recommended earplugs.

I give thanks to God for music and the musicians who bring that music to us. Hallelujah baby!

Monday, 30 May 2011


Wishful Thinking are a brilliant band.  www.wishfulthinking.me.uk  They have a wide-ranging set, performing numbers from the 1950s to the present day.  Johnny B Goode to Mayhem!  They are all consummate musicians.  Creative and funny.  Professional and tight.

Sam performed two numbers with Wishful Thinking last night at a Bank Holiday bash at The Seven Tuns in Chedworth.  Things were pretty wild!  Here is a link to his video of "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor Doctor).


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Pontiac Silver Streak

The incredibly kind proprietors of La Attica, the Latin-American dance studio of choice in Cirencester, opened their garage today.  Inside - a black 1950s Pontiac Silver Streak.

It rumbles, and growls, and rules the road.

Out in the courtyard, Sam and I began our work on his music video for 'Route 66'.  The Pontiac officiated.  It was beautiful.

Have a look at La Attica's website!  www.laattica.co.uk   Even if you're not into dancing, the website itself is a feast for the eye.

Monday, 23 May 2011


The 'Free Hugs' movement was inspired by the desire of Juan Mann (pseudonym understood by saying it aloud!) to bring love to his brothers and sisters by performing 'random acts of kindness'.  His own loneliness at the time brought an empathetic wish to ease the possible loneliness of others.

Interestingly, when I first spotted the chaps offering free hugs in Trafalgar Square in London, I felt a little bit hesitant. All my trust and intimacy issues raised their wary heads.  What, a hug from a STRANGER?  I'm not too sure ....

It is possible that this dear man was feeling the same.  But he went ahead and did it anyway.  And so did this one.

The chap in the background looks a bit bemused by the whole thing!  But the word RANDOM speaks volumes, I think.  It implies that kindness is being offered totally unconditionally.  No conditions whatsoever.  That certainly made me consider this: am I kind only when it is easy?  Do my conditioned ideas about justice and morality make me hold back sometimes?

Here is a link to a video about random acts of kindness.


I hope you enjoy it.  Oh, and here is a quote from the Dalai Lama's Twitter:

"The aim of spiritual practice is to become the friend of all beings, concerned about them and ready and able to help them."


Offical website:  www.cherylcordery.co.uk
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/No-3-Photography
Twitter: @

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sam Cordery and Stray Cat Strut

I was listening to Stray Cat Strut this evening; that fine number from 1981 by Stray Cats.  I was twenty-three then, and I remember a crazy summer of freedom and such laughter.  When I mentioned this song to my son, Sam, he played it and immediately fell in love with it.  So much so that he has made a rather a fine video of himself, playing the guitar accompaniment to a very good backing track.   Click here to see it!


His details:
Website:  http://www.samcordery.co.uk
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/Sam-Jack-Cordery
Twitter:  @

Two cool cats

Stevie Ray Vaughan

This man inspired countless musicians to reach higher.  He passionately encouraged people addicted to drugs and alcohol to reach deeper.  His death in an helicopter crash, after four clean years, seemed too tragic.  But our understanding does not go deep enough, oftentimes, and I somehow suspect he is still around, encouraging and inspiring those who want to know.

Not long before he died, he recorded an album with his brother, Jimmie Vaughan.  It was called 'Family Style'.  The track, 'Tick Tock' is good to hear.  Here are the words.

One night while sleeping in my bed I had a beautiful dream
That all the people of the world got together on the same wavelength
And began helping one another
Now in this dream, universal love was the theme of the day
Peace and understanding and it happened this way

The sick and the hungry, had smiles on their faces
The tired and the homeless had family all around
Streets and the cities were all beautiful places
And the walls came tumblin' down

People of the world, all had it together
Had it together for the boys and the girls
And the children of the world look forward to a future

Remember, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away
Remember that, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away

I had a vision of blue skies from sea to shining sea
All the trees in the forest stood strong tall again
Everything was clean and pretty and safe for you and me
The worst of enemies became the best of friends

People of the world, all had it together
Had it together for the boys and the girls
Children of the world look forward to a future

Remember, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away
Remember that, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away

Remember that, remember that
Remember that, remember that

People of the world all had it together
Had it together for the boys and the girls
Children of the world look forward to a future

Remember, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away
Remember that, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away .....

Here is a link for the video that was made after Stevie died.

First you see Jimmie.  Then Stevie's gentle vocals begin.

My son's passion for music led us to SRV.  Just to possess some images of him, I took some screenshots.  Some have resulted in some painterly, even pastel, effects.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Here is a video in which David Hamilton PhD explains why smiling is contagious.


And here's a nice one to make you feel good.

PS  If you happen to recognise yourself, I hope you will enjoy being shown illustrating the power of smiles.  Please let me know if you would like me to take it down, and I will sadly do so!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Since posting my first blog, I have discovered to my joy and amazement that this Free Hugs thing is a worldwide phenomenon.   Do take the time to look at these truly amazing videos.


A revolution of the heart!  A seachange for humanity that makes the heart sing!

Do forward this to everyone and anyone you can think of!  Oh, and here's another one!



"I must tell my mum about these free hugs."

Monday, 9 May 2011

Free Hugs

Hugs, dispensed free to the crowds milling and wandering in Trafalgar Square on a busy Saturday in May!  I still cannot stop smiling.  Intimacy and trust, free!  Full body embrace from a total stranger, free!  Just gorgeous.   Bearing in mind that physical touch, and the very act of smiling, produce 'feel-good' chemicals in our bodies (endorphins, I think), I do believe those beautiful men were administering really good medicine!   I am still humming and I am overjoyed that I had my camera with me.  What a sublime message for a humanity searching for meaning.  One really does not have to embrace any particular creed or dogma to see that the message of unity can come in the simplest ways.   


And here are some pictures to prove that love is contagious.

Never under-estimate the power of love!  It is not an emotion - it's power, and as Teilhard de Chardin said, 

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."