Somewhat in the way that the early part of the year passed me by, so May has done the same! I'm looking forward to going to the Love Supreme Festival at the end of this month and I caught part of the Lyme Regis Festival a couple of weeks ago. So what has prevented me from keeping this blog up to date?
Mainly it's because it's time for Phonic FM to re-apply for its licence which we have to do every five years. It ought to be a straightforward process, but because so many Community Radio Stations have been facing difficulties with funding the requirements to prove financial stability are becoming more stringent. This hasn't been helped by the fact that our financial year ends in October and the only figures we were able to produce based on our last set of accounts were deemed to have too large a gap in being able to prove that we're stable and solvent. This being the case we've had to ask our new accountant to provide meaningful figures so that we can bridge the gap. A second impediment has been that the regulator requires us to estimate how much volunteer time we use, and to cost those figures against a formula that they have laid out. I ought to add that as Director I'm deemed to be a more valuable asset than anyone else who works just as hard! So jazz, for the time being has had to take a secondary role to ensure that the station stays on air after February 2018. Incidentally, assuming we get a re-award of the licence it'll start on the tenth anniversary of it coming on air. We aim to celebrate somehow!
I ought also to mention the pleasure I get from having listeners who get in touch and ask "Have you heard so and so, it's great?" It enables me to find out about artists and music that has either slipped past me or has such a small circulation that you have to hunt past outlets like Amazon to find a distributor. It's often only available on the artists website or from them at gigs.. However, even more frustrating is when you are recommended something that you can't find by an artist that has a quite high profile. A recent example of this is "Stretch Music" by Christian Scott whom I saw at Love Supreme a couple of years ago. He's a great trumpet player, but this album doesn't appear to have had a release as a CD or on download in Britain. I've been offered a vinyl copy (extortionate!) or a Japanese import CD (completely ridiculous), but no CD version. I live in hope that my friend Ian will be able to get a CD when he comes back from the States at the end of the month.
Finally, there's a ridiculous amount of good new material being released so you can expect a resume of a new Ahmad Jamal album soon, as well as news of what's happening in the world of Zara McFarlane, who at the time of writing has a new single out on Brownswood, which seems to precede a potential album release later in the year. I'm also trying to fix up an overdue interview with Emily Saunders who had a knee operation on the day she was due to appear as a guest - get well soon.