Wednesday, 19 November 2014

“For safety reasons can I ask you what is inside the parcel” Post mortem

Don’t get me going about the post office!  Have you noticed that since privatisation we are subjected to de-privatisation, a word I just made up which here means that you lose your privacy because everyone in the queue knows what you are sending through the post, because they make you declare it? 

I take in some packets each containing a CD,

“For safety reasons can I ask you what is inside the parcel”

“A CD”

“and that one?”

“A CD”

If this is meant to improve safety, then surely the humble postal clerk would need to know everything in the world? For example…

“For safety reasons can I ask you what is inside the parcel”

“A five port switch”

“Hmmm, network or HDMI?”

No, no, the reality is…

“For safety reasons can I ask you what is inside the parcel”

“A five port switch”


“A five port switch”

“Does it have batteries in it?”


“Corrosive liquid?”





“A small person?”


“Ok, first or second class?”

But worse, is hearing other people declare what is in their parcels.

“For safety reasons can I ask you what is inside the parcel”

“Sexy underwear” or

“Incontinent pads” or

“Syringes” or

“Marijuana” or

“A small person” or 

I don’t know what people might say but once upon a time that was between you and the recipient. 

Anyway, at least they have put a stop to people posting themselves to nice places.

So then the woman says, oh, you haven’t left much room for the stamp!

“Well”, I replied, “I had no idea you were going to try to put on a stamp designed specifically for postal workers with visual disabilities”
A great whopping huge square of a stamp that was easily a quarter of the size of my CD mailer. She had plenty of ordinary stamps but didn’t try to use any of them.
It’s not even that these mega stamps have an interesting design on them like most stamps. They took the most boring British stamp there was, the one with our bored monarch on it and then blew it up until you can wrap your parcel in the stamp alone!

Incidentally, I got a DVD recently in a card for my 60th and it contained the highlights of the year I was born. It seemed that 1954 was filled mostly with the Queen and various hangers on visiting places and pointing.
I was much relieved that I didn’t miss much being so young that year.
I would have hated to be lying in a cot watching a mobile spin round whilst the Beatles were changing the world for example. That would have been unbearable.

Really pleased with the reviews that have been placed on and for my new kuJenga Society album. I include them here to show you that it’s not all been hard work and grind for me with this release. Sometimes there are moments of pure pleasure.

Great Solo Album from the Newtown Neurotics front man.
By Kyle Giarratano on November 15, 2014

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase

As a huge fan of The Newtown Neurotics I've been very excited for the release of Steve Drewett's KuJenga Society.

While musically it shares few similarities with The Newtown Neurotics sound, its spirit and message are very much rooted in the righteous indignation of punk music.

If you enjoy acoustic music, protest music, or the works of Billy Bragg then give Steve Drewett's KuJenga Society a shot, you won't be let down.

Sharp intelligent songwriting, hard melody and majestic guitar playing make this a truly brilliant LP; you wont be disappointed
By timothy james voss on 17 Nov 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ku Jenga Society by Steve Drewett.

Ku Jenga Society by Steve Drewett.

After perhaps too many years of cover Steve Drewett broke back out into the open firstly with a renewed Newtown Neurotics, proving the longevity of their songs combined with energy of their live shows is still very very relevant today and now with his first solo LP Ku Jenga Society.

Ku Jenga Society hits all of the buttons that are lacking in so much music today. Steve Drewett crafts his songs with true passion and care, carefully picking words and phrases that set the mood or hit nail with bloody savagery when its needed. Stripped down to largely vocals and acoustic guitar Steve’s energy and emotion creeps through into the songs as the guitar holds both rhythm and melody.

The song ‘Jenga Society’ kicks the LP off, A lone guitar weaving both delicacy and power as lyrically it deals with society that is built upon nothing but tills ringing ‘I shop therefore I am’ which like a Jenga tower will eventually fall.

‘Inch Away’, ‘Mindless Violence’ and ‘If Only’ are former Newtown Neurotics songs reworked acoustically, whether you’re new to them or you loved them as Neurotics songs you will understand their timeless quality here. Mindless Violence holds its anthemic status with stripped down clarity.

The ‘Killing Of You’ is story of death in a relationship leaving the survivor living with a crippling guilt; it pulls the pace back with a beautifully picked guitar that shows SD’s skills off to their full.

‘Sweet Jesus’ is driven by a simple pacey strummed guitar that has echoes of Woody Guthrie. The chorus a simple refrain asking ‘sweet Jesus are you listening to me’, as the litany of wrongs committed by the government is told through the ballad of a striking miner who sees his friends break the picket lines and his community ripped part by the after effects.

The other songs on the LP examine relationships, racking through their fragility and how strength comes from experience, bitter, loving and otherwise, ‘if this is love where are the violins?’ asks Steve on You Break My Heart.
Steve Drewett’s songwriting references sex, love, money, being a father observing the everyday strains and joys of family life, and makes sense of these observations in the narrative of the song.

Drewett’s turn of phrase in ‘Around Love’ is sometimes bitter, ’broken hearts like broken glass can cut you to the bone’ sometimes full of optimism, ‘your young and your beautiful wide eyed and naïve’ but the unfolding of the brilliantly catchy melody subtly backed with a band not so much leads as carries you on the shoulders through the song.

Its Christmas Time, the LP’s closing song, sports a ridiculously catchy earworm of a chorus which, if there is any justice will hit the Christmas number one spot and piss all over the X-Factor-Britains-not-got-Talent singles.

With wry observations, wit, intelligence and damn fine melody driven songs Steve Drewett delivers an LP that fills the holes that are missing in so much of todays music.

If you like The Neurotics, Tooth and Nail era Billy Bragg, Woody Guthrie or just good music that has something to say then buy this CD, give 2 fingers to the re hash of Band-Aid and say Its Christmas Time! (Oh Yeah, NaNaNa).

PS this a 4.5 star LP. (5 stars is reserved for revolver, bollocks, setting sons, repurcussions and his and hers).

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