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Over the past few days I’ve been in Salford (that’s right next door to Manchester) at an Un-Convention event. As usual, some amazing people talking about some really cool stuff – great music in the evenings (and through the day, actually) and good times with some of my favourite people.

There were a few missing – Vijay couldn’t make it over from India, and a couple of our friends from Colombia had real issues with visas. Thanks America: they were going to sit in an airport lounge for two hours for a connecting flight. Your war on drugs is such racist bollocks.

Other than that, though, it was good to start to bring some people into that world who hadn’t really done the Un-Convention thing before. Friends of mine that do some really cool stuff, and from whom other people could learn a lot. It was great to have Clutch (who needs to update his website) there – as well as Nick & Callum from Brave or Invincible Records, who also happen to be students of mine.

Some really inspiring panels – but as usual, all of the best stuff happened in the gaps in between. Conversations in the pub, over lunch – that sort of thing… where the inspiration turns to ideas and then into action.

Some captured moments

Jun Tzu makes a point
On the Politicisation of Music panel, Jun Tzu makes a point, as Jarvis Cocker & Clutch look on – while Laura and Steve blog furiously for the Amplified website.


Jez with The Young Fathers
Jez Collins hangs with The Young Fathers after their gig on a barge on a stormy Manchester night.


Outside the Box panel: Jamie, Clutch, Rich, Simon, Steve
Jami (aka Seams), Clutch, Rich (from Hope and Social), Simon (from Brownswood Recordings) and Steve (from the internet) made up the ‘Outside the Box’ panel that I moderated in the Salford Trinity Church hall.


Bill Drummond and his under-bridge graffiti
Bill Drummond prepares to take a photo of his under-bridge graffiti. Clutch and I went with him in the torrential rain to look at the work in daylight, and to interview him for a project we’re going to be doing on Jura in a few weeks time. He burnt a million pounds there once, you know…


Music archive panel on a barge
A panel session held on a barge, about digital archives for music.


How's that for an all-star line-up?
The best billing I’m ever likely to get for any event anywhere, ever.


Steve holds the fretless chicken
Solo Bass Steve delights at the exotic catering.


There are plenty more photos and stories at the Flickr set I’ve put online… and you can read more about Un-Convention, as well as watch video of the panel sessions (including mine), coming soon at the Un-Convention Hub website.