What's pappin'?



Back in the saddle

Ahh... My first gig since way back at the beginning of June... I've been sitting in front of a computer screen since then - and I CANNOT WAIT to submit my thesis next month. This lovely bit of musical relief for me comes courtesy of our pal Satinder, who's organising a Hip-Hop night at the Amersham Arms, just south of the river. Check it out:


Help Fiji to recover from Cyclone Winston

Besides being home to some of the heaviest waves on the planet, the beautiful Pacific island nation of Fiji was recently hit by the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the southern hemisphere, Cyclone Winston. Entire communities have literally been blown away. Estimates vary, but there may be as many as 51,000 left homeless in the wake of the storm - perhaps more. Many children were swept out to sea and people are having salvage their relatives’ bodies from the wreckage.

Shamefully, the UK government has not yet provided any aid. As a commonwealth nation which still bears the Union Jack on its flag, Fiji should get help from the UK. Australia, New Zealand and France have thrown their weight behind the effort, but not us. A petition has started to get this matter debated in the UK parliament: I hope that those of you who are UK citizens (or happy to pretend that you are) will click on the link and add your name to the petition.

Additionally, our pal Harry runs a volunteer organization in Fiji called Think Pacific. They are now a major part of the relief effort supplying aid packages, evacuating islands and (eventually) helping with the rebuilding process. You can find more information here: and if you are willing and able to go one stage further and donate to the cause, then go for it.
Vanuinui vinaka to all XXX

PhD: The Final Frontier

Yes folks, it's coming up to the business-end of this monster task - one that has dominated the last five years of my life. I have often likened the PhD process to making an attempt on Everest: even just getting to Base Camp can be a substantial mission in itself; and, for some time, I found myself stuck there in the cold, watching and waiting for the conditions to be right for an ascent. Now, I'm somewhere high up on the North Ridge, all alone in the middle of the Death Zone, with stormy weather closing in. There's no going back down - the only way is up!

I get another one of these for my final season as a research student at SOAS:

And I'll also be helping my PhD supervisor, Richard Widdess, to teach one of his BA Music courses this year. Coupled with my continued research consultancy work with SOAS Marie Curie Research Fellow and fellow Cure fan William Tallotte, along with the excruciatingly detailed work that remains to be done on the thesis, my hours continue to be filled with the stuff of crazy music analysis. However, once the PhD is submitted (my draft has been approved, so this should be within the next few months, all being well) then I will make some time again for my own musical creativity. I have seventeen album projects waiting in the wings, and my musical mind is filled with all kinds of new visions - so look out!



Launch of SOAS South Asia Institute

It was an honour for me to play some desert music at the launch of the new SOAS South Asia Institute this week - check the link below for more information on this exciting new addition to the school.


SOAS Music Department is No. 1 in the UK for research

Our wonderful music department is OFFICIALLY the No. 1  Music Department in the UK for the quality of research published by our members of staff. Our research is described as  “world leading” and "internationally excellent". Check out the link here, if you don't believe me:

This result was announced in the national Research Excellence Framework yesterday, in which all departments in all subjects and all universities in England are assessed for the quality of their research. So there.