Tuesday 29 September 2020, 18:06 GMT

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Drive 19th – 23rd April

A good week on Drive – starting off by speaking to 80’s legend and keyboard whizz Paul Hardcastle who of course recorded the multi-million-selling classic “19” 25 years ago. We were speaking to him on Phoenix to mark the re-release of a reworked 19 track, called 19 Boys To War as a commentary on what is going on now with the war British troops are involved in Afghanistan, following on from the original 19 track about Vietnam 25 years ago – which revolved around an old war documentary quote saying how the average age of a US soldier in Vietnam was 19 (compared to 25, I think, it said in WW2 for example). Paul was great to speak to – he’s still in the business, and is a big success in the States over recent years, being voted number one smooth artist by Billboard last year.
He told us how he came up with the idea for this track after seeing a documentary on Sky where the quote was about British troops “I looked at my Men, The average age was 19, my god I’m taking boys to war”, and found the similarities to strong to ignore. He’s had support from the families of those soldiers who have died in Afghanistan, and said he’s not really trying to make too political a point with this, but the aim is to raise the issue and draw attention to the issue of what we are doing there, as well as whether soldiers have enough care after they come home to help them with the rest of their life. I seem to recall hearing lately a very frightening statistic that 1 in 10 ex-UK soldiers end up in prison. Maybe I misheard. Anyway, Paul was great to speak to, saying at the time he went to a record company with this the response he got was “the public don’t want to hear a record about war”. Strangely, the person to take a punt on it was Simon Fuller who signed Paul – the same Simon Fuller who of course went on to manage the Spice Girls and have worldwide success with Pop Idol, X factor and American Idol. He named his “19” company after the record. To check out the new track from Paul go to www.hardcastlemusic.com
Also spoke this week to Andrea Williams from SERICC the South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre. The service which opened first in 1984 is independent from police and social services and offers help and counselling to any victims of sexual abuse or assault that are women and girls aged over 13. It’s a fantastic service helping victims who’ve suffered at the hands of an abuser to enable them to get help and counselling. Andrea was saying in many cases, a victim may not feel they want to go to the police or authorities but just need someone to talk to, to try and make sense of what has happened. In many cases they will deal with someone who has come to them after suffering problems such as drug abuse or depression which has come about because of past problems of being abused, and once this has been realised they will be referred to Sericc. It’s a vital service and obviously does great work, with Andrea saying how people can feel they have been helped and just taken away from the problems their ordeal has been causing them. To make matters even better there is opening soon a new sexual assault referral centre for the whole of Essex in Brentwood which will provide many services under one roof, including the chance for, say, clothes to be collected for forensic evidence, even if the victim doesn’t want to go to the police yet, and Serric will also have a base there. Their current base really is aimed at being a pleasant, out-of-the-way location which has won awards for its comforting design and feeling that you are being taken away from the unsettling life elsewhere. To find out more you can visit their website www.sericc.org.uk - they are also holding new workshops soon in May for women in Brentwood and Billericay that are called “From Surviving to Thriving”, to help anyone who has been through such experiences. They are also running creative workshops as well, to enhance people’s skills and pursuits in other directions. To book a place on any of these workshops, you can call Karen on 01375 381322.
SERICC’s counselling helpline if you or someone you know is suffering in silence can really help – it’s 01375 380609 – and of course all the information you need on opening times and more is available through their website.
Finally, spoke to Julia Curle on Thursday – she stars as Elaine in a new independent film “Call of the hunter” being screened at Brentwood theatre this Sunday afternoon (the 25th). It’s a 2.30 start and there’s a Q and A with the cast afterwards as well. Julia was great to speak to, and was really entertaining – basically the film is about a party of documentary makers who go down to an old country manor to film a documentary about the legend of Herne the Hunter a mysterious hooded and horned man and the death of one of the party’s cousins 40 years ago. It’s a horror/comedy mix which has had great reviews – and has a lot of scares but a lot more if you’re not just a horror buff – catch it if you can.
And the headline hits this week were mostly volcanic ash! They included:
Then Jericho Big Area (of ash and smoke that is) Bang and Blame (the airlines blaming authorities for being grounded too long in this case) REM, Kate Bush Cloudbusting, Style Council, My ever changing moods, Billy Joel we didn’t start the fire, Yazz the Only Way is up, and Marvin Gaye’s What’s going on. And loads more I can’t even remember over the week. We didn’t play Smoke Gets in Your Eyes unfortunately.
And the 2nd leadership debate – the magic no. De La Soul, Stir It Up Pattie Labelle, and that’s entertainment the Jam
Drive every weekday between 3 and 7.

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