Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 194: Universities present and past

Today's soundtrack: Cabaret Voltaire - Conform to Deform

Over to York today, for another Audit Committee meeting at York St John University. I'm glad I chose to retain the responsibility for my two Audit Committees when I left my last job - not only do they 'look good on the CV', but they do keep me involved in the sector and in audit work - and it does require me to use my brain on a regular basis as well. Not least, it gets me out of the house and into a professional environment again.

Another interesting and challenging meeting, but as usual, a high level of debate and engagement from all parties. Primarily internal audit work at this meeting - the external audit is in progress at the moment, and that will be the focus of the next Committee meeting in October.

On the way over to York, I took a call from one of my ex-colleagues, discussing the possibility of some contract work in London over the next three months. Interesting possibility and I shall be following it up, but need to ensure I don't compromise the possibility of the full-time role I am being interviewed for tomorrow if I am not as 'immediately available' as I currently am! That said, I think it is encouraging that my old firm are happy to consider me for such roles as they arise.

I finished in York at around six, and the plan was then to meet up with some old mates from the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, but sadly traffic on the way out of York and on the M62 put paid to that idea. A need to rearrange in the near future, I feel.

Back to Sheffield for today's soundtrack. The Cabs came through in the late seventies, coinciding nicely with my time at the University there. Sadly, I have no recollection of ever seeing them live - although I can't conceive that I didn't see them at some stage, if that makes sense - they were such an important part of the local scene at the time, along with Artery, Human League, ClockDVA and other such famous (and not-so-famous) bands.

The Sheffield Scene from 1976 through to 1980 was absolutely fascinating and quite unique. Whilst the rest of the country was wrapped up with three-chord guitar thrashes, the Sheffield scene was almost exclusively electronic - and Cabaret Voltaire were at the forefront of that scene. More difficult and challenging than the Human League (who were always popsters at heart) they progressed in the '80s as an industrial disco collective and, for a time, flirted with commerciality without ever really emerging from the underground.

The Sheffield Scene is very well documented in a book (with accompanying CD) called 'Beats Working For A Living' and a DVD called 'Made In Sheffield', both of which I would recommend to anyone who was there at the time.

This is 'Sensoria' - as commercial as the Cabs got. The number of bands that took this blueprint and ran with it - with all the money and success that evaded the Cabs - is legion. This is where it was done first - and probably best.

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