Monday evening saw an event to celebrate the publication of ‘Mad dogs and Englishness’ a book which connects popular music with questions about English national identities. Rupa chaired a panel of contributors from the newly published book. These included authors Paolo Hewitt, Carey Fleiner and musicians Stephan Mallinder, Caberet Voltaire, and legendary drummer of ‘The Kinks’ Robert Henrit.
The panel’s expert contributors provided historical and contemporary commentaries about pop’s complex relationships with Englishness with anecdotes from the world of Rock and Roll keeping the debate lively and entertaining. The panel took questions from an eager audience from across the music, literature and academia with Members of both Houses and the famous face of ‘Little voice star’ and ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Jane Horrocks.
Rupa who has provided a forward to the book commented “This book helps us navigate our way through the complex contours of modern times as Englishness, Britishness and Globalisation all fight for supremacy, with a European dimension in the mix too – even if Britain is on the way out. This book takes a commendably broad sweep of time in considering pop alongside parallel developments in our global and local sociocultural fabric”.
Perhaps a final word on the evening should go to panellist Stephen Mallinder who described the evening as “fascinating and entertaining .. I can't believe I was allowed within halls of government”.