Evening Standard - ES Magazine


- @bengcobb

Sssssh! Can you hear that? Listen carefully… That’s the sound of turmoil tiptoeing out of the room, its tail tucked between its furry legs. Whatever political hymn sheet you sing from, I think we can all let out a collective sigh of relief. After what felt like a fever dream filled with anxiety, self-sabotage and devil-may-care decisions, a small sense of back-to-business order has returned to our lives. The emphasis being on small and for how long, who knows? We’re still facing tough times but let’s acknowledg­e that, if nothing else, day-to-day democracy can play out rather than act up. Political theatrics shouldn’t steal front-page space from news stories like the march of fascism across Europe (see page 14).

So, for now, good riddance to hysteria and whiplash-inducing U-turns, and hello to sensible, calculated measure on both sides of Parliament. (We can still dream, right?)

Yes, I’m here for a new era of calm and steady. Serious question: when did being consistent or dependable become an insult? (For clues go to page 23.) I’m over the shouty, chaotic mess of it all. Enough with the showing off and shaming on social. It’s time we dial it down, start setting an example, start embodying qualities we’d like to see in each other, our leaders and superstars (no names) and stop looking to them to show the way. Let’s go for grounded over high-frequency.

As I’m writing this, our cover star CKTRL’s new EP, Yield, is playing in the background, his saxophone working its soothing magic. CKTRL is what I’m talking about: the Lewisham-born multi-instrument­alist — real name Bradley Miller — is bending the sonic edges of classical and jazz, turning it into something new, a future sound of London, while also on a oneman mission to redress Black music’s place in the school curriculum. He’s trying to change the world one beautiful note at a time, and he’s doing it with stealth and purpose — no boastful BS. I find that inspiring. The quiet revolution starts today. Who’s with me?

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