February: all doom and gloom they say but dontcha believe it, especially when you read where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to.

In this our issue 45(!) we report from the wilds of Herefordshire, well Ledbury, to the iniquitous fleshpots of darkest Worcester. Much juicy reading to be had and some fab photography as ever.

If it sounds like I’m praising my own magazine well I am, because please never forget that Slap wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for our wonderful and voluntary (again please don’t forget) contributors.

They and of course the kaleidoscopic range of talented performers across the arts in our region are the lifeblood of Slap Mag. If this all sounds a bit gushing, well I make no apologies and it IS Oscars Season after all!

It is also Brits Season but perhaps the less said as it was a case of the bland leading the bland. Which is something that could never be said about our cover artist Abel Gray: this Redditch born Renaissance man is interviewed in depth and provides us with insights into his genre spanning creative endeavours. From ‘alternative’ hip-hop to manga style artwork Abel is indeed a multi-media marvel worthy of your attention.

Meanwhile we are feeling optimistic as Spring is nearby, our collective sap is rising (uurgh) and we focus on all the upcoming local summer festivals in a titanic two page spread.

So as we cautiously welcome all things verdant and vernal and await some warmth, I will leave you to luxuriate in all the artistic riches contained within our humble organ (uurgh again).

Thanks as always for reading and all your support.

Light Heart-Ed

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