Category Archives: Music

Kill The Poor

“Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the official DWP 1st annual “piss on the poor” party and karaoke night. Tonight our first song is dedicated to a very special person, Mr Ian Duncan Smith.

Please stand up Mr Smith.

Can we shine a spotlight on him …….. no no it’s not that man, the one behind him with the bald head that looks like a SS concentration camp guard, yes that’s the one.  A round of applause for the man who is single-handedly responsible for the funding of tonight’s party.  All paid for from savings made due to the massive increase in sanctions handed out to the peasants by this man. Thank you Mr Smith. Sieg Hail Sieg Hail!!

And so on with the festivities.  In honour of your achievements we would like to dedicate this song to you Ian, I know it is one of his favourites…..”

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Rebel Music : Chumbawamba – the candidates find common ground

 

First of what I suspect will be many from those masters of the political polemic, Chumbawamba.   I have chosen this song first because despite being written in 1987 I think its lyrics are even more relevant today.  Truly an excellent song both lyrically and musically that gets me just as emotional today as it did as a wee teenage punk all those years ago.

 

Full employment, slave labor and scheme

An unemployed workforce, the capitalist’s dreams

But let’s keep Britain working

Either way we must keep Britain working
Conventional weapons to kill people nicely

Nuclear weapons to keep the peace

But weapons definitely

Either way we must defend ourselves
Nationalization, with one big boss

No, privatization, with lots of little bosses

But someone in control, of course

Either way there must be someone giving orders
A toast to democracy

The prison guard of this society

Sides in the voting game

Disappear into the same machine The same machine

A toast
To US bases and nuclear weapons

To stopping pickets pulling down fences

To the British troops in Northern Ireland

To the wonderful victory in the Falklands
To the plastic bullet and the riot police

To the UDM, to the TUC

To isolating gays and to law and to order

To richer bosses, to poorer workers
A toast to democracy

The prison guard of this society

Sides in the voting game

Disappear into the same machine The same machine

A toast
To longer hours and to less pay

To the courts for those who get in our way

To the beating of people who step out of line

To the use of troops to break a strike
To the expulsion of extremists And political witch hunts

To repatriation, to benefit cuts

To peaceful settlements and to no strike agreements

To authority, to power, to governments
One, two, three

To the annual rise in the MP’s wage

To vested interests, to privilege

To the party who wins the next election

By definition a victory to capitalism

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Knowledge is Power

 

Excellent interview by Artist Taxi Driver with Akala, purveyor of finest quality conscious hip-hop.

This guy is intelligent, articulate and down to earth as well as a damn fine musician. His explanation of how the elite hoard their power and get the rest of us fighting amongst ourselves is pure truth.  I especially love his insights into the so-called immigration problem in Britain

If you want to be the mother country to 52 nations around the world don’t be surprised and act like a victim when your children want to come home.

 

 

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Rebel Music : A Brief Introduction

anarchy-in-the-uk-capitol

Rebel music  has always thrived when times are hard. It seems that as the people suffer their creativity flourishes. Born out of a refusal to accept the status quo and determined to have their voices heard, this fight against the system has provided modern culture with some of the greatest sounds and anthems of all time.

Take for example the hippy movement that evolved during a time of war in Vietnam, it both reflected and help further the civil rights movement in America that resulted in turning popular opinion against the war and helped lay down the framework for equal rights based on race, gender and sexuality.

In the seventies we had  Reggae music rising from the townships and slums of a divided Jamaica but that ended up reaching a much wider audience all of whom felt something stirring within them when they heard its primal rhythm and listened to the frequently political yet poetic lyrics of such geniuses as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Lee Scratch Perry.

Then of course there was all the energy that came with Punk rock. But it was only with the ascendance of “Thatcherism” that things really kicked off.  By using the sheer fury and anger of punk but combining it with top quality political commentary, bands like Crass and The Subhumans led the way into an age of top quality rebel music.  From collaborations between reggae and punk all the way to the ultra short walls of noise that characterized hardcore. Despite the many and varied styles of music they all shared a similar ethos. One of rebellion against authority but of equality and fairness for everyone, a youthful explosion of DIY music creation that avoided major labels and the traditional music industry. It took the power back from the rich executives and back into the hands of the music makers themselves.

Come the ninety’s and techno or rave culture exploded onto the scene. While lacking in political lyrics it fairly throbbed with primal rhythm and all across the country thousands went out to all night gatherings across the countryside and got down to some good wholesome anti authoritarian revelry.

This all night raving quickly assimilated with the anarchistic free festival scene that had been flourishing all through the 70s 80s and into the 90s.  This crossover resulted in the legendary Castlemorton free party, that lasted for over a week of MDMA fueled hedonism and love.

Of course watching an entire generation of youth turn away from the  establishment and move on mass to an essentially anarchist worldview was seen as a serious threat by the powers that be.  So it wasn’t long until the Tory government came up with legislation to stop all these people having fun.   The 1994 criminal justice bill was an evil piece of legislation and was the final nail in the coffin of the free festival. However what it achieved in stopping these parties it lost in the way that numerous disparate groups organised themselves into a broad campaign to fight it, and while they ultimately lost and the bill was passed into law. It did sow the seeds of the anti capitalist and climate change movements of the millennium and created a new sense of empowerment in activists all over.

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Since then there’s not been so much in the way of youth based counter cultures and their associated music genres. What has happened though is more and more crossover of musical styles. So now we see bands like Sonic Boom Six a socially aware collective that mixes hip hop with punk, ska, reggae and dance. As well as many musical fusions of different world music styles and folk music mixed with modern dance elements like Transglobal Underground or with old school punk rock like Inner Terrestrials or This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb.

It should be added that throughout the decades folk music has always been at the forefront of the protest song. From the songs of Woody Guthrie during the great depression and the great bluesmen of the 40s n 50s, onto the indomitable rantings of Billy Bragg, the raucous jigging of The Pogues and the latest folk heroes like Seize The Day.

The question now is what does the future hold?  It seems that the youth cultures of previous years are no longer on the agenda in these eclectic times of mass communication and ease of access caused by the internet.  And with the loss of these movements so I see the increase in that vapid pop rubbish that has always been the bane of  music lovers and political activists. A capitalist wet dream of photoshopped sexism, manufactured cliché’s and talentless “superstars”  Even the taming of previous rebel music with the co-opting of Hip Hop, Heavy Metal, Punk, Indie and Reggae, all of them seeming to give in to the lure of big money and big booties.  Places like Glastonbury are now a perverse caricature of their former selves with their souls removed and filled instead with shiny dollars.

But I would argue that now more than ever we need a resurgence of the rebel music. A new musical paradigm to reflect todays world of forced austerity and neo colonialism.  As the rich get richer and the poor are increasingly demonized and drained of what little resources they have left, a new counter-culture is needed to once again unite and fill the oppressed with a sense of hope and a little bit of joy.

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