Tagged: music

Grassroots music & politics – 3

Tory time.

No explanations needed… very few (if any) creative people like the Tories, a party of destruction rather than creation.  There’s just so much evidence…here’s a selection :
Cassetteboy Cameron’s Conference Rap


The Common PeopleCommon People


Glasgow Thatcher death party song

 

NxtGenIDS Rap

 

The Common PeopleDon’t Stop Me Now


Frankenstein Sound LabWorkfare = Slavery


Ron Barry and the Night SweatsWe Hate The Tories


Taking from the Poor to Pay the Rich

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Grassroots music and politics – 1

Here’s an idea… forget the spin-doctors and the mainstream media and instead explore the political landscape via the music it’s inspiring.

You probably won’t have heard much, if anything, of what follows. It’s not played on the TV or radio, the political parties themselves don’t know it exists and almost certainly wouldn’t care for it if they did – with one exception. There is one party who understand the concept very well – can you guess which one ?

This is folk music (small ‘f’), music performed by folk, singing about their concerns. For the most part it’s DIY recordings and videos, probably made on no budget at all in most cases, and released into the wild via Youtube and other sites.

It’s not-for-profit, its makes no money for corporations, it almost certainly wont be on your radio. But its inventive, satirical, funny, vitriolic and often thought-provoking. What else do you need ?

Once upon a time, protest music like this would have been the domain of either a person with a guitar (the folkie approach) or a band (the punk approach). Both would have had to use a recording studio for best results, press records or cassettes, and then have to distribute them.

It all took time and money.

Nowadays you can have a recording studio on your PC, record and mix your track and within minutes post it on the internet. Within an hour it could be heard by more people than you’d ever have believed possible in the old days.

What follows is a selection of these songs. They are mainly protesting against various parties or individuals – there are actually very few songs promoting political parties, and they are usually pretty dire – as an example I’d point you towards ex-Radio 1 DJ Mike Read’s ‘Ukip Calypso’, which had to be withdrawn from sale after claims that it was racist. I reckon it was the attempt to sing it in a fake West Indian accent that did it.

Ukip tried to salvage something from the wreckage by saying that all proceeds would go to the Red Cross to help fight Ebola, only for the Red Cross to reply;

“As a neutral organisation, we cannot benefit from something which overtly supports one political party.

“In addition, the Red Cross has a proud history of helping refugees and asylum seekers who are negatively referred to in the lyrics.”

Doh !

Read later told BBC London:

“People are very, very, very quick to take offence now at something that years ago would have been deemed to be a bit of satire and a bit of fun..”

Could this be the same Mike Read who in 1984 was instrumental in getting the BBC to ban Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” on the grounds that it was obscene ? I think it could.

For the record (sic) “Relax” subsequently shot to Number 1 in the charts, stayed there for five weeks, going on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately becoming the seventh best-selling UK single of all time.

Banning things rarely makes them go away.

Well, since we were talking about Ukip, I’ll start with selection of songs about them.

There are lots of them ! I’ve chosen a small selection of my favorites.

Interestingly, there are a lot of female artists recording anti-Ukip songs…make what you will of that.

Anyone who reads Private Eye will know that Ukippers tend to have a very low tolerance of satire directed against them, so perhaps they might want to skip therest.

The rest of you… enjoy !

Who Put The U In UKIP? – David Goody


(Dont) Vote Ukip – K Pizz

 

Fab Farage: A UKIP Odyssey (featuring Stella)

 

The Daily Mail UKIP Song

 

Ukip – Jonny & The Baptists


And my favorite…

Lets put the blight back into Blighty
Like the Dark Ages, but more white-y
Song For UKIP – Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

 

To be continued…

 

Major civil rights exhibition launches a national tour in Newcastle

 

Dr Martin Luther King pictured with a group of students at Newcastle University in 1967
Dr Martin Luther King pictured with a group of students at Newcastle University in 1967

The visit by Martin Luther King to Newcastle in 1967 will link America’s fight for civil rights and battles waged on our own doorstep in a major exhibition making its national debut in the North next month.

Former US civil rights worker Marcia Heinemann Saunders will be over to cut the ribbon at the launch of Journey to Justice  on April 4 – the anniversary of King’s assassination – at Discovery Museum where it will run for a month ahead of a national tour.

And it’s set to get everyone talking with its fascinating mix of archive film, photographs, music, poetry, oral histories and high-profile speakers including former ANC freedom fighter Archie Sibeko, now settled in the region.

It’s the culmination of nearly three years’ hard work and fund-raising by former teacher Carrie Supple whose initial idea, inspired by a trip to the US, spiralled to include a huge range of local organisations and supporters as well as volunteers.

The London-based 56-year-old, whose mother was from Newcastle and who herself taught history in the region for 10 years, is delighted how it’s taken off.

“I’m very excited about it,” she said.

“I went to America in 2012 and visited the civil rights museums. I thought it would be great telling the story in the UK when I came back.”

Newcastle was a natural choice for it, with her own links, the visit from King when the civil rights leader received an honorary degree from Newcastle University, our own historic struggles and the scale of support she found here which includes some university funding.

Running until May 4, the focus of the exhibition will be on stories rarely heard.

Those of the American civil rights movement in the sixties include Marcia’s support in helping African Americans in Tennessee to register their vote; six-year-old Ruby Bridges who had to be escorted to school under armed guard because of the fury caused by allowing her entry to an all-white school, and the Greensboro sit-in where students were refused service at a “whites only” counter in a Woolworth store in North Carolina. The exhibition will recreate the counter where visitors can sit and learn about the story.

And the backdrop to it all will be the stirring church music of the civil rights era.

“Many said the music gave them the strength and the hope to get them through,” said Carrie.

Tyneside’s social justice story will feature The Jarrow March and fights for better health care, housing, mining conditions, pay and trade union rights, and local young people have played a part by recording memories of the older generation.

“There are people who recall being in the room with Martin Luther King in 1967,” said Carrie.

Source – Sunday Sun, 15 Mar 2015

Sunderland schools face £600,000 cut after Government slash education grant

Sunderland could lose more than £600,000 after ministers agreed to plough ahead with a reduction of the Education Services Grant (ESG).

After months of consultation, the Government has agreed to slice £200million from the grants.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, says she has concerns about the move.

She said: “This grant is an important part of the funding schools and councils get to provide pooled services for pupils and drive improvements in standards.

“After councils have repeatedly warned ministers that slashing this grant risks them not being able to fulfil their statutory duties, it’s disappointing that they’ve gone ahead with it anyway.

“I’ll be monitoring the impact that it has on the quality of education that local children receive.”

The grants will be cut from £113 to £87 for each pupil at a local authority school.

It is estimated Sunderland will lose about £620,000 from the 2015-16 budget, which this year stands at £2.92m.

Durham’s grants of £6.49m could be slashed by about £1.5m and South Tyneside’s £2.13m could be reduced by about £490,000.

Money from the grants is used to pay for services to support pupils, such as clothing, extra curricular activities, performing arts and music and outdoor education.

Councillor Pat Smith, cabinet portfolio holder for children’s Services for Sunderland City Council, said: “We will need time to consider how these latest reductions in Government funding will further impact on the services we are able to supply to schools within our city.

“The Education Services Grant is paid to local authorities and academies to reflect the statutory and regulatory duties each are responsible for.

“These include school attendance, school improvement, employer responsibilities and the production of accounts.

“We will now have to determine what long-term effects these cuts in funding will have. For the local authority this needs to be considered alongside other significant reductions in funding.”

Plans to cut the grants have gone ahead despite numerous protests, including from cellist and conductor Julian Lloyd-Webber, who said some authorities were already struggling to provide music education.

However, the Government said it will be making £18million available to set up a series of music hubs.

Announcing the cuts, Schools Minister David Laws, said: “We have had to make some tough decisions, and we expect local authorities and academies to do so too.”

Source – Sunderland Echo,  26 July 2014

Party remembered Miners’ Strike 30 years on

A gathering to mark the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike was held in the North-East over the weekend.

Durham Miners’ Association staged the event at its headquarters at Redhills in Durham City on Saturday, three decades on from the bitter industrial dispute.

It was held at the weekend to tie in with the 30th anniversary of the infamous clashes between pitmen and police at Orgreave, near Rotherham, on June 18, 1984.

The union invited friends, supporters and miners who took part in the strike to ‘to renew old friendships and celebrate the spirit that endured a year-long battle for the preservation of jobs and communities’.

The eight-hour celebration started at 2pm and included a bar, buffet, films and music as well as speeches.

General secretary Dave Hopper said: “A lot of people who have not see each other for quite a while were there.

“It was nice to get together, reminisce a bit and look back at the situation and just think how unlucky we were not to achieve what we set out to achieve.

“Society would have been far better, certainly in the Durham area and a lot of coalfield communities. It is always important to keep issues like this in the public eye.”

Source –  Durham Times,  23 June 2014

Statue to honour village’s miners

Work has begun on a memorial statue to honour men and boys killed in the pits.

A turf-cutting ceremony took place on Friday (June 20) ahead of the creation of a life-size statue of a miner, his wife and child for Esh Winning, in County Durham.

The statue will honour people who died in the collieries of Esh Winning, Waterhouses, Hedley Hill and East Hedleyhope.

Work on the memorial is expected to take three months, followed by an unveiling ceremony.

A long-running community campaign raised £65,000 to pay for the statue.

That included donations from the County Durham Community Foundation, Esh Winning Community Association, Hargreaves, Durham Rural Community Council, the Co-operative Society and others.

Councillor John Robinson, chairman of Durham County Council, was part of Friday’s event.

He said: “This will be a wonderful memorial to the local community and the families of those who worked in the mines.”

Hargreaves, a mining firm which is based in Esh Winning, is the main commercial supporter of the project.

Development director Ian Parkin said the company was honoured to be involved.

Bob Heslop, a devoted leader of the memorial group, sadly died last year, before the campaign reached fruition.

Source – Northern Echo, 22 June 2014