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diagram of event by Howard Slater

Playlist for MDR Nov 2014

Show the National Songbook 1906. The way working class music was selected to create a national identity and fixed. This selection was sung in schools from 1906 to the BBC version ‘Singing Together’ which went on till the 1970s.

themes of my selections:  sense of place, homophobia and gay liberation, equality of intelligence, Psyche Pol

Sense of Place

Germany – Wooden Heart in German ‘Muss I Denn’ by Elvis Presley 1960  (from GI Blues film)  a German Folk song! Not released in the US!  reconciliation effect?

South Wales – Paul Robeson  1898 – 1976  which track?  Scandalise My Name? c1962

“You have shaped my life – I have learnt a lot from you. I am part of the working class. Of all the films I have made the one I will preserve is The Proud Valley.”  Proud Valley 1940 Ealing Studios.  The 1957 phone call…

Brixton – George Reptowski 1958  ‘Three O’clock Thrill’ by Kalin Twins. One hit wonders.  Subversive B-side theme  Media gatekeeping good taste/ vulgarity/ key word= BOWDLERISATION

S. Wales – ’68 Guns’ by The Alarm 1983,  (Sian Addicott – Welsh Not)

Thornton Heath – (subversive B side) 1986 ‘Live as One’  by Tippa Ire –   2nd subversive B-side  Lived in Thornton Heath along with Dekker.

Kennington ‘Attitude Problem’ by (Dave Cope) The 1926 Committee, , 1996  – dubplate from cassette

Sheffield –  ‘Black Commandments’ by 2 Lone Swordsmen 1998

Leicester – ‘Revolution by the Durham Ox Singers’ 1999   (or read from Manifesto in sleeve)

“When I’d needed backing vocals on my World Cup single I’d asked loads of people from different Leicester Bands to meet up for a singalong one Sunday in the Ox. As ever with The Leicester Music Scene, absolutely nobody could be bothered to turn up so I ended up asking a few of the proper regulars to do it, and they did a BRILLIANT job – when you want to record the sound of season ticket holders singing a football chant, pub regulars is what you want – and were thus credited on the single sleeve as The Durham Ox Singers.

We’d had so much fun doing the recording that I was KEEN to do some more and when I eventually got home the night after our discussions i came to the eminently sensible conclusion that we should do a cappella versions of the hits of the avant garde, starting with REVOLUTION #9. For those who don’t know (and if you don’t, please rectify this IMMEDIATELY) this is the penultimate track on The Beatles’ White Album, a roughly ten minute collage of loops, noises, samples and all round WEIRDNESS that divides fans pretty much down the middle into those who think it’s AMAZING and those who think it’s STUPID. I am very much in the former camp, and so spent the next week crouched over my tape player every night working out how to recreate it just with voices. It was a LONG week but by the end of it I was a) BOGGLY EYED b) acting suspiciously and c) in possession of a six part a cappella arrangement.We met a few nights later in the upstairs room of the Ox to have a read through, and by JIMINY it sounded AMAZING. It was a very very carefully worked out version, and if you were familiar with the original you would, I think, be IMPRESSED. If you weren’t, you’d be ALARMED, but in an impressed sort of way. We performed it the next week at the first Lollopa Leicester to an audience AGOG that such a thing could possibly happen, and we had such a good time doing it we agreed to carry on….When the single was released I wrote a MANIFESTO for the back of the sleeve, pointing out that this was PROPER ART made for a LAUGH by people in a PUB, and got quite worked up about it. In my heart of hearts i think this single is the item i am MOST PROUD of making in ALL My Exciting Life In ROCK, because while it IS a ludicrous piece of tomfoolery, it’s ALSO a Profound Art Statement and ALSO ALSO filled with LOVE and FUN. It’s GRATE!”

M.J. Hibbertt

Stefan stopped to allow Howard Slater to play three 7” records.

Subliminal by Eric Raglan 1981  Sheffield

We are All Prostitutes by The Pop Group  2002

Silence is a Rhythm too by The Slits

Christa Welsh’s selection (played via YouTube):

Junior Byles, ‘Chant Down Babylon’ 1976 Black Wax/Ja Man label

Mighty Sparrow, Birth name Slinger Francisco (Born Grenada 1935) ‘The Slave’ 1963 RCA label

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five,  ‘The Message’ 1982

Chris Saunder’s  track:

Can (Germany 1971) ‘ Mushroom’ from the album Tago Mago (1971) featuring singer Damo Suzuki

Stefan ended the session by playing 2008 ‘Peaceful Solution’ – Willie Nelson Prod. Mad Professor ARIWA “Let’s take back America”. Many subsequent remixes etc. Mad Prof lives in and around Thornton Heath.

There was not time to play these….  but i did read them out.

Homophobia / gay liberation – global frontline of today
A Boy Named Sue – Johnny Cash  1969
Lately – Stevie Wonder  men crying  1980 Motown
Raining Men –  The Weather Girls  1982
1984 ‘SmallTown Boy’ – Bronski Beat (not Tom Robinson’s ‘Proud to be Gay’ which we sung along to in pubs in 1978 but not so musically satisfying) Interesting comment from Ian Trowell in Sheffield about the music video that originally accompanied and empowered the track.
Equality of intelligence 
There Aint’t Half been some Clever Bastards – Ian Drury and the Blockheads  1978
Psyche Pol
1987 (Something inside) ‘So Strong’ – Labi Siffre  Psych-pop theme
1987  Sold – Boy George   – very big in Italy from first solo album 1987  after period of heavy drug use
1992 Success has made a Failure of Our Home’ – Sinead O’Connor – ‘ Psych-pop


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