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Tag Archives: protest

Skepta is now top of the tree and his Konnichiwa album has protest songs (so says the BBC). But how long can you sing songs about being held by cops; when you are a slick hitmaker? The glamour, the people, the money, the need for minders that surround you… the busy schedule that steals your day away …. he may have got there by a DIY route and kept control late in the day. Will he be able to keep it real when its all red carpets and feigning models. I mean Puffy Daddy has run his own businesses for many years; there comes a point when DIY ceases to mean much. It was cute that just before his album started the Time Out rolled up this house and found it used as a storage place for his business. but even then he wasn’t sticking stamps on himself like wot real DIY publishing means.

How long is he gonna rap “The feds wanna shift man / Wanna put me in a van / Wanna strip a man / I ain’t a Chippendale / Wanna strip a male / Put me in a prison cell / Got me biting on my finger nails.” with any conviction?

The analysis will have to get more political, more theoretical, more abstracted from his personal situation. And probably threatening to his own pro feet ability…

Can integrity survive success? Can a radical message survive institutionalisation or being framed on corporate media?

But for now Ok this Tottenham boy wants people to ‘shed preconceptions’ that’s not bad thing. I’m reading Mike Hales book on ‘Thinkwork’ from 1980 and he had this idea of ‘pre conceptualism’ and it set me thinking about whether cultural works can reach out into that pre-idea stage of thinking. There’s a hope music or art might be able to get past the normalisation of our thinking as it enters onto cultural or intellectual platforms… But to do that it would have use very undercapitalised platform, autonomous underground venues, collectively run shows, illegal shebeens maybe, but not a gallery. How is it done? How is it done?


for more thoughts in this vein see my now FREE ebook…


The Dixie Chicks haven’t learned their lesson yet it seems and are as political as they ever were. Nice to see them back with a world tour and sold out in the USA too.

Continuing the theme of the big stars that issue political edicts I agree with!

I just watch the burning of a police car in Paris and angry scenes. Amongst it all there was an orchestra of sort playing, I had the sound down…(was it on RT?). Does anyone have a source on this? There seems to be a news blackout?!?

Jamala has just won the Eurovision with a protest song about the Tatars in Crimea ‘1944’ its about ethnic cleansing and Stalin but with obvious relevance to the situation in Crimea since the Russian takeover.

It seems like the mainstream music world has been won over to agitdisco and is trying to take the reins and make the running. How is it that certain ‘political’ statements are OK whereas most are not?

A jokey cake graphic suggests that the votes are 90% ‘political’ in the sense that people vote for countries they ‘like’ or feel allied to.

“The country scored 534 points with its song 1944, about the deportation of Crimean Tatars under Josef Stalin.” BBC

This is more than a simple playlist; it’s a podcast programme with its own artistic value. Beautifully put together. Transpontine says: “Mix based on DJ set at  Housmans Radical Booksellers benefit at  Surya a while ago with  Stefan Szczelkun Paul Jam  Stewart Home Martin Dixon.  A mix I did a little while ago of music from the 1984/85 miners strike, with ChumbawambaNocturnal Emissions , Test Dept, Style Council and more…”

Where are we going with this?  Is it marketising the revolution before it happens? Is it authentic? Is she ready to go to prison for her statements? Risk losing her millions? Or was it all agreed with her marketing department?


To me it always feels like it might burst but we just ain’t ready.

Update 26th April. Lemonade, her new album is certainly making waves. Perhaps it is the radical power of the commodity and celebrity that it can turn on its money master and demand reforms, changes of attitude – in this case changes in normative attitudes to black women in the USA at least.

Todays Hillsborough Enquiry result is more powerful and revolutionary  because it comes form the bottom up – it signifies a working class refusal to take that classist shit? It shows the working class in Liverpool can assert its power within a legal framework that was evolved to protect bourgeois ‘freedoms’ and so class oppression. Equal before the law? We’ll see about that!

How isolated are the suburbs when one of you neighbours hits the big time without you having known about them? He has some superb agit disco style tracks too! Listen to ‘Storm Trooper’!

Thornton Heath

Thornton Heath rapper Stormzy third in big 2015 poll

From the Croydon Advertiser  |  Posted: January 07, 2015


“A STORMZ A’ BREWIN’: Thornton Heath rapper Stormzy is tipped to make it big by the BBC this year. A GRIME artist from Croydon looks set to take the country by storm after coming third in BBC’s Sound of 2015 poll.  Stormzy, 21, from Thornton Heath, appeared on the Radio One breakfast show this morning to hear the news from Huw Stephens.  He is the only unsigned artist from the longlist of 15 and will have his track Know Me From played throughout the day.  Stormzy will appear again on Zane Lowe’s show on Radio One from 7pm tonight.”


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Joss Stone and Dave Stewart – Take Good Care, written by Paul Conroy, from Amnesty International on Vimeo.

It sometimes happens that humans make progress towards a better world… Nine months later it actually happened – the first ever Global Arms Trade Treaty.

Its another one of those ‘I’d never thought I see this in my lifetime’ moments. Incredible!

The UK signed but will it ratify?  Only if you provide the pressure because Arms sales are a UK Gov priority.

Anti Arms trade

“Taylor is a long-time critic of Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. The Queen drummer was a staunch opponent of the media mogul’s attempted takeover of Manchester United in 1998. He donated £10,000 to the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, which was protesting against Murdoch’s £623m bid.” Sean Michaels

Original 1994.

London Met Occupation Song   click this link to hear song

“Senior Management at London Metropolitan University have revealed plans to cease recruitment on their highly popular and prestigious Philosophy, History and Performing Arts Degrees…”

My implied point here is that singing together is hugely unfashionable and that has became so in the later C20th Britain because of the unslaught against working class culture by middle class mediators and through commodification. BUT its difficult to replace singing together as a means to create and feel solidarity. Hopefully the younger generations will find ways back through the layers of embarassment to sing together again and to a purpose…. so this is just a good example to pin on that thought.