When did music lose its bite?
Where are all the protest songs in our times of strife?
Where have all the cowboys gone?
All important questions that seem to be swimming round my head this dank Wednesday morning as I awaken to Theresa May’s appalling fucking visage haunting my TV screen once again. Okay, maybe not the cowboy one, I think that was just a weird dream I had. We may get back to that… possibly.
Anyway, my main thoughts to start off the day was ‘where is all the musical anger at the state of our shitty country’? Should the charts not be filled to the gunnels with punk rockesque protest songs, screaming for everyone to hear about how unfair we were all being treated by the powers that be? Protest music absolutely exploded back in the seventies when the miners' where being fucked over by Thatcher, bands like The Clash, The Pogues, Billy Bragg, and The Pistols (although the latter being a somewhat manufactured protest phenomenon) were born, or at the very least flourished, in times of British strife… hell, you can go right back to the sixties when Bob Dylan and Pete Seegar were angrily applying their poetical trade. There was always a mirror reflection in music when times were hard for everyone… so where the fuck are these types of bands now when we need them most to wake up a seemingly half asleep and apathetic general public?
They are not in the charts, that’s for sure. Don’t get me wrong, great Biased British Corporations like the BBC certainly don’t help, when they decided a song called Liar Liar from Captain Ska wasn’t good enough to get into the official charts, even though It was as popular as pornography mags found in the woods when you were at school, and passed around just as much. The BBC sticking their wee fingers in the ears and essentially going ‘la la la la la…no protest songs here’ didn’t help keep it out of the public eye though, it still fired its gloriously angry musical muck across the twittersphere and Facebookland via word of mouth and other online charts.
What about the actual official music charts at this moment then? Well let’s take a wee gander, shall we?
>sits down to have a look at the BBC top 40, cries a wee bit<
In fact, let’s not, there is fuck all protest worthy on there, unless you are protesting about the sheer amount of booty and bling you have as opposed to other people, or protesting about breaking up with yet another lover (maybe it’s not all of them, maybe it’s you… just sayin’). There is no genuine anger from any of the songs. Nothing bites. Not to me anyway. Maybe I am biased myself though, maybe the charts were generally always a wee bit pish in my lifetime, and we always needed to scratch the surface a bit more for the real diamonds in the dirt. Maybe I am looking through life with rose tinted specs and loudly proclaiming ‘music was better when I was a young ‘un’ (keeping in mind that when I was ten, Kylie and Jason were pretty much owning the charts).
So where do we look for our daily dose of political protest anger then? Well, you can maybe stick your head out of the window and check out some of the bands who probably live in one of the streets near you, or plies their trade in a bar or club no further than 30 minutes’ walk from your door. Below is a list of new(ish!) protest songs from a small section of the bands and musos we work with at NHC MUSIC – We kept it to one track each, and it’s in no order of favouritism, it’s pretty much in order of how we had them sent in. Some are videos, some are links, but do check them all out. There is so much more intelligent, well written, passionate music out there than the shit you are constantly spoonfed by the charts, the anger you seek is often quite literally next door. We will be bringing you a chart like this every two weeks, each with a different theme, and each showcasing some of the wonderful music right on your doorstep. All you need to do is listen…
1. Joe Viterbo - I fucking Telt You (A protest against everything really... Ed.)
18. Mark Ayling - Why Is Nobody Angry Anymore?
20. The Other Side - Don't Piss Down My Back And Tell Me Its Raining
27. Jim McKellan - World Still Turned