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Upcoming Gigs

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Find The Right Words, Leicester : 16th May

The Hovel Session, York: 25th May

Gong Fu Poets, Coxhoe: 31st May

Depresstival Presents..., London: 3rd June

Off Yours!, Leeds: 6th June

Good Shout, Peterborough: 13th June

Supporting Jollyboat, Knaresborough: 22nd June

Brig-Aid Fundraiser, Fruit, Hull: 23rd June

Slam Dunk, Hastings: 28th June

Word Club, Leeds: 29th June

Verse Matters, Sheffield, 5th July

Say Owt @ Deer Shed Festival, 21st July

Say Owt @ Great Yorkshire Fringe, York: 25th July

Working Title, Lancaster, 26th July

Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October

Thursday, 5 January 2017

20.17 Blog #2: Three Anti-Facist Songs

Like a child in a shop who constantly cries for the sweetie, UKIP have constantly and doggedly dragged immigration to the heart of the county’s political issues, smokescreening away from the efforts of the ConDems and subsequently Pure Tory governments to hammer down against the poor and minorities following their Etonian blueprint.   This has led to a rise in the far right, not just in militant forms like the EDL and Britain First, but also a worrying undercurrent of casual cursing towards ethnic minorities.  Whether that’s arguing with strangers in the pub or blocking fascist marches or more active in shutting down detention centres and systems.

I wrote this poem last year.  

Whether or not it only exists in my leftie echo-chamber, I don’t know, but I do want to write a more accessible piece for audiences in any context, in any open mic.  If you’re in the music scene, write yourself an anti-fascist song for the music open mics.  If you’re in the punk scene, think hard about whether your songs are generic posturing to dunk punx or actually have impact.

And, all the time, let’s remember the narrative of Nazis = Bad is mind-numbingly obvious.  The right wing are, for the most part, hiding their guise behind waxy respectability and seeding fear into our everyday perception of our neighbours.  It’s power structures, white privilege and class division we need to address in ourselves and how we prop up these systems.

So let’s cut to the chase, they gotta be opposed in some capacity.  As The Men They Couldn’t Hang sing, ♪by words, fists, stones or by the gun
So I thought I’d just blog 3 Anti-Fascist songs from 2016 to give us inspiration in 2017


I caught Atterkop years back at Boomtown Fair, and their new album charges along like a pounding train, but keeps the elements of ska and dub without crossing into overly hardcore territory and losing that bouncy energy.  It’s unapologetic in its delivery, and no song represents this moreso than Picket Fence which is an anthemic call-to-arms   There’s a lovely plinky opening riff which sets a tainted mood, followed by the warcry of ♫ Your days are numbered, we will defeat you, Anti-Facist through and through ♪.  It’s an album which won’t convert anyone to the cause (or even the genre) but somedays you just need to be shouty until your heart hurts.


KINKY’s album Sissy Mosh is full of queer rage (and swearing) but actually Legal Fucking Murder has something more unique in that it shows characters, places and stories as well as the raging hardcore and crushing bitterness within the screaming.  Rather than have everything blare at once, the song builds which puts emphasis on the characters in the song, and then hits home with the powerful chorus of ♫ they call it the border, I call it legal fucking murder ♫.  It's also essential to note the most powerful form of fascism comes in the guise of our own country's laws


SB6 have always been great at telling stories within their music, alongside the use of music to explore cultures and genre-fusions.  Here, a trad ska backing which wouldn’t be out of place a 2Tone DJ set, highlights the irony of racists who enjoy ska (and other Black music).  The story tells the story of Johnny who gets drawn into a world of racism and the right-wing, but singer Laila very bravely draws the focus, centres herself to be seen, and heard.  There sympathy for Johnny as he gets twisted by a hate-fuelled agenda, and that's one of the best ways that art can challenge fascism, by highlighting difference voices in our world but, inevitably, pointing towards hope   Well if you want to hate me, here I am 

These 3 songs are savagely unapologetic.  And as much as we need to be flexible to enter dialogue, discourse and convince people that racism is not something to embrace, but fight, we must also have conviction and unflinchingly challenge, agitate, offer solidarity, offer support and resist.

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