วันเสาร์ที่ 12 พฤศจิกายน พ.ศ. 2554

Protest music: steel in the hour of chaos

Despite political unrest, protest singers are still rare in the field. Can overcome apathy and avoid preachiness? Dorian Lynskey meets the next generation

is Monday night at the bar in the basement of University College London, the European Union, and singer with Petrie has two songs as a whole. A year ago, UCL has been at the forefront of a new wave of unrest that has revitalized the student demonstration on campus. It should be fertile ground for Petrie, who held two-handed folk songs in the tradition of Billy Bragg. "You at UCL," she said. "You are very political, right?" A handful of students to raise a small cheer and face falls Petrie. "It's not exactly what I expected."

ton of bricks, after a rigorous series of fierce condemnation of the student protest is a different tactic. "How are you guys singalong?" Students cry. "Best of What in politics, then," he said with a smile on your side, and built a disposable version of Jay Sean and Lil Wayne R & B struck down. The public loves it. "You had your fun," says when you're done. "Getting back to politics now."

This is a time

promising, but difficult in which to be a singer of protest. For many of these last two decades, the protest was based on a permanent core of dedicated activists, but 2011 was an exceptional year for public dissent, the revolutionaries of Tahrir Square to the

outraged " / aa> Madrid

occupants of Wall Street, St. Paul and beyond, so that the potential of the soundtrack is great, and its absence in Britain, as the United States has been remarkable.

Not that modern protest songs do not exist, you have to look far for them. The riots that rocked Britain in August revived memories of the ghost town of 1981 hit special works almost like the Platonic ideal of a protest song, an angry record, clever and quick went to # 1. It was not a regular phenomenon, but it seems impossible in despair conservative over 40 days. Not since Rage Against the Machine 20 years ago has an explicitly political band played its way through the tables and fields around the world. "We lost the music as an important voice in public policy," said the rapper Akala London. "Do I think it's important to me? Not that I think it's a loss to the public debate? Of course. "

But rather than crying, may be time to put aside the ideal of the cross and look towards the periphery. "I do not think the current system is configured for the bands of traditional political ties and political integration," said Petrie. "I think it should be done locally."

The 24-year characterized what might be called the generation of the cut. Describe themselves on stage as "a leftist and a huge massive gay", a young worker who grew up in a house left to Leicester, but had never written a protest song after the last election, when shooting a diatribe "Giant" Farewell to the calls of well-being. This gave him a powerful new voice and composition. "I will not be scouring the titles to what to write," he said with a beer before the UCL show. "I've always written songs about things that make me sad or angry. Is it ' is primarily related more to girls than politics. "


Petrie defended his reserves to play in their stadium in left field at Glastonbury, and has the same kind of eloquence hard, passionate. Last month, he embarked on the circuit of alternate reality, with comedian Josie Long, impromptu game shows for free in Britain. She was very happy to see teenagers who appeared "because there was nothing else to do" to participate with their songs. "I am reluctant to think of it as an apathetic generation, as much as a generation without formal authority. They already know about politics. Politics is right and wrong. Politics is the kind of country we want to live, everybody knows. You do not need to know their political history that it is wrong to make the EMA [Education Maintenance Allowance]. To see the services that are deleted and the unemployed, can not stop talking about politics. "

The challenge, she says, is to get people away from the dominant political feel empowered by other means. "What I want to achieve through my songs is to put it in a language that people who are new to politics can be understood. There is much to gain from the song of the rooms full of leftists who agree with me and ".

Ralph Allen, head of the fledgling band image of protest planned, has similar concerns by preaching in the desert. "Rage Against the Machine were a great success, even if it had been rapping on the break with his girlfriend", 24, stands on a table in Nambucca, a concert in London's Holloway Road. "To catch a public trust to be a catchy and interesting band striking first."

Allen became politicized after graduating from Bristol University in 2008. "I was struck by the apathy that prevails later students. When I graduated from the bubble burst. "Now campaigns organized by Christian Aid and participate in events in the UK Uncut. After forming the images projected earlier this year, Bragg approached for advice. TUC demonstration in the spring of last resort to keep the tip of Bragg: "Just grab your guitar, go to a demo and play a few songs." What was the response? "Absolutely indifferent," he said with a grin. "There seemed to be no appetite for it. You're just an idiot with guitar singing protest songs. "It takes a thoughtful sip of beer." I thought this event, Steve Jobs, I read today: "Sometimes people do not know what you want until you show them. "I'm kind of hope that is the case with the music of protest." The King Blues, a ska punk band with influences from London, have performed better with the portable sound system shared with groups such as Enter Shikari and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. "Music has played an important role in the events of recent years, and this is a problem because a lot of demos can be so fucking annoying, especially now that you can Kettle" said the leader of 29 years of Jonny "Itch "Fox on the phone from a tour date in Germany.

Raised on a farm south of London Council, pruritus underground punk scene found much politics as a teenager. Stimulated into existence by the movement against the invasion of Iraq, the King Blues have signed and then dropped by Island Records. "Always the lowest priority possible and give it a happy clappy, or smiling little indie pop band that has nothing to say," the itch. "Many doors are closed in the face, but they are on the back door and that's fine. As activists that you're used to sneak out the back door. "

fans have grown through the lean years of protest from the United Kingdom, the King Blues release their fourth album, Punk and Poetry in April. In August, we're fucked mercilessly songs ("If you cover your ears when you vote or come in peace / Then you do not give us no choice but to break down these streets") had a prophetic tone. "The Conservative Party is very hard to get everyone involved in politics," said the itching. "I do not think that children are not interested in politics. The policy does not care about the children." In line with the movement of non-hierarchical busy, he insists that the focus should be placed on the public instead of the band. "I do not see myself as the voice of a riot. If you write for other people and it's not personal, we will have a discussion with the music and no one wants to hear that. If it means something to hope that means something a hell of a lot of other people, too. "

This month, the King Blues join Akala on the ground to the left of the movement excursion Bragg. Akala, also known as 27-year Kingslee Daley, won the 2006 Mobo for best hip-hop act, but the records last year dystopian, Orwellian Doublethink inspired are not exactly chart-busting material. "Not that there is a conspiracy of big business," he says, "but there is a general idea of ??what works and does not sell in a strange way, the discussion of the corrupt world is a matter of dominant -. Books like The Shock Doctrine are best-sellers. I think there are enough people show they want to hear. "

He believes that the battles of blue figures as John Lennon and Bob Marley have discouraged many stars of modern politics. "Certainly, there is a fear of financial loss, ostracism, loss of fame. Not many Muhammad Alis today. I am disappointed that there is [a political] voices in the mainstream, but do not expect people to come already from the general public, because they did nothing to suggest that same desire to grow in that. "

more underground artists, however, have learned from history by sharpening its goal, the desire to avoid both naïve and complacent. "Artists have thought, well, if I do that, then that's what I face and what are the questions I will ask," says Akala, who also writes articles and conducts educational workshops. " It's almost a way of life. If you are an artist who says you are something that must be it. "

There are indications that the picture may change. Akala, as a political friend and MC Lowkey, is diverse and growing. Last month, he was approached by a major achievement. "His son said" Dad, you have to listen to this man. "For the children of people got upset. I'm not saying that [an advance] will never happen. I say that there will be resistance from the road industry and non-traditional will. "

artists interviewed are not exactly a scene, but all are very articulate, knowledgeable and self-conscious, and prefer the approach of reference dedicated to the commitment of the link. All agree that the music of public protest is growing day by day. "Over time these cuts will reach across the world," said the itching. "This generation is really abandoned. They are in a bad situation and I would be surprised if some of these children begin to form groups and make music in the worst anger comes from the best music. "

Back to the UCL Petrie won the crowd. It will be concluded with a song that was written to commemorate the anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, but became an anthem for all uses is idealistic. Students are invited to participate in the choir: "It's late in the day, but we can save tomorrow if we try." At the end of the song in the whole bar was roaring, "save tomorrow!" It's a small victory but a victory nonetheless.

Left Field . Billy Bragg on tour with King Blues movement, Akala and Sound of Rum begins in Edinburgh on Sunday and runs through November 28. Details:


. Punk and poetry for the King Blues are on sale. When no one listens to Petrie's grace is available via


. Listen to music on the projected images "to

facebook.com / projectedimages

protest songs for the generation of cuts


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