I’m sure many of you remember the anti-austerity protests that greeted the incoming Tory-Liberal coalition here in the UK. It was the time of Occupy, UK Uncut, the repurposing of common land in city centres for political action and for me, the first time I heard what are now known as “conspiracy theories” seep off the internet and into the protest scene.
I also remember it as being an optimistic time in many ways. As jobs and services were cut to the bone, maybe we could force the government to change direction through direct action. My albums “Picket Line Party” and “Vote Nobody” came from this period.
However, as we look back after nearly nearly 12 years, it is depressing in the extreme to see that not only has nothing changed, but it’s all happening again. Austerity is no more than the wealthiest of our society protecting themselves and the most vulnerable picking up the tab. Only now there is nothing left to cut.
For this reason, a lot of people’s efforts are not only geared towards fighting this but also picking up the pieces and supporting those in the firing line. This is why, now the costs of producing my latest album Cop This! are covered, I’m putting all the profits from the digital and physical release into three groups in my local area.
*Splott Community Volunteers, who run a fantastic breakfast club and provide a cheap bag of food every week to support people in this current crisis and beyond. (They do loads of other great stuff too…!)
*Oasis Cardiff provides a warm Welsh welcome for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Food, cultural events, advice and so much more.
*Climate Justice Coalition Cymru, who are organising, making links and facing down the power for this year’s Cop 27 summit, and engage in community outreach through the year.
With this in mind, it was a great night launching the album at the 147 Lounge Bar in Cardiff last weekend! I’d like to thank the Objektors crew who’ve been part of the whole process of making videos for the songs and who’ve turned up rain or shine to do so: Nick P, Steve F, Tyga T, Dave J and our awesome director Ninjah. Also many thanks to those of you who’ve jumped on board for one-off vids (a lot of the time, just because you happened to be passing by when we were filming!)
Cardiff music legends Chris Ridgeway, Nick Walker, and Alka played an absolutely blinding set. And the Bar 147 crew were incredible hosts.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. If you want to stream, download the album, watch the videos or chuck in, you can do so here. Nice one!