Ten years ago, I was in the middle of recording the album Picket Line Party. As the Tory/LibDem coalition unleashed a wave of austerity on the UK, life for me – your average rent-a-gob anarcho-singer songwriter – suddenly became an endless round of protests, benefit shows, picket lines and so on. The songs for this album formed themselves during these experiences.
It’s interesting to look back on this period. Ten years later, we in the UK are experiencing a harsh form of right-wing Brexit. The wingnuts of the Vote Leave campaign are now in the cabinet. Austerity is embedded into our national life, and the divisions it has stoked are reflected in the Covid infection rates that have worst affected our most vulnerable communities. Government cronyism and incompetence shows that the populist nationalist virus they espouse is no more than a profiteering death machine fuelled by weapons grade bullshit.
And yet, still people are still inclined to vote for it in significant numbers.
So what the hell were we thinking of back in the day, with our bank sit-ins, community organising, our occupations and song-strumming?! Surely we must have known we didn’t stand a chance?!!!
Ten years down the line, on Friday 5th February, I showcased those songs again, telling some stories and asking…what was all that about then? And where do we go next? Spoiler alert – it has gonna be a positive ending and for those of you who aren’t particularly interested in the political positions I have will find something worthwhile to come away from it with!
(Plus I’ll let you know the outcome of a shocking trip to London that nearly ended in arrest whilst performing at a famous public monument)
This is the first of a series of monthly livestreams I’ll be doing focussing on past releases.
Here is the livestream.There’s a slight glitch with the sound for a minute or two but it sorts itself out.
To listen to / buy the album, go here: https://cosmoinnit.bandcamp.com/album/picket-line-party