Dissenting Voices

Doyle And The Fourfathers have finally (we think) released their Olympics Critical EP. Their blurb on the Rough Trade website suggests the lead track Welcome To Austerity (above) has been “banned by the BBC”.  Actually, since it contains a direct personal attack on a specific member of the government, it’s hard to see how The Beeb – in its role as a balanced, impartial (and publicly funded) broadcaster – could possibly justify airing it.

But since Fresh On The Net in no way represents the BBC, or reflects the Corporation’s views, we’re happy to present DT4F’s latest offering for your consideration. Part of what makes this song work so well is the contrast between William’s pleasant mild-mannered delivery and the seething anger of his lyric. I guess as a songwriter you have to you take your decision and make your choice: overt political attacks like Stand Down Margaret and Tramp The Dirt Down are still remembered 30 years later, but were never destined for the Radio 1 playlist.

Nor are DT4F by any means alone in their dissent. Stillman (Chaz Craik) has just released an EP called Eton Mess – which is the name of a particularly delicious dessert my wife sometimes makes – but there’s no mistaking what he’s talking about in the title track (below). Find him on Facebook and Bandcamp.

There’s also this Howl Of Rage I wrote about back in January here on the blog: Your Time Is Gonna Come by the mysterious V.A.P.A.   As I said at the time, perhaps our very own Al Mobbs will be able to enlighten us more about this one someday…

Of course if musicians disagree with the policies and behaviour of one mainstream political party, that doesn’t neccesarily mean they endorse any other – except perhaps as as a “lesser of two evils” voting choice. Indeed many would say there are plenty of opposition weasels who deserve a good musical kicking themselves – for reasons ranging from the Iraq War – to helping get us into our present mess in the first place. For myself, I couldn’t possibly comment.

So finally, when you’re entirely fed up with party politics altogether, you can’t beat an authentic scream of sheer primal bloodyminded musical rage. There’s no information to be found online anywhere about TheChaoticEscapade or the artist responsible – one Cat Stevenson – but there’s no doubting the fact that she means every syllable with every fibre of her being. Thirty five years on, the true essence and spirit of Punk Rock is still very much alive and living in South East London.

Why not post a comment below with links to your own current favourite voices of dissent ? Grace Petrie – for instance – or Akala?

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...

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