In the midst of the rise of post-truth and right-wing populism, it’s such a relief to hear an alternative view. This band have plenty to say and pull no punches saying it, poking fun and righteous wrath at the rich and powerful and making us laugh.
They’re punk minstrels who bring the traditions of the folk club, picket line, basement punk show, football terrace and boozy pub bray-along to the stage, inviting comparisons with The Clash, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Ian Dury and Billy Bragg.
The songs, tales of modern times set in the band’s east London base of Walthamstow but really about everyone and everyone’s struggle, are savage, witty and thought-provoking. Who else would cast Jeremy Corbyn as a Saturday teatime tag-team wrestler up against the hordes of the right-wing media and his own party to the sound of country guitar and dub melodica? Or encourage you to think about consent by taking you to the movies? If something irks you, you can bet that they know a song about it.
And that cry, “We know a song about that!”, is no idle boast. For two years, songwriter Steve documented the Covid crisis, and the government’s mishandling of it, in rhyme, the resulting songs and poems all published on the band’s blog, with the favourites making their way into the Protest Family live show.
Looking for an antidote to whichever clown is in charge of the circus this week? You need a night out with Steve White & The Protest Family.
“Never less than thought-provoking, whilst also being highly entertaining, the band who to my mind can be seen as a musical equivalent of Coldwar Steve, indeed the group that can be relied upon to contribute to the soundtrack of the fight against inequality and a better, fairer world, not least because they have something eminently worthwhile to say, deserve a listen” – Fatea
“Acoustic folk-punk, detailed narrative, acapella observation and ripping guitar cuts – with ‘Protest For Dummies’ Steve White & The Protest Family prove once again that protest is alive and kicking, ready to lash out and still full of fire – but in their case mostly kicking” – FolkWords
“You remind me of The Clash” – Basil Gabbidon (Steel Pulse)
“I love this band. Especially live. Punk minstrels who chronicle our times with humour, passion and immense talent. So chuffed that they were one of the first bands on the new Morning Star CD. Thank you. Total respect comrades” – Bob Oram, Morning Star
“This is splendid – direct and to the point – no beating about the bush or mincing words. Obviously the bit about BBC journos getting their pensions particularly appealed to me. Everybody please visit: Steve White & The Protest Family” – Tom Robinson
“This is class war at its most eloquent” – Paul Jones, Final Hours
“This is punk folk protest music at its best. Full of rebel spirit and excellent musicianship. Great stuff” – Acoustic Review
“Constructive political music” – Joe Solo
“Rough, raw, ragged, rebellious and quite wonderful” – Four Dogs Music
“You’re all good, but I think Russ is a bit special” – Chris Parsons