Monthly Archives: April 2019

Workers Memorial Day and May Day

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“Comrades,

We are here to remember the dead and fight for the living.

We are here to talk about work. Work that defines, unites and sustains us; work that defiles, exploits and destroys us. We are here to talk about hard work; the language of the working class, co-opted and corrupted by those who would rule over us. We are here to reclaim our words and our work, in the time-honoured, traditional way.

And it goes like this…..”

Join us in Abbotts Park, E10 on Sunday for our combined workers’ memorial and May Day celebration. The event starts at 1:15pm and runs to 5pm. We’ll be lighting the blue touchpaper around 4:00.

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The Fish & Bicycle Club

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“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” said Irina Dunn, and so it is that the Fish & Bicycle Club sets out to bring intimate singer-songwriter nights to Kikirocs in South Woodford featuring a monthly bill of whom at least half are women.

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Luke Fairhead

My views on music not as competition notwithstanding, on May 3rd, in the blue corner, we have me, and London-based folk singer Luke Fairhead, described as having “upbeat acoustic optimism in a Frank Turner-y kinda way”[1]. Frank Turner, fuck me that splits opinion. I know a song about him.

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Geri Van Essen

In the other blue corner will be Geri Van Essen who learned to sing in the choirs of her Dutch childhood before tripping over a banjo in Bethnal Green and becoming an East London-based folk singer. Cerys Matthews on BBC R6 said of Geri that “her voice stood out”[2]. Better that than the banjo, Russ.

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Jax Braithwaite

The final member of the quartet is singer-songwriter, theatre performer and London Underground busker Jax Braithwaite. We know a walking project about that. She’s not afraid to admit to being born in Essex, nor to being infused with a “quirky sense of style and smooth melody”[3].

A sapid evening of singer-songwriteriness therefore awaits, spoiled only by my brutish poetry and three-chord political dogma. There are songs left unsung from the Wanstead Tap show and poetry left unsaid. I should also explain more about the born in Essex connection and the Peasants Revolt. I shall make a list.

Kikirocs can be found in George Lane, a few short steps from South Woodford tube station. If you can’t see the Railway Bell, you’ve come out of the wrong exit.

Steve

1. amazingtunes
2. Folk On Monday
3. Winter Sun

The Appraisal

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Me: “I thought we’d have sold more advance tickets by now.”

The band: “Well, the poster you designed isn’t very good.”

Me: “You didn’t say anything at the time.”

The band: “Yes, but it’s not very good, is it.”

Now we all know that an appraisal should be a shit sandwich; say something nice at the beginning and the end, fill the middle with your criticism. Next time, perhaps we should try:

Me: “I thought we’d have sold more advance tickets by now.”

The band: “Actually ticket sales are encouraging this far from the date of the show, but the poster you designed isn’t very good.”

Me: “You didn’t say anything at the time.”

The band: “Yes, but we do like your hair.”

Here’s another poster.

Wanstead Tap

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In front of me is a list of songs that is too long.

Some say that’s a good problem to have, that the converse is worse, but I want to tell a story of a couple embroiled in modern British life under the shadow of Brexit. I want to visit their past and future in happier and sadder songs. I want to sing a pop song about the struggle of our trans comrades. I want to laugh at debate without experts and rage at a system that burns people in their homes. I want to play punk for the animals and tell the tale of a revolution in a small Essex village that grew legs and marched on the capital. I want to mock an institution with its boot still on our necks, and genuinely laud their gardeners.

And I haven’t even started on Little Tommy and his crew.

A bill this good requires compromise, there’s only so much time and some crossing out to do. What gets left behind will get carried over, more on that later.

Steve