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.
Writing this after an amazing gig at The Wanstead Tap with Attila The Stockbroker and Janine Booth.
I do not believe in God or Karma or any of that other whacky stuff, so I will put all of this down to coincidence. But nice coincidence.
In 2010 on this weekend, we played a packed gig with Mr Stockbroker at the much missed Plough in Wood Street , Walthamstow.
We managed to get Attila to play with us thanks to the O’s having a home game against his beloved Brighton. Brighton got a lucky 1-1 draw on the day so we were all happy.
Sadly for us, the idea of playing against them now is a pipe dream , thanks to mismanagement by the powers that be at LOFC BUT WE ARE NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT THAT!!
A year ago this weekend three of the Protest Family (clue, the one who plays the spoons was absent) went to Centre Parcs Longleat for Sonja Pedersen’s (Beryl T Peril) wake. The difference being that Sonja was still alive against all odds. That is how Sonja rolled .
I often go on about the time we played Derry and how defining that weekend was, but last year’s bash surpassed that.
We got there at about 1pm to be greeted with beer, wine and food and we set up our equipment. We started playing from that moment and apart from toilet and pizza breaks continued until God knows when (I am thinking it was about 3am the next morning).
The place was buzzing, apart from us there was also Paddy Nash and Diane Greer from the amazing Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas, Les Black and Grace Petrie. This was all in a really packed chalet in Centre Parcs. For me, the highlights were us all doing The Band’s The Weight and all of that lot playing while I sang Billy Braggs To Have And to Have Not.
So (I dislike sentences that start with SO, but still) it came to pass that last night’s gig happened to have many people from far and wide that were at Centre Parcs a year ago this weekend. Nothing was arranged , it just happened . Synchronicity as The Police sang (although I prefer Invisible Sun).
It was nice to see people who I last saw at Sonja’s funeral in a different atmosphere. Sonja is in all of our hearts and will continue to be so.
A word about last night’s gig. Attila was as Attila is. Great fun , but behind that, giving his audience food for thought. You must also catch Janine Booth. She is getting better and better with each gig that I see her. She gets the balance right between her humour and seriousness in her poetry.
And a word for The Wanstead Tap. It is a great place with great people running it with great ales.
Solidarity brothers and Sisters ( I always say that)