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John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics

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EmmaHartley 21 Aug 11 - 06:40 AM
Reinhard 21 Aug 11 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,matt milton 21 Aug 11 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,matt milton 21 Aug 11 - 07:50 AM
EmmaHartley 21 Aug 11 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Jon 21 Aug 11 - 09:33 AM
Howard Jones 21 Aug 11 - 09:37 AM
Bonzo3legs 21 Aug 11 - 11:26 AM
Cath 21 Aug 11 - 11:57 AM
Howard Jones 21 Aug 11 - 12:54 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 22 Aug 11 - 07:34 AM
matt milton 22 Aug 11 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 22 Aug 11 - 11:51 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 22 Aug 11 - 12:12 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Aug 11 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 23 Aug 11 - 05:01 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 23 Aug 11 - 05:46 PM
Les in Chorlton 24 Aug 11 - 03:37 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 03:48 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Aug 11 - 03:57 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 04:25 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 04:27 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 04:35 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Aug 11 - 04:59 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Aug 11 - 06:34 AM
matt milton 24 Aug 11 - 06:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Aug 11 - 06:44 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 06:56 AM
matt milton 24 Aug 11 - 07:11 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 07:32 AM
matt milton 24 Aug 11 - 07:47 AM
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Les in Chorlton 24 Aug 11 - 09:53 AM
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GUEST,s-j in London 24 Aug 11 - 10:10 AM
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Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 02:01 PM
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BTNG 25 Aug 11 - 08:37 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Aug 11 - 02:26 AM
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cooperman 26 Aug 11 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Aug 11 - 07:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Aug 11 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Aug 11 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,STM. 26 Aug 11 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Lizzie Cornish 1 26 Aug 11 - 05:01 PM
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GUEST,matt milton 27 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 27 Aug 11 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,matt milton 27 Aug 11 - 08:38 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 28 Aug 11 - 04:44 AM
Will Fly 28 Aug 11 - 05:11 AM
Mavis Enderby 28 Aug 11 - 05:15 AM
Bonzo3legs 28 Aug 11 - 05:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Aug 11 - 07:20 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 Aug 11 - 06:49 AM
Howard Jones 30 Aug 11 - 04:09 AM
Bonzo3legs 30 Aug 11 - 04:41 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 30 Aug 11 - 05:07 AM
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Subject: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 06:40 AM

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/08/john-tams-to-bellowhead-what-are-your.html

That John Tams is a bit mischievous...


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Reinhard
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 07:05 AM

Why don't you rename your blog from glamourcave to gossipcave?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 07:48 AM

I wouldn't call that gossip.

Interesting, I don't really know much about John Tams but he's not the first name that would spring to mind if anyone mentioned the words 'folk' and 'politics'. I mean, not in the way that, say, Roy Bailey or Chris Wood. But as I said, I know little about him.

I was going to point out that Bellowhead played at Folk Against Fascism before I noticed that the article mentions that towards the end.

Did anyone here hear Jon Boden's little audio essay on Radio 4 about apocalyptic literature? It demonstrated an interest in green politics, and essentially espoused communitarian anarchist views (though he might not put it that way himself). And, whether or not he'd agree, I'd say his 'Songs from the Floodplain' album is "political songwriting".


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 07:50 AM

There's an interesting tangential point raised in that article, which in fact has nothing to do with folk or music whatsoever:

"It's very easy for one man to have political opinions. It's much harder for eleven people to agree entirely about anything so important."

It strikes me that that is a very 21st Century statement. Political animals of every stripe from the 19th and (mid-late) 20th century would probably find that quite an alien suggestion, and possibly quite a depressing one.

I suspect it's probably true, because we live in an age in which the cult of the individual is the one true religion.

But the idea that it is a challenge to get 11 people to agree on politics (let alone 100, or a town, or a city, or a nation) is a radical rupture with governing political ideals of every age since feudalism was ended right up to the solidarity of the 1960s.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 08:28 AM

@Matt Milton I loved Songs from the Floodplain because it resonated with the apocalyptic literature and film work I was saturated with as a teenager during the 80s. I think I'm about the same age as Jon Boden and the culture that blossomed around fear of nuclear armaggedon seemed to have found a different outlet on that album.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 09:33 AM

It tend to agree with Jon Bowden's

"[...] who prefers traditional music to 'political song writing' (aka preaching to the converted...)"


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 09:37 AM

"It's very easy for one man to have political opinions. It's much harder for eleven people to agree entirely about anything so important."

It strikes me that that is a very 21st Century statement. Political animals of every stripe from the 19th and (mid-late) 20th century would probably find that quite an alien suggestion, and possibly quite a depressing one.


Isn't the whole point of democracy that people can have and express individual opinions? Why should 11 people be expected to share the same political views just because they are musicians?

I suspect John Tams only thinks it's a waste that Bellowhead don't do the "political stuff" because he assumes that their political stance would be the same as his.

Both comments seem to be based on the easy assumption that you can only be a folky if you're a dyed-in-the-wool lefty. There have been enough discussions about politics on here to show that isn't the case.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 11:26 AM

"Both comments seem to be based on the easy assumption that you can only be a folky if you're a dyed-in-the-wool lefty."

Yes they are, this so called "political content" has no bearing at all on whether I enjoy a performer or not - it's purely the sound of the music.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Cath
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 11:57 AM

John Tams is a founder member of No Masters Collective which should give some idea that he is a political animal!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 12:54 PM

Indeed. However I suspect that most people on the folk scene hold political opinions of one sort or another to varying degrees. Some choose to make that part of their music, others don't. I don't have a problem with either. What I do disagree with is the idea, implicit in Tams' remarks, that people should choose to do that, and also the implicit assumption that people (both in Bellowhead and in their audience) will share his political views. In fairness, it appears he was speaking at least in part with his tongue in his cheek, but the assumption remains.

I do wonder why Jon Boden felt it necessary to assure us that he is a card-carrying member of the Labour Party. However I'm broad-minded and it won't prevent me from enjoying his music.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 07:34 AM

Yes I thought "Jon Boden's little audio essay on Radio 4 about apocalyptic literature" a truly excellent piece of work.

Tom

(Declaring an interest: www.urbal.tv)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 08:12 AM

It's still available on iPlayer, I think.

Towards the end of the programme he mentions he played at an event organised by the Dark Mountain Project, the only words in his piece that disappointed.

The Dark Mountain Project are a bunch of narcissists who are essentially post-green. They love the idea of eco-doom so much they've given up on the idea of actually preventing it. Instead of taking action about climate change, they write bloody awful poems about it instead. They're sort of literary goths (though "literary" is pushing it a bit), snooty fatalists. They've jumped on environmental disaster cos nobody would otherwise look at their rubbish writing.

Jon Boden's music is much, much better than anything that bunch of self-regarding jokers are capable of.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 11:51 AM

I `ad them Bellow`eads in my cab the other day. They were going on something rotten about doing political stuff.
They said, "`ere Jim, you and your lot do some political material. `ow does it go down with the audience?"
I said, "Well, depends on `ho`s listening and it can be `ighly entertaining for us sometimes."
They said, "Watcha mean?"
I said, "Well, we done a poncy club over west last month and one of our numbers was called "Pity the Poor". After we done the song some well breeched geezer stood up and said, "Ah, the poor, yes, I`ve `eard about them". That cracked us up and we couldn`t play for laughing!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 12:12 PM

"post-green"?

Err, that would be brown (and crispy), or course.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 07:59 PM

Many a fine singer has sold his birthright for a pot of message.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 23 Aug 11 - 05:01 AM

Politics, eh? I recall in 1979 there was a strike at the National Theatre by technicians over the effect on manning levels and wages of new technology and practices. The strike went on for some weeks and throughout that time, actors and musicians involved in NT productions carried on working - presumably, crossing picket lines in the process. One of the productions that was running during that period was Keith Dewhurst's adaptation of Flora Thompson's 'Lark Rise' which featured music by the Albion Band - featuring John Tams.

The strike was temporarily settled but flared up again the following year. This time the strikers were fired. The Cottesloe Company were again working at the theatre at the time. One of the actors, Peter Armitage, joined the strikers on the picket line but he was the only one. He lost his job as well and was virtually blacklisted in the acting profession for years afterwards while other members of the company - Tams included - went on to have successful careers.

You can read a fairly defensive account (ie from the point of those who continued working) of the dispute in Jack Shepherd and Keith Dewhurst's account of the work of the Cottesloe Company, 'Impossible Plays'.

It used to make me grin when John Tams released a solo album called 'Unity'.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 23 Aug 11 - 05:46 PM

Well, I say "Well done!" to John for putting a rocket up Bellowhead's backside... ;0)

I put Emma's link on my FB page a few weeks back, after a friend sent it to me...

So where do we start on this?

We could start at the beginning, I guess...

John Tams, a man who, for most of his singing career has gone out of his, in various guises, either through song or story to enlighten, enlarge and educate folks, in his own inimitable way about the world around them....

So often he humanises stories, bringing in such tenderness and concern, to let you see the pain done to real people, behind the headlines....

He has, in the time since I discovered his music and songs, taught me a great deal.

I've always likened John to the Country Road versus The Motorway...His roads take you into the very heart of the villages, where you meet the characters, hear their stories, their sorrows and joys..You become vividly aware of the landscape as he paints it with either wild poppies or mineshafts...

He brings Politics ALIVE! You leave gigs that John is involved in, either as a solo artist, or in a band, a wiser...sometimes...angrier person....

But it's the RIGHT sort of anger...The sort which stirs the blood, gets the mind working, the soul vibrating.......


I am now living in a country that is tearing itself apart...I watch, on David Cameron's Facebook page, racism abound, class-hatred flaring up as if petrol is being poured upon it, which of course, it is, by those in charge. I read words of such horror against other human beings, such rage of man turned against man, deliberately it would seem to me, by those with other agendas, when they can manage to get back from their long line of holidays that is...

I see The Corrupt ruling The Disenchanted and The Hopeless! I see The Lords ruling over The Peasants, or those they deem to be peasants...

Oh, I fight! I go in there with my verbal sword swiping, scaring and scarring those with no souls, no empathy, no sympathy!

I stare aghast at those who merely want to BLAME and PUNISH with no intention of looking deeper or daring to ask "WHY?"

I know that my country is going back to The Days of Thatcher...and I am taken back to John talking about those days with such feeling, such utter sadness, such deep humanity...

And that makes me fight ever harder, ever louder...!


And I see my world disintergrating, being torn apart by Corporate Bastards who care ONLY for Money And Power! I see Belo Monte being built in The Amazon Rainforest, despite protests around the World now being staged...Millions of tonnes of concrete about to cover utter beauty and homes to so many Indigenous People.....

I see China talking about her Three Gorges Dam, the biggest Damn Dam in the world, saying, back in May, how they are now having huge environmental problems from it...Terrible droughts....

I see my beautiful world being fracked to within an inch of its life!! I see earthquakes happening in places that have never know them before! I see water, precious water being forced into the ground, filled with dire chemicals, each fracking well using about 3 to 4 MILLION gallons of water, most of which is never seen again.

I see The Tar Sands and I want to WEEP!!!!

I see the weather getting hotter and hotter, unbearable for so many...Water drying up...Water Wars, Oil Wars, or rather invasions...

I see NATO taking over wherever it so chooses!

I see and hear excuse after bloody excuse!!!

I see Crooked Politicians who are ignoring ALL this damage!! I see President Dilma Rousseff behaving with such arrogance! This woman, this grandmother of a little boy called Gabriel, who, instead of ensuring she leads Brazil into becoming The Saviour of The Rainforests, is leading them into becoming The Destroyers......

I see Christ's statue, high above those Rio hills, weeping tears of disbelief down upon his People......


And I sit here now, listening to Benji Kirkpatrick's 'Wallbreaker' seeing the water rushing down in Flood, drying up in Drought. Tsunami after Tsunami...people washed away, carried away, water taking all in its path...destroying energy plants which are now destroying us....

And I see a British Government who, despite us still being fukued by Fukushima to Beyond Alarming Rate now want to build TEN NEW Nuclear Power Plants.....

But MOST of all, I see dumbed down people who don't give a shit, because they just want to dance to Peter Andre or Bellowhead and forget everything, make their minds go blank as the beats take over, as the tubas blare their brain cells into submission....

Yet, I KNOW, through the wisdom I've inhaled from one English Folk Singer that POLITICS MATTER!!

They matter NOW, as NEVER before! For it is not just our country that stands on a precipice, but the wholel damned world, as it becomes one GIANT dam for which there may well soon be no water..and meanwhile, back at the ranch, Bellowhead play traditional songs without backbone in....

They are teaching their audience nothing....

They are abusing incredible opportunities to turn around the minds of so many young people, to make them think deeper, see clearer, listen harder, feel with every cell and nerve of their bodies and minds.....



Yesterday was an International Day of Action to Stop Belo Monte (and the further SIXTY dams Brazil plans to build in the Amazon Rainforest.
Have Bellowhead mentioned this in any of their gigs? Have they tried to get people involved? For this is not even political..this is....SURVIVAL!

May I suggest they start their new Political Bellowhead Repertoire with this:

Benji Kirkpatrick - Wallbreaker


And if my mind is fizzing and whizzing with what is happening in my world, my country....well, you can thank (or blame) some of the English folk scenes best Political Folk Singers and Storytellers, for they and they alone planted so many seeds inside my mind...

And THAT is what music should be about, right alongside the 'enjoyment' side, because, by God, if we don't all stop 'enjoying' ourselves and GET REAL, then we will not have a planet to even enjoy ourselves ON!

So, Bellowhead, get out there, get your heads out of your tubas and your University Degrees and get REAL at long last because right now, and for the forseeable future we need MANY minds on FIRE and many musicians and songwriters to light the match!!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 03:37 AM

Folk - the many headed beast of much delight.

Most of the people doing 'folk' don't do all the heads of our beast. Bellowhead do some heads extrodinarily well. They could easily do more 'political stuff - maybe they will.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 03:48 AM

Today, I'm putting this inspirational and influential song on David Cameron's Facebook page...because it will truly piss of the fascists over there and truly warm the hearts of the Good Men & True over there who are fighting The Good Fight.

Home Service at Cropredy 2011 - 'I'm Alright Jack'

Sadly, I can't put any Bellowhead tracks on there, as they don't stir my soul in the same way, nor will they stir the souls of others who can see that we are once again in an 'I'm alright, Jack!' world...


Maybe, if Bellowhead lifted their heads out of the sand, they too would truly see 'what a state we're in'

May I suggest they all 'look in their own mirrors' this morning...and ask themselves precisely why they are wasting such incredible opportunities to wake so many Sleeping Beauties, UP!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 03:57 AM

Bellowhead won't get ' political ' because they can't risk offending their CD buying worshippers.

Anyway, just try and get Mike Harding to play anything overtly party political, not a chance in a million, I've tried.

Dave H


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALRIGHT JACK
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 04:25 AM

I'll even provide the great lyrics for them...so apt (again) for what is happening...

And I tell you what, Dave, I think Bellowhead's fans would LOVE to hear them sing this song, and many other political ones too, for so many young people are struggling now, no hope of ever owning a house, or even finding a halfway decent job...They're fed up...and feeling hopeless...

The way back from that is not to party to traditional songs, and pretend all is well, but to turn all those Young Worriers into Young Warriors who will be inspired to pick up their own banners and march boldly on...becoming the New Ones who will 'hold the line'


'Alright Jack

"You don't need a man with a brick in his hand
Or a glass in your face so you know where you stand
Lift up your heads from out of the sands
You might see what a state we're in

You don't need the papers to tell you all the news
If you stand by the reds or you're true unto the blues
Lift up your eyes instead of looking down at your shoes
You might see what a state we're in

Chorus (after each verse):
    And I'm alright Jack - pull up the ladder
    Alright Jack - I'm safe on the wall
    Alright Jack - and if you climb just a little bit higher
    But the higher you climb the further you fall

You don't need a number instead of a name
If you don't like the smoke then don't fan the flame
And if you look in the mirror you might see who is to blame
You might see what a state we're in

You don't need a salesman to prattle and to pose
If you buy one of these you get a free one of those
He could sell you a ring to put right through your nose
You might see what a state we're in

You don't need the queues for assistance and for dole
Taxation, inflation, population control
If you listen to the tills you can hear the bells toll
You might see what a state we're in"


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 04:27 AM

John Tams & Home Service


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 04:35 AM

And...I forgot to say earlier...that video I put on, of Home Service at Cropredy just the other week is a *sensational* performance!   


Home Service 10
Bellowhead    5


Come on guys...work your way up... ;0)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 04:59 AM

Oh, we do so love a good row don't we? And how we even more love a row over people who are very good at something but not quite everything.

Off to Shrewsbury to enjoy all heads of the beast.

Why not drop into my "Session" - here's a tune here's another tune now start your own Beginners Tune Session"?

Then back to Manchester and real politics

Cheers

L in C#


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 06:34 AM

From the original link:

"I got an email from Mark Whyles, Bellowhead's manager, saying: "It's very easy for one man to have political opinions. It's much harder for eleven people to agree entirely about anything so important and as such it's almost impossible for Bellowhead to take a political standpoint."

He included this statement from Jon Boden: "Since you ask (and speaking for myself, not the band) I'm a card carrying member of the Labour party, who prefers traditional music to 'political song writing'"

Critising Bellowhead for not being political is a bit, a bit but not a lot, like complaining that Morris or Rapper is not political enough.

I feel sure that if Bellowhead decided to do more 'political' stuff it would be as exciting as the rest fo the stuff they do. That's up to them. Most 'traditional' stuff is only political in the sense that it is mostly the music of working people, its actual content is all over the place.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: matt milton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 06:42 AM

I think Bellowhead already are political, anyway. As has been pointed out, they are Folk Against Fascism supporters.

Plus their music, image and song-choices are clearly in that roustabout Rabelaisian, Hogarthian tradition of celebration of lowlives and anti-establishment figures.

Theirs is a musical demi-monde long-frequented by such admirably dodgy geezers as Kurt Weill, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Eugene Hutz and Shane McGowan. The moonlit, piss-streaked alleyways are not where workers go to organize, sure, but neither are they the thoroughfares of the bourgeois.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 06:44 AM

Lizzie, what does this bring to the discussion:

"Well, I say "Well done!" to John for putting a rocket up Bellowhead's backside... ;0)?"

Can someone find the lyrics to "It's just the song" by Leon Rosseleson? As ever it says so much and surprise so effectively

L in C#


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 06:56 AM

A touch of humour, Les?

Although, heck, FAR be it from me to try to bring humour into a Bellowhead discussion! ;0)

Ohhhh gawd! May the Heavens and Saints preserve us from the Humourless Folkies!


Look, John Tams would have a twinkle in his eye when he said what he did...I did too, although the twinkle soon became a Spark when I started to explain of the good they could do, the great words and thoughts they could spread ever further....


Never mind, though, let's just keep them singing about alleyways and trollops...

And..FAF alone doth not a Political Band maketh.


As I said

Home Service 10
Bellowhead    5


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: matt milton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 07:11 AM

Actually I would say if you think what makes art political is an unequivocal nailing of your colours to the mast - repeated unambiguous dogmatic assertions of what you think about a political situation - then showing your support for Folk Against Fascism clearly DOES a political band maketh.

But personally I see political song as way more nuanced than that... Folk songs about sailors being ripped off by prostitutes are political. They are about money, what it does and what it does to people. They are about gender and status and work.

(See also: The Sex Pistols, Frank Zappa's "We're Only In It For the Money", The Slits "Cut", The Pop Groups "We are all Prostitutes", Iggy Pop's "Mass Production" etc etc etc)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 07:32 AM

"Folk songs about sailors being ripped off by prostitutes are political."


No, they're historical, aren't they?

Besides, sailors who visit prostitutes, now or in the past, are nowt to do with what's happening around us these days...

We're in Truly Deep Shite..and if you don't believe me, take a look at some, MANY of the posts on David Cameron's FB and the BBC Breakfast one as well, for they're filled with fascist, racist comments that will make your hair stand on end...

There are many folks out there who really don't give a flying duck about those at the bottom of the ladder, other than to see 'em banged up for as long as possible for the most minimal of crimes...some of which are FAR LESS of a crime than those committed by Nick Clegg and those who were The Bullingdon Boys, now raining down their wrath upon 'the wrong type of criminal'......obviously, *their* type being the correct type...

And now, back to sailors and prozzies and things that go bump in the night...


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: matt milton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 07:47 AM

""Folk songs about sailors being ripped off by prostitutes are political."
No, they're historical, aren't they?"

Things can be, and generally are, both. To state the obvious.

As it happens, I imagine our armed forces still dally with ladies of the night when they're off on their tours of duty.

But that's beside the point: songs about money and desire will always be topical, irrespective of the historical age of the dramatis personae.

"There are many folks out there who really don't give a flying duck about those at the bottom of the ladder, other than to see 'em banged up for as long as possible for the most minimal of crimes..."

Funny, you're describing exactly the sort of "lowlife" characters Bellowhead sing about.

"some of which are FAR LESS of a crime than those committed by Nick Clegg and those who were The Bullingdon Boys, now raining down their wrath upon 'the wrong type of criminal'......obviously, *their* type being the correct type..."

Funny, you're describing exactly the sort of "aristocratic" characters Bellowhead also sing about.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 08:44 AM

Nope, I'm describing people who aren't paying prostitutes for their services, but are literally struggling to put food on their plates, matt...

What is happening around us at present has nothing to do with sailors...sigh....

I get your point, but it's way off point....because not for a single moment do I believe those kinds of songs have anywhere NEAR the same effect as say the song below has on today's population...

High Impact Political Song

'Alright Jack' is as fitting today as it was when it was first written...whereas songs of sailors and prozzies have no reflection on today's society..and besides, what a sailor chooses to do with his own money is up to him..and it's hardly the end of the world if he's decided to spend it all on a woman for one night, than eat for an entire week is it....?

You want a modern song about the ladies of the night? Then get Bellowhead to sing this one, because I've no doubts at all that many more women will be thinking about this, when their benefits are cut back, when society has labelled *them* the reasons for The Riots and the country going downhill etc...

Martyn Joseph - Working Mother

And note how the woman in that song is 'working' to buy her children not just food, but all the new things that kids have come to almost demand in this Materialistic World where The Corporate Bastards have invented Pester Power and Parent Guilt, convincing all, yes, even those rioters the other day, that life without the basic 'must have' necessities is no life at all....


Your go...   :0)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: matt milton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 09:44 AM

If you allow that a man can write a song called "Working Mother", and that people other than working mothers can relate to it, then you really ought to extend Bellowhead the same credit, and allow that songs about sailors (or any other profession) are about more than the just the prosaic details in their story. After all, we all relate to love songs sung to people with names or genders other than our own.

Sure, a sloganeering or hand-wringing political song might have the power to alert somebody to a situation. Though I think they are pretty exceptional, and need to be a lot more specific than the two you cite. A good example might be the 'Free Nelson Mandela' by the Specials. It wasn't subtle, it wasn't poetry, it wasn't great art, but it did make lots of teenagers ask the question "Who's Nelson Mandela?".

Now obviously I'm not saying that folksongs about working class people going out on the lash (ie Bellowhead's material) are "political" in that sloganeering way: they're self-evidently not.

But I still say they're political. And I prefer them to hand-wringing type songs.   

There's a totally different point to be made here, too, which has nothing to do with the emotional impact of a song, or what it's about. And that's that ultimately the British public don't care two hoots what John Tams or Show of Hands or Bellowhead think about anything. Because they don't listen to folk! They listen to pop and hip-hop and indie etc.
The sad fact is, in terms of numbers of hearts and minds, Chris Martin or Radiohead saying something about Making Trade Fair changes far more minds than any folksong will in this day and age.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 09:53 AM

Sorry Lizzie I thought you wer etrying to amke a serous point

L in C#
Shouting doesn't carry more meaning


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 10:02 AM

"Sure, a sloganeering or hand-wringing political song might have the power to alert somebody to a situation. Though I think they are pretty exceptional, and need to be a lot more specific than the two you cite."

matt...for your information....EVERY time I put 'Arrogance, Ignorance & Greeed' *anywhere* on the internet, it is taken up by others...It is a hugely powerful song..and has been played more than a few times on Radio 2, I believe.

The country, in case you haven't noticed, is ragingly angry about the bankers...and many folks can see that you cannot have one rule for them, then lock others up for stealing er...*nothing*, as has happened with one person, or give another six months for stealing a bottle of water.

Tracey Chapman's excellent 'Revolution' is also being passed around the planet too...

People are angry. What is happening now is touching the lives of very many folks in the Western World..and it's going to get worse, whilst at the top of the ladder, they are getting more and more sickeningly wealthy..

Truly, whilst there's a place for traditional music, there should also be a huge surge by all songwriters to get the message out there as much as they are able to try and turn things around.


Les, the rest of my point was serious..the first sentence, which you asked me about, was said with a smile on my face..and I still think John Tams has done the right thing in saying what he did, throwing down the gauntlet, so to speak...

IF Bellowhead are Good Men and Women True, then I hope they will pick the gauntlet up and go into battle too....


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,s-j in London
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 10:10 AM

It's interesting to see that sometimes people think that musicians / singer songwriters have a duty to be political...why? And you cant assume that you will agree with all of anyones political beliefs / ideas.

I read that when people mention Dylan as a 'political' (although I have never really thought so especially, more social commentary) songwriter, he is not thinking about that himself nor especially trying to be so.

I'm interested in politics, and sometimes find political songs that I like/connect with, but I don't think it's something that should be expected.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 11:05 AM

Well, maybe it's because Bellowhead reach so many young people, SJ. They have great opportunities there...

But hell, maybe you're all right...maybe they should just carry on singing about sailors and prozzies for the rest of their days...


Let's forget folks are being banged away for 6 months for stealing a bottle of water, or for stealing nothing at all....

Let's forget The Bankers will never be brought to justice, or have an all-night Court staying open especially for them...

Let's just carry on as before....

Right, People, heads IN sand and up bums, IMMEDIATELY!!!

And...as you do it, please say, loudly now..."I'm alright, Jack..and sod YOU!"


Home Service 20
Bellowhead    2


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,s-j in London
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 11:11 AM

Maybe they should. If THEY want to. That's all I am saying!
Do you write songs/sing Lizzie?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 11:17 AM

Blimey. I hope John Tams doesn't own a rabbit.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,s-j in London
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 11:23 AM

ha ha! like it!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 02:01 PM

"Do you write songs/sing Lizzie?"

Nope, but I spread great songs around, everywhere. And if you read my first post above you'll see that I have been deeply inspired by brilliant songwriters.

I'm living proof, like it or not, that political songs do work, as do performers who go out of their way to spread the message about so much that is going wrong around us, getting people to think far more deeply than before.

Acorns 'n' Oak Trees 'n' all that 'stuff'....


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 02:14 PM

But in the end it's simply down to musicianship and how they sound, and Home Service to me sound like the best, and bellowhead do not - can't stand them.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 03:13 PM

And you're alright Jon - pull up the ladder
    Alright Jon - you're safe on the wall
    Alright Jon - and if you climb just a little bit higher
    But the higher you climb the further you fall


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,s-j in London
Date: 24 Aug 11 - 09:00 PM

yes, I agree, political songs do spread and work...I like it that they do too. I just think that, y'knah people don't have to be expected to create /sing them....they will happen anyway, when the people who get inspired to write /sing / perform / share them do so...anyhow, not going to repeat myself more, feel like am getting circular!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 03:01 AM

Bellowhead's manager answered this when he pointed out that 11 people aren't necessarily going to share the same political opinions. How can they "spread the message" if the don't agree what the message is or how it should be spread?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 05:15 AM

11 musicians one message - Hearding Cats? Les Barker - a great poem

L in C# but packing for S


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 05:22 AM

Well, 'the message' is that we all start caring for each other FAR more than we are doing, right alongside caring for our planet, which is dying at the rate of a Bellowhead tune!

...[6 paragraphs removed by max (who weeps]]...

Sorry Lizzie, can't discuss this. ~max


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 06:19 AM

Please sit down and stop shouting your spoiling a very good point

L in C#


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 10:26 AM

Ooh, cool read, Max..

But..they were only *little* paragraphs! ;0)   

Spoilsport... lol


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 10:38 AM

Oops....
Cool 'red', as in colour that is....


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: BTNG
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 08:37 PM

It always amuses me when Les of C accuses others of not sticking to the point, and then does exactly the same thing himself. Yes, Les we all know how funny (those of us with a sense of humour that is) Les Barker is, but the point was about the political views of 11 members of a band, and here's me, foolishly thinking we were getting somewhere, Oh well, I can live in hope.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 02:26 AM

Good point Ms/Mr BTNG,

I was refering to the phrase "hearding cats" - a task of considerable difficulty - and how that might relate to getting 11 musicians to agree a set list and arrangements for songs & tunes. In that frame of mind I recalled the excellent poem by Les.

As for the original point - "What will Bellowhead do"? I dunno. What did they say they would do when they set out years ago? Play excitng songs and tunes mostly traditional? What will John Tams do next? Maybe he'll record an album of jolly dance tunes. If he did I feel sure it would be excellent.

heers
L in C# off to SFF


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 04:02 AM

What will John Tams do next? Maybe he'll record an album of jolly dance tunes. If he did I feel sure it would be excellent.

Well although I've not seen him do it for years he is/was an excellent English-style melodeon player, so stranger things have happened ...


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: cooperman
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 05:46 AM

Sorry, clicked on this in error. Better think of something meaningful to say now!! Nah! Although I think if I picked up a melodeon it would have to go out the window (as should politics in music).I'm all for songs that get people thinking about others though and the state of the world we live in.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 07:26 AM

"Bellowhead's manager answered this when he pointed out that 11 people aren't necessarily going to share the same political opinions. How can they "spread the message" if they don't agree what the message is or how it should be spread?"- Howard

I do tend to assume that people into the sorts of music I like - folk, free improv, punk, lo-fi indie, avant garde noise, contemporary classical - have similar politics to me. That's becuase they generally DO.

[mudelf snip - 4 paragraphs - so sorry, but please keep the politics out of the music threads!]

It's always gratifying to have a prejudice confirmed, and I'd say that when I find myself admiring someone's music and lyrics, I generally find they are incisive about politics too (even if they might not subscribe to any particular party line).


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 01:00 PM

Musicians make music.

Politicians make politics.

Musicians are good.

Politicians are bad. (Ye, ALL of them :-) )

Some musicicians try to be politicians.

Some politicians try to be musicians.

None of them are very good each others jobs...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 01:15 PM

"[mudelf snip - 4 paragraphs - so sorry, but please keep the politics out of the music threads!]"

This isn't a music thread.
    Matt, if you want a better explanation, contact me by e-mail. Thanks.
    -Joe Offer, joe@mudcat.org-


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,STM.
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 04:11 PM

Lizzie is making some outrageous remarks which I can't even bebothered to address. However, I do just want to add a few questions:

Bellowhead have 11 members (12 including the manager), do you honestly think they are going to have a complete and unified opinion on politics?

Why is their place to spread the word about politics and the world affairs? They are simply a band who take traditional material and whilst keeping true to the tradition, in terms of melodies, lyrics and heart, and rearrange it for a more modern more dancy crowd. They are about fun- since when was politics fun? And why does everything have to be serious? People have always been racists, facists, murderers and God knows what else- we just have more mediums in which to exude that kind of behaviour now.

I think some people need to remember that these people are simply musicians doing their job (who probably aren't as rich or up their own arse as you suspect). They have NO DUTY whatsoever to change the way the UK is won or how people view other situations. Not for you and not for anyone.

As individuals, I'm sure every member of Bellowhead does have strong political views and would happily discuss and promote those with others- but to expect them to do so at a gig is absurd- there would be no gig, just bickering amongst the stage no doubt!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 05:01 PM

Er...I never said I wanted them to stand and talk politics, merely sing some songs that have a little more meaning to them, that's all. Keep your hair on.. ;0)

And maybe you're right. Maybe they should leave those kind of songs to Home Service to do, for they obviously arent' scared to voice their opinions in song...

Home Service 35
Bellowhead    1andthreequarters


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 04:10 AM

I really am glad that there are some songs and some people who do not want to convert me to their way of thinking. It is a joy to just enjoy music for it's own sake and while Bellowhead are not may favourite they are refreshing in their approach. Personaly I prefer Noah and the Whale, who are more pop that folk I suppose, or any of Ashley Hutchings' bands (Maybe it is the bass!) I am not a huge fan of singer/songwriters but John Tams is one of the best. He is certainly a very wise man and can engender controversy as well as anyone. Just look at this thread to see what I mean. But I am not willing to get into a competition to see who 'wins' in a matter of personal taste. I like what I like, other people like what they like. I don't particularly feel the need to score points and I cannot see why anyone who does not state what their political viewpoint is needs to be denegrated.

Just my 2 penn'urth

DtG


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 08:47 AM

I think, today of all days, when in one week the USA has been hit by Earthquakes and today lies waiting for the Hurricane, that maybe they should get out there and 'preach the Gospel' to as many folks as they can find, because we're in deep shite, folks..and the more folks who get to understand that fact, the better....


Here, Bellowhead should watch this....from the man who made the stunningly wonderful film 'HOME', available complete on Youtube, in every major language in the world, because Yann cares so deeply about this amazing planet, and, having photographed it for years he knows what deep trouble we are already in.....

Yann Arthus Bertrand at TED talking about the impact we're having on our planet


On the other hand, they could serenade us with songs about Sailors & Prozzies as we all go down together, kind of like the Folk Equivalent of The Dance Band on the Titanic, to use Harry Chapin's title...

"We do not want to believe what we know. " Yann Arthus Betrand.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 08:55 AM

And..just imagine, IF Bellowhead had given out the phone number of the Embassy of Brazil in London, explaining to their audience about Belo Monte and the further SIXTY dams that Brazil is planning in the Rainforest...and that Monday 22nd August, just gone, was the day of International Protest around the planet, then they could have probably increased the amount of folks who did phone, email and protest in person, by a significant amount...

We are beyond Traditional now.

IF you are an artist/band who has the good fortune to be able to reach many people, then truly, you should start to reach out and make your voices heard, joining everyone together as fast as possible..because we're in it up to our necks.

We CAN still get out, limit the damage, learn to live around it, repair it...but if we don't then the generations to come of Bellowhead's audience, and the young audiences of many other bands/artists are going to battling to stay alive....

Simples...
Depressing, yes, but that's how it is folks...

And in turning away, ignoring, refusing to stand together, you are contributing to The Silence of the Good which has helped to bring us to this state in the first place.

We will ALL be affected!

And I write this just an hour after hearing from a dear friend in New Jersey who told me that there is now no way in or out of the City unless you have a car. ALL buses, trains, coaches, planes have been stopped, so many shops shut, and already emptied of stock.....whilst they sit and wait...wait...wait...........

John Tams message, even if said in mischief, is A Call To Arms as well...

I would urge ALL those who can, to take up that Call as soon as they possibly can.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 09:01 AM

"We HAVE to BELIEVE what we know. Let me tell you something.It is too late to be pessimistic. Really too late.s We are all part of the Solutions. To finish I would like to welcome the 4700 babies born since the beginning of this talk. Merci beaucoup. I love you." Yann Arthus Bertrand


And now back to the Childe Ballads....


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 10:16 AM

The dance band on the Titanic


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 12:02 PM

As for Jon Boden's dad being a stockbroker:

a) he isn't.

b) what on earth does that have to do with the price of fish?

Looks like poor journalism to me. Trying to justify a free ticket perhaps?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,STM
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 12:59 PM

Lizzie you just stated:

"Er...I never said I wanted them to stand and talk politics, merely sing some songs that have a little more meaning to them, that's all. Keep your hair on.. ;0) "

And about two posts afterwards said:

"And..just imagine, IF Bellowhead had given out the phone number of the Embassy of Brazil in London, explaining to their audience about Belo Monte and the further SIXTY dams that Brazil is planning in the Rainforest"

...they're supposed to sing this information are they?

Also, instead of expecting and dictating what other people should be doing to get the message out, why don't you start your own band/pick your own songs/write your own lyrics/write novels/ etc. and spread the message?

Why do you think that anyone cares about this stuff?

Don't get me wrong, I do care about the state of our planet and the terrible things that happen, but I go to gigs to relax and chill out and forget, just for an hour, about all the shitty things that are happening- the last thing I'd want is the bloody band preaching to me! I'd go to church id I wanted that.

The truth is, people KNOW about these things already. We are an educated society. We have the internet, we have the TV, the radio- we hear about all of these things every day. People will decided for themselves whether they are going to help make a change or not.

Also, your point-scoring is getting really old and pathetic. We get it, you like Home Service and you dislike Bellowhead- that's fine, but the reminders are getting irritating.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 04:24 PM

:0)

No, you'd be AMAZED how many folks haven't got a CLUE what's happening around the planet, actually....Trust me, I know, I talk to folks and I see the blank expressions when you mention 'fracking'....although it's starting to get slightly more known about over here now, but only marginally...

Belo Monte isn't politics, it's bloody SURVIVAL!

Still, I'll leave you to go to your festivals and tap your feet...

At this very moment, as I write this, I'm also watching/listening to Show of Hands singing 'Country Life' GREAT song about the shambles that is now our country way of life..."The village is dead and they don't care....." (taken from Steve Knightley's 'Country Life'.....they started their set with 'Cutthroats, Crooks and Conmen' too...revived for David Cameron et al....having been written in The Thatcher Years...

You too can watch them live, on the thread I started on here, but I guess they're a bit too political for you....


Oh....and DO please still ring The Embassy of Brazil, because they're getting very pissed off with folks ringing them!   Yay!!!


By the way, that 'Titanic' video is sick.....horrible idea...


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 04:26 PM

"No trains! No shops! No pubs! No jobs! What went wrong? Country Life!"   

Yeah!!!

Home Service 45
Show of Hands 45
Bellowhead    1/2


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,STM
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 04:51 PM

Bellowhead are about interpreting traditional folk songs.

The songs you are referring to are not folk songs.

Bellowhead have gained publicity and success through their modern and interesting way of promoting folk song. That is their role in society, if they must have one, I suppose (obviously I can't speak for the band, but my view on the matter).

Why would they change their entire stance? There are already musicians out there dedicating their music and writing lyrics for political purposes, such as the ones you have mentioned. Why should Bellowhead jump on their wagon? That is not what they do; their purpose and their audiences are different.

Personally, I think there are better ways of getting political statements across. I don't care for the music of Home Service and I think Show of Hands are incredibly cheesy. However, these are just my personal opinions and I appreciate their role within the folk scene and the messages they are trying to put across. They just don't reach me, because I don't think their music is very good. I think they could be using their talent to produce more catchy songs, to reawaken the young folk scene and bring folk music to people who have never heard it before. BUT IT IS NOT MY PLACE TO SAY IT. So why you think it's yours to dictate other peoples musical adventures, is completely beyond me. And besides, there are already people doing that.

The thing you need to remember Lizzie, is that people, sometimes the people you refer to, do actually read these boards. You make yourself look silly and disrespectful by thinking you have these extortionate rights to tell people what and what not to do.

There's a reason you've been banned from so many boards in the past and I wouldn't like this to be another one, so maybe it's time you started writing reasonable and rational thoughts, rather than word vomiting your emotional state all over the internet.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 04:59 PM

You're free to say whatever you want, matey, or mateyessy..Obviously you're one of the usual suspects, because you've not been able to hold back spewing forth with the 'Oh you were banned from here and there' chant...It never ceases to amaze me!

Good, if folks read what I say, those of whom I speak too.

I am, believe it or not entirely aware of that fact, that is why I have filled this thread up with details of how songs can make a huge difference in this world and how, at present, this world NEEDS strong songs, strong singers, strong writers, as never before.

It is perfectly within my right to say that, so please, do not try to shut me up. As you know many have tried that before and it makes them seethe that Mudcat allows me to still have my freedom of speech.

I do not use that freedom to abuse you, so please, refrain from your personally insulting posts.

And now, if you'll excuse me I'm off back to Facebook to introduce folks to more Show of Hands songs, although they're just finishing...I have 'friends' watching Shrewsbury live from the USA at present...Whoooppeee!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM

Lizzie, surely logically if you think art ought to be utterly subservient to spreading news and progagandising then aren't both Show of Hands and John Tams failing miserably - they're wasting all this time making music that could be better served giving out leaflets, organising e-petitions and smashing up Westminster!

If you think unambiguous proselytising takes precendence over art-content, then we should remember that hundreds of thousands of Adele fans have never heard of Show of Hands (or John Tams, or indeed Bellowhead) and probably never will, and wouldn't like them even if they did.

That's not a criticism of any of those acts' music - it's just pointing out that contemporary folk music is really the worst vehicle for mass communication and propaganda. Really, the football style scores you keep putting up (art isn't like sport, because it doesn't have rules) ought to be zeroes all round.

I must say, too, I don't think the songs you've posted too are particular specific anyway. "I'm Alright Jack" is loose and baggy enough in its "very bad things" imagery for Michael Gove to essentially agree with. Now, if you'd linked to a Show of Hands song called "David Cameron Drinks the Blood of the Poor" then I might agree with you. Or a John Tams song called "I Support The Looters (Cos I Want A World Without Money)" then you might have a point.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 06:18 PM

SoH played 'Arrogance Ignorance and Greed' which went down very well...

Good Lordy, WHO would give out leaflets to spread a message? The first thing most folks do with those is...throw them away. As to e-petitions, well they don't reach in the same way, do they...and besides, they simply get signed, then sent on their way.

Now for instance, moving back to Belo Monte again...President Dilma Rousseff completely ignored over 600,000 signatures on various petitions, back in April, so they don't work...although I'd assume there are now MILLIONS who've signed the new petitions doing the rounds...

And'smashing up Westminster!'...well hardly, you can't even get within a mile of The Houses of Parliament these days without being arrested...

No, you need to do your Market Research a little better, Matt.

Now songs, you see, political songs that is, helped to bring about the end of the Vietnam War, for they galvanised millions into taking to the streets to protest...

You just can't beat the power of songs. And that,of course, is why they killed off The Last DJ, turning them all into Company Men...apart from those lovely fellas at Radio Caroline, who play whatever they want, of course. They're lovely over there...AND, they follow the English folk scene too!   :0)

Your go, Matt. ;0)

Show of Hands and Home Service 53 each
Radio Caroline                42
Bellowhead                      7

(I've decided to be a little kinder to the Bellowing Ones, as they are good musicians) :0)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 08:38 PM

If you don't like the ones I suggested, then pick a method of political activity that you think DOES work then - it's all the same to me. You've a real talent for focusing on the particulars in order to conveniently ignore an overall point, Lizzie.

The point, in this instance, being this: if the aim is to get an unambiguous and easily-understandable political message to the biggest number of people, then you're shooting yourself in the foot trying to do it with folk music. Folk music is, it pains me to say, in terms of popular cultural reach, a drop in the ocean today.

I don't doubt that Show of Hands song has been enjoyed and celebrated by many and passed around on youTube, but I don't think it's success ought to be measured by "how many people it converts to communitarianism" (or whatever; insert alternative appropriate ideology here). That frankly won't be very many people (and that has nothing to do with Show of Hands or their songwriting). As with everything else, it's success is ultimately measured in whether it's good art or not.

I know plenty of people who don't like "political songs" because they find them either clunky, cheesy or stupid. You can sum this attitude up as "some information works better as a newspaper article than a poem". I generally share this opinion, but on the other hand I do like politiics in music when it takes this kind of bluntness to the same sort pithy extremes as a protest-march placard.

I kind of veer between the two extremes: I want either personal politics in lived daily life (which I get from pretty much every folksong EVER, but rarely from the stock phrases of pop); or I want blunt truths stated brutally.

A good example would be Public Enemy's "911 is a Joke", or James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud". In fact, black 60s soul pretty much wrote the manual on how to write good political pop. If you're going to sloganeer, then sloganeer, like a good placade. Don't pussyfoot around with all these "Naughty Liars and their Lying Lies" type song titles.

Over the last week I've kept thinking of the song "I Wish There Were No Prisons". Now there's a song title with impact.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 04:44 AM

"If you don't like the ones I suggested, then pick a method of political activity that you think DOES work then - it's all the same to me."

Er....I already did...and I explained why too. Music.   


"You've a real talent for focusing on the particulars in order to conveniently ignore an overall point, Lizzie."

I attended to your point quite distinctly, matt. Not my fault if you don't do the market research or if you don't like what I said above about the power which music has, above all else, to connect. :0)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 05:11 AM

I'd be very interested to hear of a folk song which, sung in this country in my lifetime (say, over the past 50 or 60 years), has actually changed, or acted as a catalyst for change of, anything in the political spectrum.

It can be a song which, when listened to by politicans, had the effect of changing their political viewpoint and their subsequent actions; or it can be a song which, by being taken up by a substantial portion of the electorate (the voters), has influenced the politicians to change policies.

I'll go even further - I'd be interested to hear of any folk singer or even contemporary singer-songwriter whose oeuvre has overtly achieved such an effect. Billy Bragg? Has he really achieved any real political swerve by his songs - or has he preached to the converted?

Examples please - with details of cause and effect.

Peoples' actions at the ballot box - or fear of their actions - are really what galvanise politicians into action. Yet, time and time again, we get more or less of the same set in power, regardless of their colour on the political spectrum. That being the real state of affairs, I don't believe for one minute that politics in folk music - or much of any music - has any more effect on it than a gnat on an elephant's hide. Which is why I prefer my music free of any overt - and probably simplistic - political messages.

I should add that, at a local level in my own community, I get involved in several projects - in which music plays no part. Now - if everyone got involved in their own community and tried to make it a better place - we might see some gradual change in this country. Might.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 05:15 AM

I'm sorry you found the Titanic video sick Lizzie - I was hoping it would make the point that it's not always nice to be reminded what a state we are in!

I agree though that music can be powerful. I'm not a massive fan of Arrogance Ignorance and Greed (the song I mean) - I much prefer Steve Tilston's Pretty Penny, or for something much older, Alex Glasgow's Turning the Clock Back

Anyway, apologies for any offence caused. BTW I think you are being given some good advice to channel your energies into songwriting...


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 05:17 AM

The good thing about Adobe Audition is that you can cut out the political banter and just leave the Home Service!!!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 07:20 AM

I am surprised that no-one has mentioned Bellowhead's interpretations of A begging I will go or Cholera Camp - May have been written a long time ago but still a powerful inditement against societies view of beggers and soldiering. Still, I suppose the truth shouldn't stand in the way of a good headline :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 06:49 AM

Just listened to Home Service at the Half Moon Putney on 3 July 2011 - just burnt the music to CD which was superb.

They even recreate poor old Howard Evans's bum notes!!!

Politics.......what politics????????


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 04:09 AM

People like Lizzie who are so keen to see folk musicians expressing political views are less happy when those views don't agree with their own. Just look at the reaction to Vin Garbutt's anti-abortion songs or even Peter Bellamy's Kipling interpretations (these seem to be better accepted nowadays, but at the time Kipling was considered a racist imperialist and Bellamy was widely criticised).

I agree with Matt that many "political" songs aren't actually all that political. He mentioned "Alright Jack", but even for example Ed Pickford's "The Workers' Song", which is much sharper and to the point, is nevertheless a description of how the world works, under pretty much any political system or regime. That's not politics, it's observation - politics is what you then do about it.

However I think Matt is mistaken in his assumptions that people who like his kind of music "generally do" share his political opinions. It's certainly safe to express Left-ish views on the folk scene, and the hostile and sometimes vindictive reaction to other views probably discourages all but a few from using folk music to express those views. This leads to a cosy self-perpetuating world when only "acceptable" political views can be expressed. That doesn't mean that everyone on the folk scene shares the same views.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 04:41 AM

"However I think Matt is mistaken in his assumptions that people who like his kind of music "generally do" share his political opinions."

Absolutely right, but I played Alright Jack very loud in my car this morning because it sounds great!!!!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 05:07 AM

"People like Lizzie who are so keen to see folk musicians expressing political views are less happy when those views don't agree with their own."

Pardon?   I'm not sure who you're lumping me in with here with your 'people like Lizzie' statement. Perhaps you'd care to elaborate?

"Just look at the reaction to Vin Garbutt's anti-abortion songs.."

I've never given any reaction to Vin's song. I also think it's quite shocking how he was treated, because of his views on abortion.

Please, do not assume my views on anything or lead others to assume on my behalf.

I have never 'condemned' anyone for their political songs. I merely write about the ones which move me to write.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 05:17 AM

And I tell you what, Vin Garbutt writes songs that get people thinking and talking! And THAT is a great thing!

Part of the reason the world is in such a mess right now is due to apathy and to the masses being deliberatlely, imo, dumbed down. Nearly all music that has a strong message in it, be it political or environmental, is no longer heard in the mainstream media.

Some of the most powerful political songwriters in the world are to be found within the Folk World, both ours and others right around the planet.

For way too long The Proles (for that is what so many people now have chosen to become) have been 'entertained' with woollwoossssss music ensuring they don't think, don't question, don't talk and don't get angry or politically active...

And whilst all that has been happening, not just in the music, but in so many other things too, those with very dodgy agendas have crept in and done what they wanted with the general population and the planet...

If you listen to the American Indian Chiefs, who KNOW what they are talking about, this planet is in dire trouble...politics aside we are in deep shite now...and unless, **unless** we start opening as many eyes as we can things will be getting FAR worse VERY fast...


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 06:30 AM

My apologies, Lizzie, you're quite right, I made assumptions there I shouldn't have done. I made the mistake of using your vociferous encouragement of musicians to express political opinions to make a general point. That was wrong of me.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 11:40 AM

Subtle, HJ, subtle, a rare thing here

L in C#


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: BTNG
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 11:44 AM

It occurred to me, the other day, that we just might be giving Bellowhead more notice than they really deserve.


...oh and HJ, sarcasm is the lowest form of "wit" but I'm sure you know that already.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 01:21 PM

I wasn't aware I was being sarcastic.

Lizzie, in her usual exuberant style, has been enthusiastically urging Bellowhead, and indeed any musicians who can command an audience, to use that position to "spread the message". I used that to make a point about which particular message might be spread, but in doing so made an assumption about her point of view which was not justified. She quite rightly pulled me up and I immediately apologised. I know that's unusual behaviour on Mudcat but that doesn't make it sarcastic.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 01:43 PM

Thank you, Howard. Apology accepted, completely. x


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 06:11 PM

ý'So what's the next lesson, Darren?'
'Geography and Social Change'.
'Who's that with then?'
'Mr Tams.'
(Pause): 'Let's bunk off.'


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 07:24 PM

Oh no, absolutely wrong there.

They wouldn't have to bunk off, Chris, for Mr. Tams would throw open the classroom doors, get them all sitting outside in the warm, golden sunshine, shoes off, blazers off, ties undone, relaxed and happy, whilst he picked up his guitar to weave them tales of Magical Geography and Social Change with the song of The Manchester Rambler

...and by the end of the lesson they'd know where their Right to Roam came from. They'd have learnt all about Kinder Scout and the hundreds of people who came together in Mass Trespass, fighting for that very Right to Roam, bringing about social change for hundreds of thousands of people!

He'd probably even have them all signed up to The Ramblers Association in the blink of an eye and the kids would call their own walking group The Tamblers, meeting up with Mr. Tams at weekends to go rambling together, both verbally, musically and on foot...

I said over and over, years back, that John Tams is a natural teacher and I abide by that still to this day.

Perfick Post, Chris. Thank you! ;0)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 02:17 AM

You're welcome, Lizzie. Excellent return of serve.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 04:00 AM

:0) x


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:11 AM

I am pretty sure that the last time I was at the start of the trespass (Maybe about 2 months ago) the plaque says that the event occured in April 1932, before Mr McColls writing of the Manchester rambler - I could be wrong (and often am!) but I am pretty sure that the event led to the song and not the other way round. Apologies in advance if I am wrong but having started my 40+ year fascination with rambling and the countryside in the very footsteps of mass trespass I do like to make sure these things are correct. I wonder somethimes whether people get the cause and effect mixed up - Do folk singers cause or simply report political events? I suspect the latter but if they make someone think for themselves I suppose they may be helping in some way. As long as they are making them think the right and just left wing thoughts:-)

Out of interest I was on the Pennine Way just under 2 weeks ago doing the short stretch from the Snake to Bleaklow head and and back and I realised I had never purposely visited the Wain Stones - So I did! Fantastic bit of natural sculpture. I said never purposely visited because I think I may have visited by accident when lost in about 3' of snow once but the only thing I remember about the trip from Glossop to the Snake Inn was taking about an hour to thaw out in front of the log fire. And having to have a an extra few pints while we waited for a taxi to come and take us back. Discretion is the better part of valour after all...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:25 AM

Me - Being kissed by the Wain Stones (for those with facebook access)

:D


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 04:33 AM

"I am pretty sure that the last time I was at the start of the trespass (Maybe about 2 months ago) the plaque says that the event occured in April 1932, before Mr McColls writing of the Manchester rambler - I could be wrong (and often am!) but I am pretty sure that the event led to the song and not the other way round. "


Yes, John Tams states that in the video before he starts to sing.

I did not state the song came first.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 01:04 PM

Good lad John. Nice to see people that some are well informed. I supposed I should have known he would give the correct story if I could have been bothered to follow internet links. I really would rather rely on personal experience though and seeing as I was aware of the history of the Manchester Rambler anyway I don't think listening to JT perform it on YouTube, rather than live like the last time I saw him, would change my opinion of either him of the song :-)

Did anyone state the song came first btw? Or say that anyone did? I am pretty sure I didn't do either. I thought we were discussing whether Bellowhead should make a political stance and whether, if they did, it would make any difference to the socio-political climate. I think that politics in folk song is interesting but, as far as social reform is concerned, a waste of time. It will not make a ha'purth of difference and the Manchester Rambler was a good way to illustrate the fact that the song was written about the event rather than influencing anyone or anything.


But then again, what do I know...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 02:54 AM

I'm pleased that I can fast forward to the next music track when listening to the Home Service gig at the Half Moon on 21/07/11 - in fact better still, I'll delete all the banter from my Sansa Clip flac player!!!!!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 03:15 AM

Then you miss out on much wisdom, Bonzo....

The Manchester Rambler, to this day, teaches and illustrates the past, particularly when it is in the hands of a natural teacher such as John Tams, who goes out of his way to inform his audience about his songs.

I think many young people, and older ones too, would have no clue about how or why The Ramblers Association was started. They simply accept that they are free to walk in so many places, giving no thought to the people who fought for the Right To Roam.

Songs which tell of the politics of the past are as important as those which speak of the politics of the present for they plant seeds in the minds of many, as do songs which get folks to consider whether they are part of the problem and to focus on the fact that we are all in this together and together we the power to change so many things.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 04:45 AM

At the risk of some thread drift and to make sure there is no confusion:

I think many young people, and older ones too, would have no clue about how or why The Ramblers Association was started.

The Mass Trespass of 1932 took place before the Ramblers Association was formed in 1935. It was organised by the Lancashire Branch of British Workers Sports Federation a communist organisation founded in London in 1928. The organiser of the action was Benny Rothman who of course subsequently went to prison. Jimmy Miller as he was at that time. was the organisation's press officer. He was 17 years of age at the time.

The Ramblers Association was the result of an number of rambling federations coming together in 1931 under the name "National Council of Ramblers Federations", but they OPPOSED the tactics of the trespassers and REFUSED TO ENDORSE the action.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 04:47 AM

Songs which tell of the politics of the past are as important as those which speak of the politics of the present

Such as the ones that Bellowhead sing? Or don't songs about the social conditions of the past count?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 04:47 AM

And i believe that was 100.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 05:45 AM

I also said this:

"...and by the end of the lesson they'd know where their Right to Roam came from. They'd have learnt all about Kinder Scout and the hundreds of people who came together in Mass Trespass, fighting for that very Right to Roam, bringing about social change for hundreds of thousands of people!

He'd probably even have them all signed up to The Ramblers Association in the blink of an eye and the kids would call their own walking group The Tamblers, meeting up with Mr. Tams at weekends to go rambling together, both verbally, musically and on foot..."


...as well as this, which you picked up on:

"I think many young people, and older ones too, would have no clue about how or why The Ramblers Association was started."


What I did NOT say was that The Ramblers Association was started because of Kinder Scout. Kinder Scout did however, bring in massive public attention to the cause and many folks took up the banner and helped to push forward the Right to Roam and our National Parks, which may well NOT have happened had the Kinder Scout Trespass not taken place.

I have never been informed of anything much at a Bellowhead concert...I have however, come away ALWAYS the wiser after listening to John Tams.

And I believe this is 102

:0)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 07:50 AM

Mine was a strictly factual post about the history of the Ramblers Association. Since you suggested people might not know about it then I posted some of it and in relation to the Mass Trespass.

As for not learning "anything much" at a Bellowhead Concert - there are none so deaf as those who don't listen.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 08:10 AM

Those interested in political song may enjoy the superb annual Raise Your Banners event in November. John Tams and Barry Coope will be performing, along with other politically-enlightened performers including Roy Bailey, the excellent Ewan McLennan, and Justin Sullivan of New Model Army.

Raise Your Banners


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 10:51 AM

God save us from political "singers" - If I want to be politicized I'll go to a party conference - if I want fun I'll go to a bellowhead concert. I've seen Billy Bragg, Home Service and Roy Bailey this year and to be honest would rather have been dancing my feet off in a ceilidh.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 04:45 PM

I have never and will never see Billy Bwagg.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: theleveller
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:13 AM

Hey Bozo, Billy says 'Thanks'.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 06:28 AM

"If you don't like the ones I suggested, then pick a method of political activity that you think DOES work then - it's all the same to me."

Er....I already did...and I explained why too. Music.   


"You've a real talent for focusing on the particulars in order to conveniently ignore an overall point, Lizzie."

"I attended to your point quite distinctly, matt."

Sorry Lizzie, but you did not and you still haven't. It's a simple point: If missionary work/converting/didacticism/educating is the end goal (which is what you are saying in suggesting Bellowhead aren't as good because they are not as "political", in that narrow unambiguous sloganeering way) then, by your own logic, all these musicians should be exploiting the MOST POPULIST art forms they can, not the LEAST.

You are saying that what makes one song better than another is its topicality and its power to inform. I'm saying that if that's what you want, then you're backing a loser with Show Of Hands, because they play folk music, which 99% of the world is uninterested in.

By your own logic, the best models for political song would be stuff like "Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins, or "We Are The World". It doesn't matter that they are rubbish; they fit your bill.

You don't seem to understand that the logic of prizing "political content" makes the whole thing results-oriented. If unambiguous topicality is makes a song better than another, it is because it is more likely to appeal to a broader listenership. But if appealing to a broader listenership is the name of the game, it is you who hasn't done the "market research".

"Not my fault if you .... don't like what I said above about the power which music has, above all else, to connect. :0)"

You put that in a rather sneaky way. You're implying I don't "like" the idea that music has the power to connect. That music has the power to connect is a self-evident fact that is so obvious it barely needs stating: it's way beyond being something that anyone could like or dislike.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 06:45 AM

"If you don't like the ones I suggested, then pick a method of political activity that you think DOES work then - it's all the same to me."

Er....I already did...and I explained why too. Music."

Blimey, when I asked that question it never occurred to me that you might actually think that music is a genuiinely more effective tool than voting, money, lobbying, advertising campaigns, strikes, rallies, speeches, touring by politicians, ownership of newspapers etc etc

So, Lizzie, you must think politicians are all pretty stupid for not having hired a folk act.

If there was any truth at all in what you are saying, shouldn't John Tams, Show of Hands and perhaps even Bellowhead have taken over the world by now?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: mikesamwild
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 07:27 AM

I was going through an old folk folder fro some songs from the 70s and found a cutting from MorningStar Sat Dec 13 1975. by Bob Campbell and Leon Rosselson, 'Why folk has lost its roots among people'. He tackled social issues both head on and obliquely . He said he wasn't getting bookings from traditional clubs who wanted pastoral songs and jolly choruse who were escapists and isolated from the modern community. Since 1975 we have seen some 'protest' singers but it feels like we are back to the 'Imagined Village' of Georgina Boyes' book..

I'd be interested in what Leon might think about this subject today!
Mind , Peter Bellamy wasn't getting too many bookings either as I remember.

maybe the thread on Steamfolk is relevant.

What is the function of folk in today's situation?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 08:02 AM

What is the function of folk in today's situation?

I don't see why it should have to have one singular function.

For my part, mostly, I'd rather it being about a tiny part of keeping traditional music alive through participation and, yes, having fun at the same time.

As for it serving a political purpose, I'm afraid I find a folk club of people nodding their heads wisely to "meaningful" songs often appears to serve the function of admiring and applauding some "collective wisdom" rather better than it does in generating political change.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 08:18 AM

Bonzo, Billy Bragg's over on his Facebook page getting a lot of folks to sign up to saving the NHS this morning....

And you are doing........??????????   


matt.....if you truly think that Show of Hands, John Tams, Home Service et al are not making a difference, then I truly despair.

Tell you what, go to a Show of Hands gig and watch the reaction of the audiences, look at the age range (it's extensive these days)

Take a look at the world right now, what is happening around us at increasing speed...Watch the new Hopi message out on Youtube...learn that there is much happening around us that we are almost too late to change, so deep is the damage now...but we can STILL affect how badly it affects us as a species, IF we act promptly.

I'm talking about the world being in dire straits right now, not in 10,50,100 years time, but right now, this moment, as we are all living and breathing...

Whilst my trees here in Torquay are being over double in gale force winds, out in Texas they have almost given up trying to control the out of control fires that are decimating so much of the State...In China droughts abound, caused, amongst other things, by damming so many rivers...as is now happening in The Amazon....Brazil is weakening the protection of the Amazon Rainforest, about to build 60 more dams,following Belo Monte. Ecuador is holding the world to ransom, about to let Shell decimate THEIR Rainforest, unless they receive billions of pounds....

We are about to stand idly by and watch the NHS be torn apart, whilst we have money oozing out of our pockets to decimate Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq....

China is awakening and encouraging more and more countries to build more and more mega-dams...keeping an eye on the world's water supplies..demanding more and more energy....

The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries are rising fast...and the West is sinking faster...

ALL it will take is mortgage interest to go up and thousands, tens of thousands will lose their homes, with nowhere to go, for there is NO spare council housing, nowhere to put people....

It will be hard.
It will be chaotic.
It will be something that we have never lived through before.....


But hey, best to keep singing about Larks and Hedgerows, no matter that The Hedgerows, along with The Rainforests, are being decimated as never before, threatening all the wildlife which depend on them so....

Meanwhile, back at the ranch of the Rich and Rotten to the Core, they mumble about Criminality and The Criminal Underclass, refusing to acknowlege that our prisons are filled with so many broken souls, who've had learning difficulties all life-long with no-one willing to help them.....

"Every 20 minutes a child is diagnosed with Autism' is all over the United States, on billboards....It is the same over here, but without those billboards....

So many children with autism who are left to struggle, to grow up in fear and anger, lost and utterly terrified, whilst only able to express their terror and confusion through anger and aggression, for which they are locked up....

And meanwhile The Rich and The Rotten sniff at 'this part of society' demeaning them, encouraging others to hate them....when often, REAL geniuses lie within our prison cells, broken and battered by a System that churns out Broken Souls with not an ounce of guilt.....

Yeah, to hell with protest songs.....You're right...let's all continue to be Bloody Apathetic and dance to our merry tunes..for hell, WE have a right to happiness, yes?????????

And it couldn't POSSIBLY be OUR Apathy that has led us to this situation in the first place, could it?   


I was raised on politiical songs, they were once all around us. Today's generation get mush on their radios....total mush......and so, we now have a Mushy World....

Well, fuck that for a Game of Caring Humanity!!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,GUEST, Ian
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 12:36 PM

Undoubtedly, John Tams is a very caring soul, and wears his politics on his sleeve. In recent times though, he's become more of a surreal comedian than a didactic preacher. More Eric Morecambe than Eric Blair.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,pete
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 02:14 PM

Wow – what a litany of woes, I'd no idea that we were responsible for all that! Although I did catch Benji out fracking behind the tour bus the other night. Sorry everyone for single-handedly causing the downfall of mankind…

The thing about somewhat-aggressive, rambling political rants such as Lizzie's above is that I always suspect that they say way more about the ranter than about the state of the world. The fact that the point, if you can call it one, is hammered out in THE most HECTORING terms POSSIBLE WITH arbitrary capitaliSATION all over the PLACE, is a clue. The world is full of people shouting, and it's very easy and convenient to hide plain old boring self-obsession and self-interest behind a political agenda. And the more of a litany of doom you make it, the more effective you will be at bullying anyone with a conscience into listening to your voice. Megalomania's a pretty dodgy foundation for positive change in the world, I'd say.

Lizzie, your harangues are divisive – I can't believe that you further any of the causes you espouse with your woolly streams of consciousness. Grow yourself a pair of humilities - just do that clicky thing on the avaaz website and share it on fb like the rest of us do, and spare us your self righteousness.

Music, on the other hand, is very good at bringing people together. And it's often at its best when that's all we ask of it, particularly when so much else in the world casts us asunder. Make it a matter of, like, your opinion maan, and we're back dividing people. Faced with differences of opinion, I'd rather find common ground than do battle – I think you stand more chance of change that way. Subtle change, yes, but vital and precious nonetheless.

And on one level at least this argument is utterly bizarre – that music, which many believe was born out of the necessity for a form of emotionally potent non-verbal communication, should be derided for not containing the right words – is it only me that finds this entire premise monumentally stupid?

As for bellowhead – we probably could be more political, within our (politically-inspired) remit. But we're a collective, so we'll have to vote on that and get back to you.

We probably could sing more political songs, beyond the ones we sing that Lizzie doesn't know about because she doesn't like our music.

And we probably could support more causes, and while I'm on the subject, get involved in the Water Aid Big National Ceilidh on Oct 15th – it'll be a great deal more fun than being shouted at by Lizzie Cornish ☺


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 02:55 PM

Is that Pete Flood by any chance? Only out of interest. Thanks for dropping in and giving us at least one member of the band's view anyway. I am in agreement with the subtle change idea. No-one ever achieved anything major by ranting and raving or, in my opionion, by singing!

There are people who shout, whinge and moan and people who get things done. More often than not the two are completely different animals. I, like many others, find that the more that people tell me what I should be doing, the less I will take notice of them. I am very open to reason and have, even here on Mudcat, had my mind changed by logical argument. Pity that not everyone can understand that subtlety is usualy more effective than a big hammer :-)

Cheers

DtG

PS - Favourite Bellowhead TV moment, out of interest, was the Christmas or New Year show or some such where the Rapper team danced to the instrumental bit in Copshawholme Fair. I suspect it did more to expose people to tradition and culture than any number of Manchester Ranblers.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:11 PM

"Lizzie, your harangues are divisive – I can't believe that you further any of the causes you espouse with your woolly streams of consciousness. Grow yourself a pair of humilities - just do that clicky thing on the avaaz website and share it on fb like the rest of us do, and spare us your self righteousness."


Check out 'Support Chief Raoni' on Facebook......Were you there on August 22nd bellowing for Belo Monte?

I've have always written with Capital letters all over the place. It does not always mean I am shouting, simply the way I write, for I do not, and will not, write in the way others tell me to.

I'm merely stating that right now the planet is in one HELL of a mess (stick your earphones on for that bit) and quite frankly we're all in the together....

I've probably signed more petitions than you've hit things, Pete..phoned up more places, ranted, raged and raved to various embassies, kicked David Cameron's arse and now William Hague's too over on Facebook, to the point where soon 'the knock on the door' may shortly be approaching....

There is one man, one quote, that is embedded in my mind....and which makes more sense with each and every passing day...

>>>"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."
Martin Luther King, Jr." <<<<


Obviously you're very content to be part of The Silence.

I'm not.

This is YOUR world, that of your children and grandchildren too..and if you don't start making more noise than you have ever made in your life, don't start sharing out that noise with so many young people who come to watch you, then you will be letting future generations down, as will so many others......but, that is your choice entirely.


"What will I think of me the day that I die?" - Julian Lennon

Oh, and don't let it go to your head, this thread, that is, for I rant and rage ALL OVER THE PLACE..and I should think Sting is getting pretty fed up with me using his Facebook page as well, which reminds me, I must go in there again tonight and put Chief Raoni's page on his...and no, I did not make that page, but I sure as hell contribute to it one helluva lot..and one helluva lot of folks joined in the International Protest Day over the Belo Monte Dam all over the world a few days back...

But hey, you carry on beating your drum in your own way.

I march to the tune of a different drum....


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:20 PM

And hey, it seems my 'ranting' at least got you in here...

Think on that a while, eh....   ;0)

Oh and think on this too....

This evening on BBC Radio Devon it was announced that over the past few years there have been 3 Food Banks in Devon, feeding around 500 people or so. This has now increased to 8 Food Banks which are feeding.....6,000 people.

Yes...SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE!!   Shall I put *****'s around that too???

**SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE** in Devon ALONE, who are now needing to be fed by charities because they can no longer afford to feed themselves! They are getting by due to borrowing off their extended families where they can...and some cannot survive when they start a new job, because their measly benefit is stopped immediately, yet they do not get paid for FOUR weeks, so they cannot afford food...

This will get worse...then worse again and again and again.

This is no ordinary Recession, it never was. It is the collapse of the Western World as we know it, Jim...and there has NEVER been a time when a drum has been needed to be banged louder than ever before......

You have the drum....

Start The Rhythm going.......


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:26 PM

In fact, I think I have been convinced. The more political songs the better. I guess we should give room to ALL political songs though.

How about a rousing chorus of Horst Wessel followed by Es zittern die morschen Knochen and finishing with Deutschland erwache? After all, they are just as political, if not more so, than any mentioned so far.

Hopefuly this is where Goodwins Law kicks in...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:35 PM

OK Dave, I'll announce it when I go to the tune session on Sunday.

Should singing the words apply to everyone wishing to participate or should those who don't sing be allowed to accompany?


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:38 PM

Ooooh - Allowed to accompany I think. I wouldn't like them to be accused of being silent :-)


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 04:27 PM

But Lizzy we have medical insurance, the NHS will need more than Billy Bragg to prop it up!!!!!


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 06:24 PM

Oh, I knew you'd come back with the 'medical insurance' bit, Bonzo, because you are so very much an 'I'm alright Jack' kind of person with no sympathy for anyone who has not achieved what you have in life.

Billy Bragg, for your information, is one of the few people who stood up to Rupert Murdoch and won. He and he alone took Myspace to Court and won the right for musicians to stay in control of their music on Myspace.

As for the NHS, Bonzo...I think it will be the downfall of this government if they dare to try and sell control of it abroad.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 03:49 AM

Oddly enough the Spanish equivalent of the NHS is very good indeed. No 12 to a ward for a start, and no fat slothful under qualified nurses.


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 02:38 PM

As if by magic or as if someone at Time Out reads the Mudcat...

100 songs that changed history

Nice to see some traditional songs in there and some up to the minute ones. Along with classics, old and new and, of course, David Hasselhoff. Biggest disappointment is that William Shatner has not been picked...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: John Tams asks Bellowhead about politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 02:46 PM

BTW - Not done a count up because I am not that anal but I reckon trad folk songs feature more than contemporary one. As long as no-one tries to redfine folk as anything not by a horse of course...

:D


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