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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
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 08:44 AM
matt milton 24 Aug 11 - 09:44 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Aug 11 - 09:53 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,s-j in London 24 Aug 11 - 10:10 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,s-j in London 24 Aug 11 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 24 Aug 11 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,s-j in London 24 Aug 11 - 11:23 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Aug 11 - 02:01 PM
Bonzo3legs 24 Aug 11 - 02:14 PM
BTNG 24 Aug 11 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,s-j in London 24 Aug 11 - 09:00 PM
Howard Jones 25 Aug 11 - 03:01 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 Aug 11 - 05:15 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 25 Aug 11 - 05:22 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 Aug 11 - 06:19 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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