So I was recently accused (after what I thought was a rather good show) of having become too political, and by extension, less fun. I say “I”, I guess “we” but as the lead singer and main songwriter I suppose I have to bear the brunt of any such accusation.
Whilst it’s true that we have been infiltrated by the hard-left, I’ve always tried to maintain Attila The Stockbroker’s spoonful of sugar approach to writing songs. For instance the songs about Boris Johnson are funny. The point is to take a politician who uses buffoonery to such a great effect to get his own way and to laugh at him, not with him. At the same time though, the songs tackle his racism and his negative relations with the trades unions head on.
Never Mind Your Bollocks, a song ostensibly about breast cancer in men, and prompted by Doug’s dalliance with the illness, tackles industrial disease and takes a backhanded swipe at the 1%. I am a safety rep after all.
And the old songs, even the ones that pre-date The Protest Family are political. Well politics is hard to avoid, it’s interested in you even if you’re not interested in it. Take Summer In Sainsburys for instance. It’s about major corporations bullying workers in the supply chain and pissing on the punters while telling them it’s raining, isn’t it?
But this has been brought to a head by George of The Jungle. I’ve got a lot to say about the Syrian refugee crisis and our government’s shameful role in its creation and in our response, but to write about it I needed an angle, and the patron saint of England being detained in Calais despite his obvious qualifications and because of the country of his birth seemed like the right one to me. If not funny it does at least meet the criteria for those sub-categories of wit: sarcasm and irony.
Perhaps I should be more robust in my acceptance of criticism. My bandmates certainly think so. But I think this is worth addressing and although this blog is a start, ultimately I’ll do it in the form I’m most comfortable with: a song.
Look out for Cheer Up Mate and see if it passes the Protest Family scrutiny process.