JackGYarwood

A selection of reviews, blog posts and other jottings of interest.

Posts tagged “Politics

Interview: Steve Ignorant – a celebration of Crass

Posted on May 8, 2015

Few bands have been quite so successful outside of the mainstream as the anarcho-punk group Crass. During their career, the group received virtually no radio airplay, yet they have attained a dedicated following that lives on even today. Crass formed in 1977, after lead singer Steve Ignorant saw The Clash play live, and immediately decided to form a group. When he found most of his friends had either been married or had taken on other commitments, he decided to visit his old friend Penny Rimbaud. Steve states: “Just in passing, he said ‘well, what are you up to now?’ I went ‘oh, I’m going to start a punk band.’ He went ‘I’ve got a drum kit. I’ll play drums for you.” From there, the…

Punky Reggae Party – Two Cultures Clash

Posted on May 8, 2015

Though British punk never really accomplished social and political upheaval, it did achieve many wonderful things that are worthy of being celebrated. One such achievement was its ability to bring together unfamiliar cultures by an incorporation of foreign styles, such as ska and reggae. But how did reggae and punk happen to become intertwined, and what effect did this have on both genres and their fans? In 1948, Britain suffered a labour shortage due to the losses sustained in World War II. This led to an appeal for workers from the Commonwealth and the British Empire, with ads appearing overseas to actively promote migration to the “mother country”. In the same year the Windrush, an ex-cruise ship, landed at Tilbury near London, carrying the…

The Miner’s Strike and the politics of punk

Posted on May 7, 2015

Punk music in the UK was arguably a response to the poor conditions of living during James Callaghan’s time as Labour Prime Minister. Though it wasn’t until Thatcher came to power that punk really hit its political stride. One specific example of this is when punk came out in support of the miners during the 1984-85 strikes. In the late 1970s, under Callaghan, both unemployment and inflation were rising, whilst public spending was being cut. These conditions caused the first wave of the punk explosion to occur, with bands like the Sex Pistols and The Clash forming as a response to the dismal realities of 1970’s British life. This initial movement that began under Callaghan’s reign in Downing Street would provide a perfect base…

Punk in Africa: The sound of resistance

Posted on May 6, 2015

Punk music has never really had an easy time, but never has that statement been truer than in South Africa during apartheid. Not only were records by alternative artists not played, they were destroyed and legislated. Up until the early 1980s there had been only one mainstream band that had dared to be multi-racial, the music group Juluka. In fact, prior to this, it had been illegal for musicians of different ethnic backgrounds to perform together in a public place under the Separate Amenities Act of 1953. This didn’t deter the punks however. In Johannesburg, something was beginning to happen. In the 1970s, a number of promising musicians, from a variety of different backgrounds, started to form punk bands. Bands such as National Wake,…

Something Special: Horace Panter interviewed

Posted on May 6, 2015

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, The Specials were a rare group that successfully combined a political message with mainstream appeal. Their style, which combined the infectious rhythms of Jamaican ska with the social commentary of punk, continues to be an influence of many musicians, including contemporary artists such as Lily Allen and Tricky. Horace Panter (A.K.A Sir Horace Gentleman) was their bassist at the height of the group’s popularity, present as The Specials took the world by storm with acclaimed singles like ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘A Message To You Rudy’. Talking to him about the origins of the band’s more political side, he states: “When I was 10 I was in The Searchers fan club because I liked the way Tony Jackson…

Labour MEP: more women on boards would benefit the economy

Posted on December 4, 2013

ARLENE McCarthy, Labour MEP for the North West region has stated that the further introduction of women into the boardroom would have a beneficial impact upon the economy. Speaking to students of the University of Salford at the European Parliament in Brussels, she said: “We’ve already seen from research that if you have a woman on your board, your company is less likely to go bust.” “It’s good for the economy to have women on boards, and it’s good for growth.” A study performed by McKinsey & Company found that companies with gender balanced executive committees outperformed their all-male equivalents with a 56% higher operating profit. Mrs. McCarthy states that this is because women are more “risk averse”. She argues: “They make more sensible…