14 Aug 2015

Folk music keeps the art of Protest Songs alive

I love folk festivals.  We have just been to 2 in quick succession - The Village Pump in Westbury, Wiltshire and Wickham in Hampshire. We had an amazing time and it was great to be surrounded by like-minded people, by which I mean music-loving, real ale drinking socialists.

It was refreshing to hear lots of caring songs about the environment and social justice. In just one weekend we heard the aging, but still campaigning Roy Bailey sing a song of Welcome to migrants trying to escape horrendous conditions in their home countries. A band called 71 Chain sang the Sea Shepherd song (approved by the charity) about saving whales and the oceans from our predation. Billy Bragg, a huge supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, got roars of encouragement for his comments for social justice.

Tom Robinson received tremendous applause for his rendition of 'Glad to be Gay'. He also railed against the legal aid changes which the government has snuck in. Also, did you know that if you want to plead guilty you have to pay £150 for court costs, if pleading innocent you need to pay up to £1200 regardless of income if convicted.  This has implications for protestors. See this article for more details.

It was a great experience to be able to sing along enthusiatically to Show of Hands' song about bankers - the chorus, 'your arrogance, your ignorance, and greed'.

The real ale was from local Hampshire breweries Bowman Ales, Itchen Valley and the Dancing Man Brewery. For £1 you got a pint mug for the duration of the festival (you could swap it for a clean one whenever you liked). Supplied by www.green-goblet.com - refill not landfill being their slogan!

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

And if folk looking for music in Stroud don't forget the amazing Fringe - poss largest free music event in country? See: http://www.stroudfringe.co.uk/music.php