So, you’re umm-ing and ah-ing about whether to come to the DDRofRnB on Thursday 7th June. We’ve done the check-list for you, and it turns out you’re the perfect contributor:
Left wing? Tick.
Like dancing? Tick
Like rock’n’roll, soul and RnB? Tick
Like guitar bands with horns and organs? Tick
Like amusing but hard hitting socialist polemic? Tick
Like your socialism to be able to laugh at itself and its enemies? Tick
Like a brand of politics full of joy, hope and giggles? Tick
Like surprise special guests from the worlds of rap and comedy? Tick
Like being in on lovely people’s birthdays? Tick
Like drinks and Northern Soul 45s and dressing up in your best clothes, just as the bands will be? Tick
But still you’re undecided. You recognise that £8 is fantastic value for money. You know that Putney is London’s most revolutionary suburb, and the Half Moon its most RnB venue (we put this one to bed a couple of years back, didn’t we?). You know that Thursdays are the perfect night for this sort of thing. Surely you’re edging closer and closer to booking those tickets.
We think you should come. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what lots of people, who have assumed the role of opinion formers in this counter-hegemonic war of position, have said about us and our records:
“Terrific stuff. Well done! Here, we celebrate the successes of the working class” Danny Baker, broadcaster
“Comrade Post has delivered Comrade Parcel, and what a package it is: I could hear the records thumping their tiny clenched fists against the wrapping, demanding immediate liberation from the chains of mail so they could sing freely of Marx, Cole (Not Dole) and other champions of the struggle. Many, many thanks to Babyface and his comrades for such an energising blast.” Francis Wheen of Private Eye, Radio 4’s The News Quiz and biographer of Marx
“..barricade storming, smart, fun, instantly energising” Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror (Up The Workers number 17 in the Daily Mirror ‘Albums of 2011’)
“Actual full-on revolutionary socialist R&B – imagine Dr Feelgood with a brainful of Gramsci or The Redskins with a sense of humour (it is possible, really). Positing that the indie landfill cannot be changed but must be destroyed, Thee Faction launch a critique of societal hegemony on the back of a BIG grimy blues’n’b twang. Excellent.” Andrew Harrison, The Word Magazine
“Thee Faction’s mission is to restore to pop the Socialist polemic of the 80s..and not to rest until the last member of Mumford & Sons is strangled with the entrails of Coldplay’s drummer..with the musical weapons of pub-rock, skinny R’n’B & clipped brass..the titles & the sleeve suggest they’re ruefully aware of the aesthetic difficulties of agit-pop; but their tongues are only partly in cheek. 100% fun AND they 100% mean it, man. Catch live!” David Stubbs, Classic Rock
“What fresh hell is this?” Nick Cohen, Observer columnist and author
“Socialist goodies – I love this band” Josie Long, BBC 6 Music Saturday Morning Show/Award winning comic
“As likely to provoke a knees up as a revolution” Drowned in Sound
“..bringing down the Tories one song at a time” The Guardian
“Timely. I love these mad bastards” Simon Price, The Independent on Sunday
“..a gloriously exuberant blend of storming R’n’B feeding on punk and soul energy. Add to the mix a Marxist musical manifesto that pulls no punches..and you’ve a formula that acknowledges the past but helps take us into a glorious future.” Rock ‘N’ Reel Magazine
“To bring a bit of revolution to the evolution of rock music, you can either, push the sonic manifesto to the limit and cultivate a strange branch of the family tree from that experimental seed. Or, by marrying an original lyrical idea with a traditional riff, turn an established form into something nouveaux. The latter is the strategy of Thee Faction and it works, if only because it takes a certain determined, and clearly collective, genius, to extract Marxist theory from dusty tomes and weld it to soul/blue collar rock n’ roll, to give birth to Socialism Rhythm & Blues..” Louder than War
“Beats to burn bankers by.” Nicky Tesco, The Members
“Tough!” John Robb, The Membranes/Goldblade
“Invigorating Rock ‘n’ Roll and nasty R’n’B … Billy Bragg and Wilko Johnson having a pint with Arthur Scargill in the wooden snug of a flat cap pub” Is This Music?
“Twinning Dr Feelgood and eastern-bloc rockin’ beats … to rabble-rouse your mind and Agit-prop your pop” Vive Le Rock
“…gig of the year, comrades!” Richard Archer, Hard-Fi
“Guthrie and Seeger, Lennon and Baez, Dylan and Crass changed views through song. Thee Faction do just that through sheer force of joy de vivre…Thee Faction are a lesson – an independent spirit [who] own their means of production….they rock to share an interpretation of the world…real alternative music that sings, “Capitalism is good for corporations; that’s why you’ve been told socialism is bad all your life.” Huffington Post
Great. So it’s decided. You’re coming. After all, you’re bored of protest songs. You want solution songs. There’ll be a whole night of them at the Half Moon on June 7th.
See you there, comrade. We can’t wait. And it’s Billy Brentford’s non-bourgeois birthday. The best present you can give him is an audience. He loves an audience.