Author: Babyface

Guitarist and polemicist of Socialist R&B legends Thee Faction

Jon Langford’s Men of Gwent, Thee Faction & Dunstan Bruce’s Existential Angst. The Islington 10/2/17

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Get your tickets here. Or here.

Only 100 tickets are going to be available for this. Far more than half of those have already gone. And now we can confirm that Dunstan Bruce, formerly of Chumbawamba and now of Interrobang?!, will be bringing his existential angst to The Islington, backed by musical improvisation. If anything could make this gig even more unmissable it’s that. But the main event is Jon Langford and his Men of Gwent. This is Jon’s only London show on this trip over (the North West will be treated to some Three Johns dates). It will be very very special. Tickets are a tenner. Get yours right now.

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Jon Langford’s Men of Gwent and Thee Faction. The Islington. 10/2/17

langford-gig

Get your tickets here.

There are only 100 tickets available for this gig, and as of 4 o’clock today half of those are already sold. It’s going to be very special, and tomorrow we will announce a very exciting opening act for the evening. So book your tickets right now, because you may not get the chance later.

 

May Day 2016: Thee Faction play Bristol

This Sunday we march and rally in Bristol. Onstage 16.00

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Along with millions upon millions of working people Bristol workers will be raising the Red Flag, on Sunday 1st May 2016, in honour of the international working class day that is the spirit of determination, solidarity and resistance.

With May Day falling on Sunday this year Bristol Trades Union Council urges maximum turn out by unions. Mobilise your members to join a major day for workers. Make sure your Trade Union and labour movement banners are at this major event.

Assemble 11:30am on Sunday 1st May
Castle Park

to be addressed by Marvin Rees (Labour’s Candidate for Mayor of Bristol 2016), Andy Robertson from Bristol Trades Union Council and a speaker from the Co-operative Party.

March, with the Ambling Band, through Broadmead and Old Market to a rally at the Trinity Centre.

 

  • JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE TU BILL/ANTI-UNION LAWS
  • FIGHT AUSTERITY AND THE CUTS
  • CELEBRATE THOSE WHO KEEP BRITAIN WORKING
  • MAKE MAY 1ST A PUBLIC HOLIDAY

 

Music Speakers
Thee Faction Kevin Courtney (NUT DGS)
Lady Nade Kerry McCarthy (MP)
Clayton Blizzard Nigel Costley (SWTUC)
Terry Renshaw (UCATT – one of the Shrewsbury 24)
Eileen Turnbull (Researcher – Shrewsbury 24 Campaign)
Louise Raw (Labour Historian)

Thee Faction and The Tuts: London2Calais Benefit 28/4/16

An evening of song, comedy and spoken word to raise funds for London2Calais

(guest post by Phil Buyum Jackson)

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This event at The Beehive in Tottenham on 28th April is not a charity event; it is a solidarity event. The gig itself (tickets here) is an eclectic mix of music, politics and resistance blending everything from Iranian Tombak playing to feminist punk/ska crossover thrash from The Tuts, from ultra cool self described “Gypsy Jazz” by Franco Roma singer Florence Joelle and band – to the blaring horns and guitars of Socialist R&B icons Thee Faction. Sameena Zehra whose one woman show “Tea with Terrorists” was a hit at the Edinburgh and Melbourne festivals – will compere the evening.

London2Calais have been at the forefront of doing what our own government has not done – providing on the ground practical material support to refugees and migrants in the Calais district. This initiative, one of the first direct solidarity groups set up to support people living in the camps in Calais and beyond, is purely volunteer led and has worked tirelessly and in coordination with volunteers and french agencies on the ground. Most importantly the organisation has worked directly with migrants themselves, organising convoys and delivering practical solidarity to those fleeing poverty, violence and war. Included in the membership and volunteers are migrants and refugees themselves and a network of translators who can speak directly with people on the ground.

Increasingly the group is looking at providing support beyond France and has an increased focus on supporting and assisting refugees and migrants who make it to London an the south. You need to help out. Buying a ticket will offer material support. Turning up and supporting the evening will show solidarity. Performers, organisers and venue are offering their services for nothing. Come along and make it the night it deserves to be.

Get your tickets here

Featuring:

Us, obviously. And…

The Tuts – All woman punk/crossover dynamos, fresh from Glastonbury Left Field, two national tours to packed out venues across the UK with The Selecter, one national tour with the legendary Undertones. The Tuts are a must see powerhouse of left feminist power. Smart, musically really tight and great politics.

Florence Joelle and Band – Franco/Roma jazz inflected uber-cool lefty with shed loads of style “Florence is a rare jewel and this second album captures her captivating style. She boasts deliciously suave vocal phrasing framed by a hot and agile band. Her savvy originals and jumping jazz standards are an unaffected joy. Blooming lovely.” The Daily Mirror****

Sameena Zehra – Comedian, Storyteller, Blues Singer, all around excellent and very funny person. Past Shows “Tea with Terrorists” and “Homicidal Pacifist” have sold out Edinburgh Fringe; just back from Melbourne International Comedy Festival and carrying her Best in Fringe nomination from New Zealand Fringe, Sameena is a brilliantly funny lefty and accomplished performer. ‘the wittiest, most intelligent, comedy I’ve seen in the whole Wellington Fringe Festival 2016… tackles the hard topics with ease, wit and charm…comedy that made you laugh and made you think.’ Art Murmurs, NZ ‘Fluency, intensity and vivacity…’* * * * The Age, Melbourne

Daphna Baram
Daphna Baram – Jerusalem born, East London based Immigrational comedian ” * * * * * Marsterful (Bunbury Magazine); “An Illuminating and poignant take on tough subjects…Fresh and enlightening” The List
“Savvy, ballsy, wonderfully witty….. Staggering, heart rending and blackly comic”,The Girl With The Edinburgh Tattoo (Sonia Nemec’s review blog).

Mike ‘Dr Blue’
Brighton based Blues and Roots singer/songwriter
‘The bastard son of Tom Waits & Howlin’ Wolf’Rob Clarke, Blues Impressario, Arch 1
‘Authentic Blues…Mesmerising…would do B B King or any of the other Blues Legends proud’ **** Broadway Baby

Somaye with Stephano D’Silva
“Nina Simone meets Bertolt Brecht”
Somaye is a poet, percussionist and singer from London of Iranian origin.
She has been enchanting audiences with her voice and her unique blend of jazz and Middle Eastern music, punctuated with socially conscious poetry and lyrics.
Somaye believes in reappropriating jazz and taking it back to its roots as a music of the oppressed and does so with style.
She will be performing alongside Stephano D’Silva on guitar.

Thee Faction at Camden’s Blues Kitchen 6th Oct

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Tuesday night (6/10/15) we play at the Blues Kitchen in Camden. The food is lush beyond. We’re playing the Balling the Jack night, and it’s free to get in. So come down. Don’t race down. We start at about 21.45, so wander down, eat stuff and watch us sing and play. We’re on fire at the moment, so don’t miss us.

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We Shall Overcome – Nambucca, Holloway Rd – Friday Oct 2nd

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Thee Faction, Interrobang and Keith Top of the Pops and his Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band. Friday October 2nd. Nambucca, N7 6LB. Free entry (but suggested £5 minimum donation on door).

You know all about We Shall Overcome by now. The biggest network of simultaneous gigs this country has ever seen. Organised by a group of left-wing musicians,many of whom have never met each other, with minimal support from the media or the mainstream. Just shy of 250 events, across three nights.

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Your role is to turn up to one. Preferably one a night. And if you’re in or near London, we recommend our one. Featuring Thee Faction, Interrobang?! and Keith Top Of The Pops & His Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band, it’s all happening at Nambucca on Holloway Road, N7 6LB. Free to get in, but we are asking for a suggested minimum donation of £5 to help people at the sharp end of the ruling class’s gruesome austerity programme.*

You don’t often get to see us for a fiver in London. But to get Interrobang and Keith TOTP thrown in too is phenomenal. Make sure this gig is packed. Bring everyone you know. Let’s celebrate our movement, stick two fingers up to austerity, and help those who are screwed by it.

See you at Nambucca. First band on at 20.00.

And if you’re looking for other We Shall Overcome gigs on Saturday and Sunday, we recommend Loud Women at the Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park on Saturday night (featuring Red Scare and Kassandra Krossing off of out of Thee Faction playing in their other band The Wimmins’ Insitute, as well as Blindness, Argonaut, Janine Booth and others), and getting yourself to Newport, South Wales on Sunday to see us play at Le Pub with Burning Ferns, Helen Love and local legends The Darling Buds. But if you’re staying in London, check what Steve White and the Protest Family are up to. We think they’re playing constantly across the weekend.

*for ‘austerity’ read ‘class war’

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We Shall Overcome Weekend October 2nd-4th

Thee Faction’s next gigs are part of the nationwide We Shall Overcome weekend. Baby Face explains what it’s all about.

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This year we’ve done some big gigs: Glastonbury, Tolpuddle, the Corbyn fundraiser. But our next is the biggest. Because on the first weekend in October we are taking part in the We Shall Overcome weekend.

The weekend acknowledges two things. First, it acknowledges the horrendous dismantling of society that the Tories have been pursuing. We have never been so socially insecure since before 1945. There is no safety net we can reliably fall back on. Everything is precarious. So everyone is a failed pay cheque or two away from absolute destitution. And that means that an enormous number of us are already there. Secondly, it acknowledges that every night socially and politically conscious musicians are busy, in ones, twos, threes, fours, playing in pubs and clubs across the land, doing their bit and making a little bit of noise to a relatively small number of people.

So let’s throw these two things together. Let’s get all of those musicians to play, across the same weekend, to make a noise about austerity. To stand up to and, yes, overcome austerity. Let’s play for free, where possible, and let’s take donations for carefully chosen charities that will do their bit to alleviate the social destruction of austerity.

Of course, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has been a huge boon to the spirit of anti-austerity. But this is not a party political weekend. It’s fair to say that the vast majority of the UK’s left-wing musicians are involved in this, and we suspect the involvement of the right will be non-existent. But it is being organised under a single banner: We Shall Overcome.

Comrade Joe Solo has done phenomenal work to piece this whole thing together. There are well over 200 events happening, under one fist. We would honestly recommend that you turn up to the one nearest you. It’s not really about travelling miles to see your favourites. Go local. Meet like-minded people. Discuss how to keep the momentum up. Organise the next one. Share ideas. Make more stuff happen.

But if you do want to see us, we’re playing twice. On Friday the 2nd October we will be playing at Nambucca in Holloway – deep in the heart of Corbyn country. It’s an amazing line-up: Keith Top Of The Pops & His Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band will be kicking the evening off. Interrobang!? (pretty much our favourite band of the moment) are on next. And then us. You’ll recognise lots of people in the other bands. Keith TOTP’s band includes all sorts of minor celebrities, from bands like Carter USM, Gay Dad, and even Thee Faction. Interrobang!? feature two members of Chumbawamba (Harry and Dunstan) and one of Regular Fries.

We’ve not done enough of this kind of thing this year. It’ll be really lovely to play with a load of good friends, in a pub in London, with a lot of friends in the audience. We’ve not done it since the pre-election gig at the 100 Club. So come. We’ll be asking for a suggested minimum donation of a fiver.

On the Saturday members of Thee Faction are doing other We Shall Overcome gigs in London with their other bands. We’ll tell you more about that nearer the time.

On the Sunday we’re off to our second home: Newport, South Wales, to play at our favourite venue Le Pub. Sam, the woman in charge of the place, has been tireless in her commitment to WSO, and Le Pub is hosting an entire weekend of stuff. We’re slotting into the final bit, warming the crowd up for local heroes, and very old friends of Thee Faction, The Darling Buds. Also on are the Burning Ferns and Helen Love. Again, an amazing night. If you’re local to Newport, get down there for as much of the weekend as you can.

In its own way the We Shall Overcome weekend will be one of the most important cultural events of 2015. Austerity can only be countered en masse, with huge gestures of solidarity. We have to be seen to have numbers. So do your bit. Get to as many events as you can. And, if you’re near ours, get to ours. We’d love to see you.

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New LP out now. Reading Writing Revolution

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Reading Writing Revolution £7

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Reading Writing Revolution & Good Politics £10

 [if these links don’t work it might be because you’ve come to this page via theefaction.org Come back to this page via this link and all should be well]

Although samizdat copies have been doing the rounds for a few weeks, our new LP Reading Writing Revolution is finally officially released. Soviet Beret will be doing their own thing, of course, but as always you can buy it direct from us. Seven pounds (including P&P). Wherever you are.  A tenner gets you the new one and the last one (Good Politics). Everything else is out of print and available to download on our Bandcamp page. In-keeping with our normal rules, no one gets to buy a download of Reading Writing Revolution or Good Politics until the CDs are sold out. Which usually takes a couple of years. So buy the CD and rip it. if you really don’t want to own a CD, pass it on to someone else (whether a comrade, or someone whose mind needs changing).

Every order gets an “I Did Not Vote Tory” badge (and if you order the Three Rs/Good Politics bundle you’ll get an extra Thee Faction badge of some kind too). While stocks last.

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If you need persuading to buy it, read on (there’ll be videos and persuasive words and whathaveyou). But if you clearly need this immediately order here:

Reading Writing Revolution – £7.00

Reading Writing Revolution & Good Politics: £10.00

 [if these links don’t work it might be because you’ve come to this page via theefaction.org Come back to this page via this link and all should be well]

Things you need to know:

  • It’s got a lovely sleeve, designed by Comrade ‘Cils, which looks a little bit like the classic Soviet poster “Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth”. So we are marking this coincidence by calling ours “Comrade Baby Face Cleanses the Earth of Filth”. Here’s the Lenin one that it looks a bit like.

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  • It was recorded by Der Hammer. At Keith Topovic’s place.

  • We recorded almost all of it live. In a big room. So it is our most ‘live’ feeling record since At Ebbw Vale. People often tell us that our records don’t quite do justice to the Thee Faction live experience. This once gets closer.

  • It’s got 11 Socialist RnB bastillestormers on there. Want the list? Choose Your Enemy/(You’ve Got The) Numbers(Why Don’t You Use It?)/The Three Rs/Rent Strike/Bastards/Socialism: Utopian and Scientific/Police State/(Get It Out) Of Your System/Strictly Come Marching/Equality/Bubble Club.

  • It is subtitled ‘The Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall’. The old Marxist chestnut. But you know what? Current thinking is that it really is in decline.

  • It contains this remarkable single:

  • And this one too:

  • And if you’re coming to see us at Glastonbury you’ll need to be able to singalong. We’ll do lots off these two albumsLeft_Field_2015_Lineupa