Author: Thee Faction

Thee Faction - blistering, visceral socialist R&B with an explicit political agenda. Formed in Reigate in the late 70s by four schoolmates (Billy Brentford, The Hard Man, Nylons and Dai Nasty), and subsequently joined in the early 80s by Dai's cousin from Wales, teenage runaway Baby Face. Thee Faction eschewed the traditional routes to musical fame and fortune, refusing to play gigs in the usual venues or talk to the music press. Instead they built up a massive following by playing squat gigs and benefits. Devoting as much time to political activity and propaganda as to their music, they were open in their pursuit of global revolution through the medium of music. Thee Faction believed in the redemptive power of rock'n'roll, but understood that it could not, in itself, effect change. So they used their unique brand of Socialist R&B to re-engineer false consciousness, to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies, and to exhort the workers of the world to unite and throw off their chains. The songs themselves spoke for themselves, as a manifesto for change and as a critique of capitalism. But in case anyone was in any doubt of the message, it was rammed home between songs by Baby Face, who would launch into vitriolic polemic that would often go on longer than the songs themselves. At their peak, during the miners' strike, Thee Faction were attracting two to three thousand people to gigs in reclaimed halls and other unorthodox venues. But they refused ever to release records through corporate labels or give interviews to any publications owned by private shareholders. Yet the word spread, and in any list of the most influential people on the left in Britain between 1981 and 1985, Thee Faction always appeared in the top five, often above union leaders, politicians and opinion formers. In 1985, at the peak of their influence in Britain, the left was in tatters, and Thee Faction were seen by many as the last hope in the vacuum of working class leadership. And just at the moment that everyone expected them to step up and lead from the vanguard, they announced that they were off to tour on the other side of the 'Iron Curtain'. That May they set off on a tour, starting in Poland and culminating in the USSR. And they were never seen again in the UK. No one knew why Thee Faction never returned. There were rumours of them acting as a conduit between the left opposition in the East and the left in the UK. Others simply assumed they had defected. Those who kept track of them in the East realised that the band never stopped moving. They performed hundreds of shows throughout the Eastern Bloc, and by the time of the fall of Stalinism they just kept moving, to each state that still professed allegiance to actually existing socialism. In Yugoslavia, at the turn of the 90s, Thee Faction suddenly became a 7-piece. The tight knit street-gang of revolutionaries, who had never let anyone come within yards of them since their inception, had recruited two new members. Billy Brentford and Baby Face were working on pirate radio in Belgrade when they found two singers who shared Thee Faction's unique commitment not just to Marxism-Leninism but also to socialist R&B. Krystina-Prystina Engels and Kassandra Krossing immediately became full members of the band, and added a soulful, but aggressive approach to backing vocals whih added a new edge to Thee Faction's sound. Thee Faction continued to tour Moldova, Transnistria and beyond, but eventually returned to Britain, devoting themselves purely to political activity. But in early 2010 rumours began to circulate that they were going to perform again, for the first time since their legendary show in Ebbw Vale 25 years earlier. Thee Faction's story is not over.

Festive Factional Action

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As many of you know, Billy Brentford is having his body rebuilt by the NHS at the moment, and all Factional activity is on hold until December. But he has pledged to take the stage at this gig whatever shape he’s in. Because it’s Gracemas in London on 9th December! At Nambucca. Best gig of the year. And we’re playing with the frankly astonishing Dream Nails: none more militant; none more punk. And Grace has got the full band out. And they’ll be in Xmas sweaters. It’s all going to be tremendous. We did this gig last year when it was just us and Grace and it sold out. Chuck Dream Nails into the mix and it’s a certain sell-out. Buy your tickets right now.

Not heard any of these bands? Check ’em out below. Particularly Dream Nails. Buy Dream Nails.

 

 

Next gig: 2nd April, 100 Club, with The Darling Buds

Darling Buds flyer

Our next gig – which is also our first of 2016! – will be 2nd April at The 100 Club, supporting our comrades The Darling Buds, who are celebrating their 30th Anniversary by playing ‘Pop Said’ in full (is this a first?) as well as other classics.

Also on the bill are Brighton C86 band The Popguns.

We can’t wait to be back on the stage. See you down the front.

Tickets and info here.

 

 

 

Our next gig: SCROOGEONOMICS

Scroogeonomics flyerNext Thee Faction show in London is Scroogeonomics at Rich Mix. (£10 – get your ticket in advance. It will sell out)

Scroogeonomics is a Seasonal Night Out Against Austerity mixing comedy, live music, poetry, ideas and photography to rewrite Dickens’ story of Scrooge for the twenty first century.

Bridget Christie headlines the evening with her riotously funny comedy and an exclusive in-conversation with Guardian columnist Zoe Wiliams.

Salena Godden is one of the stars of both the spoken-word circuit and summer festivals from Lovebox to Edinburgh. Prepare to be entertained and challenged in equal measure.

Providing the musical soundtrack to a night of spirits past, present and future Thee Faction play the kind of anthems to dance, or march to. We close the night with the unstoppable beat of 9-piece South Coast Ska legends, The Meow Meows.

A unique night out also featuring an ideas roundtable with the renowned writer on inequality Danny Dorling joined by Marina Prentoulis of Syriza, Sirio Canos of Podemos and Shelly Asquith one of the leading figures in this year’s victorious Corbyn4Leader campaign.

Original poetry, by Matt Abbott and music, from Nia, has been specially commissioned to open the show with new versions of A Christmas Carol. While on the decks Melstars provides an upbeat indie DJ set for musical nostalgists, young and old.

Scroogeonomics is presented by Philosophy Football in association with the RMT trade union, supported by the firefighters’ FBU and in partnership with the Peoples’ Assembly Against Austerity. A night out with a difference and to make a difference all ticket holders are asked to bring a non-perishable donation to the Tower Hamlets Food Bank. Humbug? Bah!

Next gig: 29 Nov – LONDONWICK

Our next gig is punker than punk – an all-dayer curated by Attila the Stockbroker himself. Look at this for a line-up!

Londonwick
3-30-4pm: JANINE BOOTH
she was a good ranting poet 30 years ago…now she’s FANTASTIC

4.15 – 5pm: BARNSTORMER
Attila the Stockbroker with his ‘renaissancecore’ band – medieval music meets punk

5.15 – 6pm THE PIRANHAS
Brighton’s legendary pioneering punks

6.15 – 6.30 pm
The WORLD PREMIERE of Farouq Suleiman’s short documentary film about Attila the Stockbroker’s 35 years as a ranting rebel poet

6.30 – 7.00pm ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER
With poems and excerpts from his autobiography ‘Arguments Yard’

7.15 – 8.00pm THE TUTS
Brill new all-woman punk band from West London

8.15 – 9.00pm TV SMITH
once simply an Advert, now an entire and magnificent songwriting industry

9.15 – 10.00pm
THEE FACTION
Described by Attila as “The Feelgoods meet The Redskins at a beer festival in Highgate Cemetery”

‘Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people’ (Adrian Mitchell) ‘Mine doesn’t!’ (Attila the Stockbroker)

Join us for an afternoon and evening of punk poetry and live music curated, hosted and headlined by Attila the Stockbroker who will also be reading from his new autobiography Arguments Yard.

£10 ADV | Doors 3pm

Coming to a town near you

If you live in either Leeds or London, we are coming to a town near you soon!

Our next show is 7 November at Wharf Chambers, with our staunchies Interrobang.


Can’t get to Leeds? Tell your comrades who can.

Then on 29 November we join a line-up of punk royalty for Attila the Stockbroker’s Londonwick, in New Cross.

Londonwick

Then our final show of the year is Scroogenomics on 19 December at Rich Mix, with a Philosophy Football Christmas spectacular. Get your tickets in early – these shows always sell out.

Scroogeonomics flyer

RALLY AND FUNDRAISER – feat. JEREMY CORBYN, Thee Faction, Owen Jones, Robb Johnson, Phyll Opoku, Janine Booth

21st August – come and hear Jeremy Corbyn speak in the run up to the Labour leadership election, at the beautiful venue of Islington’s Union Chapel .

Thee Faction are hosting this fundraising event, and all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Corbyn’s campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech will be, of course, the pinacle of the evening. Before that, you can enjoy music and speech from:

Tickets for the event are only available in advance, through this Eventbrite link. The event is likely to sell out, so don’t wait before securing your tickets.

If you’re unable to come to the event yourself, show solidarity with Corbyn’s campaign and help support this important fundraising event by sharing this blog, and the Facebook event.

flierhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/rally-and-fundraiser-feat-jeremy-corbyn-thee-faction-owen-jones-robb-johnson-phyll-opoku-janine-tickets-18069810289

Book Your Tickets for a Jeremy Corbyn Campaign Fundraiser at Union Chapel

https://www.facebook.com/events/391583374377373/419880281547682/

WE SHALL OVERCOME – 2 October, Nambucca

We’re very proud to be taking part in the We Shall Overcome weekend.

All over the UK (and beyond) people are showing solidarity with those at the sharp end of the austerity cuts by putting on a series of live events. Money will be raised for charities, and donations will be given to food banks. But most importantly, we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder and send a message to those who would seek to oppress the most vulnerable in our society that we shall overcome.

On Friday 2nd October we will be playing at Nambucca on Holloway Road, alongside our staunchies Interrobang, and other special guests TBA. It will be a night to remember – register your attendance here.

https://www.facebook.com/events/391583374377373/419880281547682/

Chumbawamba to Interrofaction?!

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There are just a few days left for our staunch comrade Dunstan Bruce to reach his Kickstarter target so he can get on with making what we know will be a flipping excellent film, revealing the true story behind Chumbawamba, “from DIY squat gigs to Madison Square Gardens, and back again”.

This film must get made – get involved and chip in what you can, here!

Thee Faction and Dunstan Bruce’s new band, Interrobang?!, are teaming up for an awesome autumn tour. Dates now confirmed include:

2 October – The Pipeline, London

7 November – Wharf Chambers, Leeds

***** WATCH THIS SPACE TOO FOR EXCLUSIVE NEWS OF AN INTERROFACTION?! COLLABORATION SINGLE?!?! *****

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