colour me wednesday

Wear Your Colours For Emily’s Centenary

Continental Grey Dare on White
Incoming dispatch from the comrades at Philosophy Football. Thee Faction commend this piece to you all. See that T-shirt above, and the others below?  They could be yours. Read on…
One hundred years ago the Epsom Derby was disrupted by perhaps the most famous protest at a sporting event in history.
Britain at the time was bitterly divided. The early Trade Unions and others were striking against poverty wages and appalling working conditions. The cause of Ireland’s Freedom was attracting support on both sides of the Irish Sea. And from the Suffragettes came a massive wave of non-violent direct action.
For these Suffragettes the Derby was absolutely a legitimate target for their protest. Horse-racing was the sport of the Establishment. Epsom was a day out to celebrate tradition, one that denied women the vote. The King and Queen would be in attendance to watch the their own horse race for glory.
When Emily Wilding Davison ran on to the racecourse a century ago she hoped to stop the race and ensure that women’s voices be heard.  When the horse at full speed collided with her, the chances of survival were virtually non-existent. She never regained consciousness and four days later she lost her battle to live.
Emily’s heroic, yet fatal, action formed part of a protest movement that involved many thousands more women.  From smashing every shop window in London’s West End to blowing up post boxes, via disrupting Parliament’s proceedings and heckling MPs at public meetings, this was a campaign few could ignore. So when they couldn’t ignore them, they imprisoned them, and when the demand by the women that they be treated as political prisoners was also ignored the Suffragettes responded by going on hunger strike. Again their punishment was more repression, brutalised by force-feeding. But these ferociously brave women still refused to abandon their cause.
The Suffragettes were not fighting for the vote alone, but for women’s liberation too. Most saw the vote as one step towards getting what they wanted. The Suffragette movement was large and strong, yet at the same time complex and multifaceted, combining those for whom hope lay in constitutional reform with others who believed in the vocabulary of revolution. Whatever their differing objectives, the result of the campaign was the loosening of the ideological hold of men over women. Women gained a real sense of their equality, and began to establish a determination to put it into practice. By their actions and protests , as well as their ideas and arguments, the Suffragettes liberated themselves and all their sisters too.
In 1918 the Representation of the People Act finally awarded women the vote, but only for those over 30 years  of age. In 1928, fifteen years after Emily gave her life for the cause, women’s parity in the vote was finally recognised when the voting age for women was reduced to 21 years, the same as for men.
Philosophy Football have produced a set of commemorative designs featuring the colours purple, green and white. These were hugely symbolic for the Suffragette cause. Purple was for dignity, white for purity and green for hope. Militant, committed to direct action, courageous and in the end victorious too.  Deeds not Words and Dare to be Free were the twin ideals, worn as brooches, on sashes, carried as banners, that shaped the Suffragette movement.  A century later we can wear them again, as T-shirts. All designs available from Philosophy Football.
 The shirts are in support of the  Emily Wilding Davison Centenary Campaign. Thee Faction urge you to get hold of these shirts and commemorate the struggle. There is still a long way to go.
To celebrate International Women’s Day this Friday 8th March, can we suggest you go and see our great friends and comrades Colour Me Wednesday and The Tuts play at the Gunners Pub, N5.
Continental Roundel set separate

Marx would want you to attend this gig tonight.

Of course he would. Josie Long (on at 8.30), Colour me Wednesday, Hatty Ashdown, Thee Faction. All at the Half Moon. DDRofRnB. Get there early. Wear brilliant clothes. And it’s Billy Brentford’s birthday. Don’t give him anything less than a full house.

If you go to one gig this week…

…go to this one. You get Thee Faction, Colour Me Wednesday and special appearances from Josie Long and Clencha. It’s Billy Brentford’s birthday, It’s going to be all warm and fun and comradely. Come the Great Day all social events will be like this one. Thursday night is a taster.

Look! The comrades at thegirlsare know a gig of the week when they see one. Take their recommendation. Come to this. And order your tickets in advance, cos it’s cheaper and more efficient.

Nylons says you’re coming to the DDRofRnB

Cos it’s your duty to the cause, the class and the revolution. So that’s settled. You’re coming. Need more convincing than a threatening pose from Nylons? Crikey. You’re made of stern stuff. Then you’ll need to read this. It’ll take 5 minutes. And then you’ll come. Here’s the details. Order tickets in advance. More efficient.


We’ll be playing this, of course:



and this



and we’ll all be hoping that Colour Me Wednesday (on first) will be playing this

Undecided? Commit to a night of Socialist RnB.

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 support bands with songs called ‘Purge Your Inner Tory’? 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.

Next DDR of R’n’B: June 7th. Half Moon, Putney. Thee Faction with Colour Me Wednesday

Comrades. We have a new favourite band. Or a new favourite new band. They’re called Colour Me Wednesday. We like them so much we have invited them to join us at the DDRofRnB in June. It’s a very special DDRofRnB coinciding, as it does, with Billy Brentford’s non-bourgeois birthday. There will be special guests. But none as special as Colour Me Wednesday. You haven’t heard them? Then press play on their ‘Purge Your Inner Tory’:

Colour Me Wednesday are a force for good. Come and support them at the DDRofRnB. June 7th. Thee Faction are on too, of course. We’ll be playing lots of new songs from the new album. It’s not entirely impossible that copies of the album will be available. But it’s unlikely. It depends whether we can, yet again, demonstrate the efficiency of socialism in the face of slow motion, wasteful capitalism. Let’s see.

Get your tickets in advance. It’s cheaper and more efficient.

We’ll be playing this, of course: