ddr of r’n’b

It is impossible that you have anything better to do than attend the DDRofRnB tonight

Drop whatever else you might be intending to do tonight, and come to the Half Moon, Putney, for the DDRofRnB.

Opening the show will be Shocks of Mighty. They play blistering punk rock, and are proper solid comrades. Get there early and make sure you see them.

Next up will be Attila the Stockbroker. He’s a legend, and needs no introduction. We can’t believe we have the opportunity to play with him. He’s also invited us to play Glastonwick in 2013, and tonight might feel a bit like an audition for that. The best news is that we will be backing him on two songs. So make sure you take photos and video of those moments. We’ll never forgive you if you don’t.

Then we’re on. Well, we’re on after Attila cos he needs to get the train back to Sussex, and the comrades in the RMT haven’t managed to lay on a special train. We’re launching the new album. We’re kicking off with a brand new song that’s on the next blimmin’ album. That’s how prolific we are. We’re going to do a Greatest Hits set, with favourites from the first two albums and the ones the radio has been playing from the new one.

But, as you know, the point of the DDRofRnB is not who is playing. The point is to change the world. Our club is unique in its comradely atmosphere and political determination, in its larks and laughs and its solidarity and socialism. That’s why people keep coming back. Billy Brentford will be compering. Baby Face will be on polemic. And the bands will be on fire.

See you at the Half Moon, comrade. Wear your best clothes. Scruffiness is bourgeois. Liberal individualism at its worst. Dress for the class.

Don’t Forget What The Movement’s Done For You

It’s always tempting, on May 1st, to tell, yet again, the story of the Haymarket Massacre, the Second International’s commemoration of those events, the May Day riots, the Amsterdam conference, and the fight for the eight hour day. Trouble is, you all know this stuff, and yet lots of you will have forgotten what links you to those workers in Chicago. Their struggle is our struggle: it’s the same struggle. Now, some will tell you that nothing’s changed. Well, that’s not true. Most of you will benefit from limited working hours, sick pay, health and safety legislation, weekends, national holidays, trade union recognition, minimum wage, unfair dismissal legislation and so on. It’s miles from perfect. But it’s progress, and none of us would want to turn the clock back.

None of this was given to us, brothers and sisters. We fought for every single bit of what we now have. And those that pioneered the struggle got the least out of it, and suffered the most pain.

So let’s remember them today, on May 1st, while celebrating what we now have. And let’s concentrate on following those long gone comrades’ example and fighting hard and uncompromisingly for everything else that we deserve.

There’s a song on our new album called Don’t Forget What The Movement’s Done For You. If you come and see us at the DDRofRnB on June 7th or at Marxism 2012 you’ll probably hear it. If you come to see us at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival you will definitely hear it. Until then, here are the lyrics, to celebrate this great day, and those that fought hard to get us where we are. Don’t stop fighting.

Don’t forget what the movement’s done for you baby

Don’t forget what the movement’s done for you

Without the Tolpuddle boys and the match-fact’ry girls

You’d have a diffident voice in a different world

Trim the advantage, don’t feel abandoned

Remember your Grandad, don’t take us for granted!

Don’t be a dot in the city

When it’s hot in the city

We’re what you got in the city tonight

We’re a lot in the city

Don’t you rot in the city

We ain’t gonna give up the fight

Your bank holidays, the 1st day of May

Half Saturdays and the minimum wage

Comradely salutations this May Day, brothers and sisters. We can see a much better tomorrow on the horizon.

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:


Introducing: Thee Faction’s New Line Up


We’ve been hinting at it for a while now. But here’s the first photographic evidence of the new line-up.

The first question you’ll have, comrade, is “Where in the name of Engels’ dancing arse is Horace Hardman?”. The answer is, we’re afraid, “abroad”. We are international socialists, as you know. We think locally, but act globally, and Horace Hardman has been summoned to the other side of the world to further the struggle. It’s not the first time we’ve been separated, of course. But it’s the first time we’ve continued to perform as Thee Faction without one of the founder members. It’s a painful business. But, as we’ve always said, to get sentimental about individual members is just bourgeois liberal individualism. So we’re not going to. Besides, no one leaves the Guild, unless politics tears us apart.  Horace Hardman is just not playing with us these days, cos he’s on the other side of the world. We miss him, but the struggle continues.


But it’s not just Horace’s absence you’re noticing. Thee Faction are a nine-piece. Of course, our full title these days is: Thee Faction, permanently featuring Brass Kapital. We are two bands, who have become one. Brass Kapital, our all-woman horn section, are now fully merged with Thee Faction, under one name. And under one fist.


Let’s introduce you to the line-up in full. We’ll go for reverse alphabetical order, to show no favour :

Red Scare

Here’s Red Scare. She plays trumpet. It was Red Scare who negotiated the merger of Thee Faction and Brass Kapital. She has the negotiating skills of Bob Crow. Tovarisch Trumpet is the glue which holds the two bands under the one fist.


This is Nylons. Nylons rocks. There has always been a NWOBHM element to Thee Faction. It’s called Nylons.

Nineteen Nineteen

Nineteen Nineteen. Blows the ‘bone. And fights for freedom. She has an analysis.

Kassandra Krossing

Kassandra Krossing. Vocals and keyboards. Led the Thee Faction delegation at the Brass Kapital/Thee Faction merger negotiations. If Red Scare is Bob Crow, Kassandra Krossing is Mark Serwotka. But less Welsh. And more socialist. With a better voice.

The G.A.

The G.A.: Socialism will be efficient. In a capitalist society The G.A.’s skills would be described as ‘entrepreneurial’. Under socialism they’ll be described as ‘the source of progress’. We value the latter. But not as much as we value the unsettlingly socialist sax The G.A. blows.

Dai Nasty

Dai Nasty. Dai Nasty is a machine. Drummer and sociologist. The conscience of the group, and the moral bedrock upon which we are built.

Citizen Smith

Citizen Smith. Plays bass. Provides the bridge between the classical Marxism of Brentford and Baby Face and the contemporary world. Keeps the Guild focused on what matters in the here and now. Activist, theorist and repository of knowledge. The word Praxis could have been invented for The Citizen.

Billy Brentford

Billy Brentford. Singer. Performer. Dancer. Wordsmith. When Lenin led the revolution in Russia there’s no way he did it without a love of 1970s disco and the wardrobe of Lee Brilleaux. Billy knows this truth, and lives by the rules which naturally follow it.

Baby Face

Baby Face. Recruited for his good looks and encyclopaedic knowledge of Western Marxism. Plays guitar a bit, and rants a lot. When people shout ‘more music, less talking’, they’re shouting it at him. They’re wrong.

That’s the new line-up. Nine revolutionary socialists. Imbued with a vision of a better tomorrow.

You’ll be anxious to see the full nine-piece line-up in action, presumably. Then get yourselves down to the DDRofRnB at the Half Moon, Putney on 16th February. Order tickets in advance and they are much, much cheaper. 7 quid. See you there.

Photos by Comrade Boot. He’s brilliant. Book him for whatever photo shoot you need. The non-bourgeois photographer. 100% approved by Thee Faction.


You want to see Thee Faction with Brass Kapital? Here they are…

Here it is. The first official photo (courtesy of Comrade MKS) of Thee Faction with the Brass Kapital horns, live in action at the DDR of RnB last week. Much has been written of how momentous it all was. So we will say no more.

Have we, however, mentioned that we are playing in Hackney for free this weekend? Friday 4th November, at Core Arts, Homerton. Opens at 17.30, music starts at 20.00, we’re on at 22.00. It really is free, with good drinks prices and the ultimate in comradely spirit. This is going to feel like things should feel. Come and join us for it. Promoting positive mental health in East London. Can you, hand on heart, claim to be doing something better this Friday? Thought not. So we’ll see you there.


Putney or Hackney? We play both in the next fortnight.

In the next two weeks you can choose which London-suburb-with-excellent-socialist-pedigree you see Thee Faction in. Or, if you’ve got any sense, you’ll come to both.

First up is the next DDR of RnB at the Half Moon in Putney. This one’s going to be a bit special. Country Dirt are kicking the evening off, possibly including a Thee Faction cover in their repertoire. Then we’re on. We’ll be debuting our new brass section: Brass Kapital. You really don’t want to miss this new-look-nine-piece-Thee-Faction. Then, once we’re done, Andy Lewis (he of Paul Weller’s band, and Spearmint) will be joined by his all-star collective to knock out some top class acid jazz. This is likely to be the best DDR of RnB yet. Get there early – we’re squeezing three bands in.



Then, the following week, we are off to Hackney. We’re playing at Core Arts, a brilliant project which promotes positive mental health. It’s free to get in, and we’re really looking forward to it. Come down.


Introducing: Brass Kapital

There are loads of brilliant reasons to be coming along to our next gig at the DDR of RnB at the Half Moon in Putney on the 27th of October

  • We’ll be playing with the hugely talented Andy Lewis and his band of luminaries.
  • We’ll also be joined by rebel rousers Country Dirt, lead by the inimitable Marianne Hyatt.
  • We’ll be joined onstage by a roof-blowing all-woman three-piece horn section, known as BRASS KAPITAL!

Not heard of Brass Kapital? Unsurprising. These brassy female comrades are new to the world of Socialist RnB, having learned to play their instruments from scratch, bound by their collective conscience to help the Revolution. Practising day and night, breaking only to sleep an hour at a time, and to drink more vodka, the trio have reached a harmonious synchronicity seldom seen in the Western world, and a visceral heft only ever seen on the left.

They rock. Here’s the line up:

Emma – SaxEmma

Originally from Bedford, Emma enjoys reading, writing, and leading zombie apocalypses (and revolutions) through the medium of sax.

Mel – Trumpet

South-Londoner Mel is an administrative worker by day, and by night fights against mediocre music (and capitalism) with her mighty trumpet.

Lucy – Trombone

A mysterious female tromboner from North London, legend has it that she only ever leaves the house after dark, in order to secure further vodka supplies for the collective.

Don’t miss out on the debut of these brassy revolutionaries. Register your attendance here! >> https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=236108546424637

Thee Faction: the band that got Lenin into the Epsom Guardian

OK comrades, the Epsom Guardian ain’t Iskra. But nonetheless, Comrade Simon Fitzjohn has written a splendid piece in Surrey’s finest local paper on the launch of our new club night – the DDR of R&B, which kicks off on Friday 21st January at the Half Moon in Putney (tickets here). What’s more, he’s chucked in a great big portrait of VI Lenin (the 87th anniversary of whose death the launch of the club coincides with). That’ll get the bourgeois burghers of Epsom choking on their Golden Grahams.

Why has the comrade seen fit to publicise us like this? Some might suspect that it’s because we are from Reigate, but a stone’s throw from Epsom. But we prefer to believe that Comrade Fitzjohn is doing his bit for the Gramscian war of position. On your side, comrade. Once the working class have Epsom’s press, it’s only a matter of time before Wapping is ours.


Quick update on stuff

Quick bulletin on what’s been going on:

  • How is the ‘new politics’ working out for you? If you voted liberal, we hope this new way of doing politics that Clegg banged on about is pretty much what you feel you signed up to. We were told we were old fashioned during the election, and that what everyone wanted was a new way of doing things, beyond the old labels and battle lines. It now seems we’re cutting edge, and class war is back in fashion. Didn’t take long. So: are you part of the problem or part of the solution? And which do you perceive Clegg and his gang to be? There’s a clue here, where a Liberal MP decides to lay into a constituent for no apparent reason. Apparently questioning the Royal Wedding being part-funded from the public purse is an inappropriate thing to take up with a government MP. Arrogance of power kicks into action quickly, doesn’t it.
  • Did you see the interview with Comrade Bob Crow in the Guardian? It’s solid gold. Best bit? The interviewer sneering at Crow’s definition of class: Crow calls himself a Marxist, and as such is typically maddening. A lot of what he says makes sense – but then he goes and spoils it by saying something that bears almost no resemblance to reality. His commitment to the working class is passionate, but when I ask him to define the working class, he says, “Those who have to go to work and sell their labour to their employer,” which would apply to practically everyone, including multi-millionaire bankers. Why can’t liberal see beyond the narrow confines of liberalism? It’s boring, and much of the space given to the Crow interview is wasted on bourgeois concerns that are of no interest to Crow, or us. You need to read it, though. The interviewer, the always awful Decca Aitkenhead, seems to be labouring under the impression that Crow ought to have some kind of responsibility to TfL’s customers. Again, weird liberal preoccupations that bear no resemblence to the real world. Aitkenhead is now very firmly on Thee Faction’s list.
  • You might also have missed the news that Britain is now ‘more Thatcherite than in the 80s’. It’s a crap headline, and entirely false. The survey they refer to actually shows that we have no faith in capitalism’s flagship institutions – the banks – and have higher faith than ever in trade unions. But the bourgeois press report it their way, as you might expect.

Antidotes to the above:

  • Come and watch us sing and play. Saturday 18th December we’re playing at the Garage. It’s an Uncle Bob’s Wedding Reception reunion. Should be brilliant. We’ll be playing new songs – the sountrack to the fightback. Come along, listen, and dance. £6 in advance, £8 on the night. Wear your best clothes, as always. Scruffiness is bourgeois.


  • Buy our record. At Ebbw Vale is still available. £8.50 gets you a CD, a free slab of 12″ vinyl, and a badge. If things are getting you down. this record is going to make you feel a whole lot better.


  • Seek out a book called GDH Cole and Socialist Democracy by AW Wright. It’s great stuff. As you know, we can’t get enough of GDH Cole – the sensible extremist, as he tagged himself – and this book is amongst the best we’ve found on him. Might be tough to find, but we got ours from our very favourite left-wing second-hand bookseller: Left on the Shelf. We’ve been buying books from the comrades at Left on the Shelf since it was just an occasional, mailed-out, photocopied list of books. But now they’re online and full of treasures. Check out the ephemera section – if anyone wants to know what to get members of Thee Faction for xmas, we would all love some of those old posters and badges. But we digress – the point is the AW Wright book on GDH Cole. It’s great stuff, and you need to read it.


  • Spend the xmas period gathering together a huge gang of people to bring to our new club: the DDR of RnB at the Half Moon in Putney on 21st January. Treat it as a massive gathering of the clans. Imagine a room full of socialists, all dancing and drinking and celebrating, with Thee Faction on stage, and DJs of the calibre of Billy Reeves on the turntables. An unmissable treat.

That should do you for the moment. See you all on Saturday at the Garage. It’s going to be fantastic.