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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

THE REDSKINS - The Power is Yours (Live in 1985)

There are some that say music and politics shouldn’t mix; Bollocks to that. From Elvis to Crass, music is revolution and there are many soundtracks, but none so pure as The Redskins. They were influenced as much by Motown as they were by The Clash, this was soul power, music to dance to while smashing the system. Not that The Redskins wanted to smash it, they were fully paid up members of the Socialist Workers Party, back in the day when Socialism didn’t mean supping from a champagne glass and toasting the strength of the pound. Their debut album Neither Washington Nor Moscow was like listening to The Communist Manifesto, a call to arms, a call to get organised, to kick over the statues, to make it work, to turn loose furious flames, to hold on and don’t run away, to take no heroes and to KEEP ON KEEPING ON! Recorded at various gigs during 1985 on The Kick Over Apartheid Tour, it’s essential listening for any politically minded music lovers and harks back to the days when people took a stand against the government, it was the era of the benefit gig; Ken Livingstone’s GLC ran London, to some they were the ‘Looney left’ to others they were ‘Socialist saviours’ they certainly liked to put on one day music festivals. My only encounter with The Redskins was at one of these events on London’s South Bank when the band took a load of stick from right wing skinheads, scary stuff. It wouldn’t be long before Thatcher gave the miners a kick in and destroyed the unions, who didn’t figure in her new world order. If they had of done then we wouldn’t be living in the shit we are today were no one takes a stand and were social solidarity is decaying like the corpse of Elvis. You know what to do….CLICK!


Chris Ripple said...

There are definitely some who say music and politics shouldn't mix, but be thankful Plato (an old Greek bloke who lived before Blair and Thatcher) didn't.
I think it was him who coined the phrase (Or something very like it and I'm paraphrasing)
'When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake...'
I wonder if any of those who would like to keep politics out of music would care to comment on what he was on about, bearing in mind he lived about 3000 years ago...
Personally, I think he was on the right track with this one.
Nice track, I'd forgotten it. My apologies, and thanx for bringing it back.

cat said...

Ah yes the redskins brilliant band saw them at watford trade union hall with billy bragg then a few weeks later supporting the clash at the brixton academy, i even phoned the offices of nme where chris ( x moore)worked using the lame excuse that i was enquiring about the newly released single lev bronstein \peasent army just to chat to the fella, thanks for bringing back the old memories nuzz there's a lump in the throat and a tear in the eye. times used to be good in england and i do miss em, peace and love

cat said...

Heard about the south bank gig from many others and it's reached near legenderay status, alot of fighting between skins and left wingers and general fans, no doubt it would have been scary there was some very naughty people about at the time, i remember going past the last resort shop in brick lane once and being very afraid of the general vibe there and that was amidst a heavy bengali population going about there buisness in the market.

Nuzz Prowlin' Wolf said...

There always seemed to be a lot of tension in the air at gigs in the 80's from my memories. Once went into the last resort shop in Carnaby street, I think they had one their, either way it was a 'skinhead stockist shop' to buy a black and white polka dot shirt. Only place I could find one. That was an experience, nice shirt, bit small, should have tried it on, but felt I'd out stayed my welcome. Cheers once again cat.

Anonymous said...

Ah, what memories, The first band i ever went to see live at a miners benefit in corby 1985. lots of right wing skins turned up and smashed the shite out of the venue! scared my 15 yeasr old wimpy left wing ass!!But, it hardened me up for a life of sabbing and demo`s.