AGIT DISCO 4 by Martin Dixon

AGIT DISCO 4 by Martin Dixon

1 School’s Out – Alice Cooper – 1972

When I first heard this awash with static on Radio Luxembourg back in 1972 I just couldn’t believe it. Soon we were all singing along with glee.
“Schools’ been blown to pieces…”

2 Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt – 1982

Set in the build up to the Falklands war it’s hard to choose between Elvis Costello’s version and Robert Wyatt’s. Costello’s has a beautiful trumpet solo by Chet Baker but Wyatt’s voice really gets to the poignancy of the lyrics.
‘Diving for dear life, when we could be diving for pearls”

3 Zombie –  Fela Kuti – 1977

I love the way Fela sets up a groove and then digs in deep for three minutes before even starting to sing. An outspoken critic of the Nigerian military and government.

4 What keeps mankind alive? – The Happy End – 1990

A big band inspired by Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, a favourite place to see the Happy End perform was at the White Horse in Brixton, always an uplifting experience both musically and politically.

5 Machine Gun –  Jimi Hendrix – 1970

Hendrix at his finest on this protest song at the Vietnam war from the Band of Gypsys live recordings (recorded on hand held portable B&W video recorder) at the Filmore East in 1969.
“Evil man make me kill you – Evil man make you kill me – Even though we’re only families apart”

6 Clandestino –  Manu Chao – 1998

I like Manu Chao’s music. It makes me happy.

7 The Band Played Waltzing Matilda – The Pogues – 1985

Written by Eric Bogle this version is from the album Rum, Sodomy And The Lash.
A powerful anti war song made all the more poignant by Shane MacGowans’s raw vocals. Alec Campbell, the last known survivor of the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli (and the last known survivor of Gallipoli) died on Thursday, May 16, 2002 at the age of 103. Mr Campbell enlisted at 16, and served at Gallipoli in 1915. He led Hobart’s ANZAC Day parade three weeks prior to his death.
“But year after year their numbers get fewer
Someday no one will march there at all”

8 Stand up for Judas – Dick Gaughan – 1983

Written by Leon Rosselson I once made my mum and dad, both Methodists,  listen to this thinking it might change their minds.
“So stand up, stand up for Judas
And the cause that Judas served
It was Jesus who betrayed the poor with his word”

9 Ku Klux Klan – Steel Pulse – 1984

I first heard Steel Pulse at Rock against Racism gigs and then later on the college circuit. We used to warily wear yellow Anti Nazi League badges and shout at the protests against Tyndall and the National Front.
“Walking along just kicking stones
minding my own business
I come face to face, with my foe
disguised In violence from head to toe”

10 Tension Town – Radical Dance Faction – 1991

From the 1991 album Wasteland. Founded by Chris Bowsher with their dark dub and spoken vocals they became the sound of Elephant and Castle if not of south London. We (the Proles) shared Wango Rileys travelling stage with them at Fordham Park festival and later at the Archduke Charles. It was the only time we got a decent rider – a case of beer.

11 F.T.R.T.V. – The Twenty Fifth of May – 1992

Fuck The Right To Vote. From the 1992 album Lenin and McCarthy. But who were they? I’ve got no idea except I reckon the SWP featured in there somehow.

12 Career Opportunities – The Clash – 1980

Originally recorded on their first album, this version with vocal track by the keyboard players very young sons is from Sandista!

“Do you want to make tea at the BBC
Do you want to be, do you really want to be a cop”

13 Animals – The 1926 Committee – 1996

Steve Cope and the 1926 Committee arose from the ashes of The Proles. I used to play trumpet with them on this one song. Invariably the last song of the set I remember getting on stage with them in the packed basement of the squatted121 Centre in Railton Road, Brixton. Every time I lifted the trumpet a dog would leap up barking wildly.
“Whenever they need to segregate, experiment or isolate, or simply to humiliate, they’ll call you animals ”

14 The Good Ship Lifestyle – Chumbawamba – 1995

By the time they released the album Tubthumping most of their previous anarchist following were screeching about how they’d sold out. They probably had, but I was still suckered by their anthemic pop and that sweet trumpet.
“This is the good ship lifestyle
all my friends jumped ship
I elect me the captain
this is the loneliest voyage”


Martin’s stuff  www.martindixon.org.uk


28. September 2008, 16:07 details & comments (2) Posted in: Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , The permalink address (URI) of this photo is: http://www.stefan-szczelkun.org.uk/agitdisco/?p=24

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  1. The Twenty Fifth Of May had members who were in the SWP and Class War. A right lively bunch they were!

    I’ll shortly be posting their LP ‘Lenin & McCarthy’ on my blog, so feel free to grab it when I do.

    Interesting blog you’re running here BTW ;)

    durrutiOctober 23rd, 2008 at 18:35
  2. The scene is the outbreak of another ground war in Iraq in 2003. I am pissing around in my kitchen in my flat on my estate. I am on the ground floor and the door is open to my beautiful yard full of spider plants. I’m a bit pissed off about it all. Then from above, the loud sounds of Robert Wyatt’s song Shipbuilding drift down and around the block, the neighbour obviously feeling the same melancholy of more war, non stop war..i listen and that song, as alwyas, chills me, get right to me..Later in the hour, i rig up my thing and blast out that song WAR…what is it good for etc, a version by The Temptations. Is that plain enough a message? It’s a funky upbeat agonised cry against senseless war…It’s also my response to my neighbours response. I later thought that you really have to know that Shipbuilding song to get the message…its not like The Temptations doing War…but these little urban fairly anonymous political moments keep me (us?) sane.

    X-Chris, Walworth Rd said...October 23rd, 2008 at 18:36

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