Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gaelic space punks v. Tradfest



What was once the Edinburgh Folk Festival has now become 'Tradfest' after a brief stint as 'Ceilidh Culture'. There's probably a fair bit of it that is worth seeing - Gaelic songs and poems from Perthshire don't often get an airing for example. However, far too much of 'trad' music seems to involve... people sitting down to 'enjoy' the often furious dance music of the past and/ or a misty eyed regurgitation of a long-gone culture. The point being that's it's ok to remember the past and learn about our 'tradtional' music as long as the current generation is creating something of its own for the future.

Sometimes, 'Celtic' fests can accommodate alternative music such as Les Ramoneurs who regularly play the Lorient festival in Brittany. There is a a feeling that in Alba such music is looked down upon by those for whom traditional is a profession.

This is probably why we won't see the likes of Basque-language punk-ska band, Hesian, in Dùn Eideann at Tradfest....


Though our nearest equivalent, Oi Polloi, is playing 3 gigs in 24 hours. Most importantly, two of these are in conjunction with the launch of a Gaelic sci-fi novel by Tim Armstrong. Tim once played in trad ground breaking indie-rock band Na Gathan, dabbled in some Gaelic electro-pop and fronted the superb Mill a h-Uile Rud who took their Seattle-based Gaelic punk around Europe with Oi Polloi with a BBC Alba film crew in tow.

One of the gigs is in a Leith Walk record shop and the other is on a boat. Dìreach far out a dhuine... Get your tòn along to one or both of them.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mother of a Thousand Dead lives on....


Iron Lady with your stone heart so eager that the lesson be taught
That you inflicted, you determines, you created, you ordered -
It was your decision to have those young boys slaughtered.

Reincarnation may appear to be fantasy, unless of course Buddhists are referring to constant recycling of atoms from past lives that make up our present being. It may seem as if our present London government has ingested the atoms and spirit of Fred West or Harold Shipman but we're gonna have to bide our time for them to surface.

Thatcher will be dust and ash by the time this hits the net but her spores have been active since the dark years of her reign.

Her most notable legacy is the underclass that her policies created. But how has the arrogance, bloodlust, elitism and poshboy/ city slicker swagger been reincarnated?

Firstly, it must be that special relationship. Cameron and the soft Republican that is Barrack Obama can only dream of getting deep down and dirty like Thatch and Reagan...

Google street view works in hindsight.

She even managed to tug Labour so far to the right that they have their tongues up UKIP's sheuch.

 
"Oh Anthony... you came quicker than Ronnie."

Even the great white hope of Labour's Presbyterian wing had 'a meeting of the minds'.

An Old Testament kind of fling.

Unfortunately, Jimmy had got in there first...

"Your morgue or mine?"

And then it's on to her many god-children, such as...

Jeremy Clarkson
...and...

Mumfart and sons.... the original is even more horrific.


...and, worse of all, here in North Britain that likes to think of itself as a Tory-free-zone...

"The poor want something for nothing?"

Bearing in mind though that death is no laughing matter - unless you happen to be Rupert Murdoch and your favourite woman's government has sunk and killed a boatload of young Argentine conscripts in what amounts to a warcrime - then here's a picture of some people dressed in black:

Gotcha!

And here is one of the songs they wrote:

HOW DOES IT FEEL?
How does it feel to be the mother of a thousand dead?
Young boys rest now, cold graves in cold earth.
How does it feel to be the mother of a thousand dead?
Sunken eyes, lost now; empty sockets in futile death.

Your arrogance has gutted these bodies of life,
Your deceit fooled them that it was worth the sacrifice.
Your lies persuaded people to accept the wasted blood,
Your filthy pride cleansed you of the doubt you should have had.
You smile in the face of the death cause you are so proud and vain,
Your inhumanity stops you from realising the pain
That you inflicted, you determines, you created, you ordered -
It was your decision to have those young boys slaughtered.

You never wanted peace or solution,
From the start you lusted after war and destruction.
Your blood-soaked reason ruled out other choices,
Your mockery gagged more moderate voices.
So keen to play your bloody part, so impatient that your war be fought.
Iron Lady with your stone heart so eager that the lesson be taught
That you inflicted, you determines, you created, you ordered -
It was your decision to have those young boys slaughtered.