‘Socialist R’n’B’ band Thee Faction have recorded a cover version of my song ‘The Kids’ for their new record ‘Singing Down the Government’, which I’ve just received copies of.
The song was one I wrote for ‘The Signal and the Noise’ but I didn’t include it for two reasons 1) It didn’t fit the lyrical continuity of the record 2) it had a long boring bit in the middle. If you preordered from me you’ll have had a CD-R with it on. If you didn’t it will be available digitally at some point….
For their version Thee Faction have cleverly dropped the long boring bit, and recast my slightly scissors & stickytaped acoustic/bleepy sections as a straight old school punk/rnb number. It sounds great, like it was their song all along. I’m tempted to now say their version is the original.
This isn’t the first ever cover of one my songs, but it’s the first to be released properly by a working band. I’m really chuffed they wanted to include it. Especially as one of their members is Billy Reeves – formerly of Friends of the Bride and TheAudience – a band from the late 90’s who did one or two songs I dearly loved as a teenager. That Billy is now covering one of my songs is very flattering. I’m hoping they’ll do ‘Our New Hospital Sucks’ next.
Anyway, ‘Singing Down the Government’ is out in October I think. Keep watching Thee Faction’s blog for news.
If they post ‘The Kids’ I’ll link to it. Here it is to stream by kind permission.
Politics in music
I quite admire a group being so overtly political. There’s an idea that for some listeners it’s a turnoff, that you risk your music only being seen through that prism. For me writing political stuff was always a byproduct of what I was interested in, rather than a means to an end.
There are some songwriters whose records I only listen to once or twice to digest their new lyrics, the music itself doesn’t make me come back to it. Despite the pride I take in my own lyrics they really aren’t the most important or interesting bit of making music to me. I’m always ‘great, the lyrics are done – now I can mess about with the sounds’.
That said, given the terrifyingly misguided policies of the new government I’m tempted to start writing more political stuff again. This is a terrible administration populated by blinkered liars who have no personal experience of hardship, and therefore no empathy with the people experiencing it, or any real concept of how difficult it can actually be to just ‘get a job’. The more people give voice to this, the better. Solidarity and all that.
Artistically, another set of political songs might feel like a backward step. Though I do feel like I could bash out an EP of anti-Tory pop songs in a weekend – it’s not like there’s a shortage of material! Maybe I will just for fun. Tap into the lucrative socialist/trade union gig market…