Check Your Stereo

by Steve White

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about

Nine failed folk songs recorded at my house between the 16th and 19th August 2015.

You know the drill. These are the ones that never made it as Protest Family songs for one reason or another,usually because we didn't find the time to learn and arrange them before something more immediate came along.

I bet a couple of them end up in the band's set anyway, just look at somethingweirdgoingoninmyhead.

Steve.

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released August 20, 2015

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Steve White & The Protest Family UK

" Local folk-punk hero's Steve White & The Protest Family who are rapidly acquiring a reputation as one of the best bands to come out of East London for a generation. With lots of swearing" - Walthamstow Folk

"This music should be textbook 101 for all alternative folk practitioners..." - Prosity Records

"The King Blues for grown-ups" - Anon
... more

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Track Name: Thin Part 2
Stress makes you fat
It's as simple as that
A little cortisol is good for you
Too much and you'll start to put on a few
It's the thing that they want to keep quiet
It ain't just about your diet

What kind of a world do we live in
Where poor people are fat and rich people are thin?
What kind of a world do we live in
Where poor people are fat and rich people are thin?
It's like the world is turned upside down
It's time to turn it the right way around
What kind of a world do we live in
Where poor people are fat and rich people are thin?

Compare the banker to the man in the street
It ain't just about what they eat
Cos one of 'em's got money
The other one's got worry
And when your wages go down
That's when you put on the pounds

The correlation's too good to ignore
Between the gap between the rich and the poor
And the incidence of obesity
It's about inequality
Read the Spirit Level then you'll know
Which way we gotta go

It's not genetic
Or the next generation would be the same
It's not behavioural
That's just your bosses mind game
It's a chemical reaction that happens in your body
Based on your position in the social hierarchy
An equal society
Has less obesity

So walk hand in hand with me
Straight out of the KFC
And we'll stand up to inequality
Make the world a better place
For you and me
Track Name: Mrs Windsor's Geraniums
There's a picket line in St James Park
There's a picket line in Kensington Gardens
There's a picket line, now it's in The Harp
There's a picket line, but there'll be no Royal Pardon

'Cos Mrs Windsor’s geraniums are late (going in this year)
Mrs Windsor’s geraniums can wait (and our terms are clear)
Mrs Windsor’s geraniums are late (pay us properly)
Or Mrs Windsor's geraniums can wait

Mow that lawn with military precision
Make those flowers stand like guardsmen tall
And still the boss can make the daft decision
To take two weeks wages off you all

So Mrs Windsor’s geraniums are late (going in this year)
Mrs Windsor’s geraniums can wait (and our terms are clear)
Mrs Windsor’s geraniums are late (pay us properly)
Or Mrs Windsor's geraniums can wait

There'll be no
Horticulture, no litter picking
No sweeping, cleansing or roadway gritting
No playground inspection, refuse collection
Landscape maintenance or grave digging
And I must confess it'll be a mess
For the State Opening of Parliament no less
These are terms with which you just can't tamper
And where's my bloody Christmas hamper?

That's why

Mrs Windsor’s geraniums are late (going in this year)
Mrs Windsor’s geraniums can wait (and our terms are clear)
Mrs Windsor’s geraniums are late (pay us properly)
Or Mrs Windsor's geraniums can wait
Track Name: USA Part 2
The signs don't say Walk and Don't Walk any more
And there's no CPGB's, it's a men's clothing store
And they're knocking down Freddie's Bar and Backroom
'Cos Ratner thinks there'll be a housing boom
Eminent domain is something the rich can ignore

But you can still ride the Cyclone, give yourselves a thrill
Or get a beer at Ruby's Bar and Grill
You can still see Elvis in a Vegas show
It might be the real one you never know
'Cos I won't believe he's dead until I see him on a dollar bill

And you say USA
And you shout USA
And you yell USA
While the Brits just clap politely, we'll be on our way
The Brits just clap politely and say “that was OK”

So tell us Steve, what's so great in the UK?
You mean like fish and chips and cricket and St George’s Day?
Well it's the only place to get a decent cup of tea
It's got Funky Lol Ross and The Protest Family
And in the 18th Century, we had the USA

And you say USA
And you shout USA
And you yell USA
While the Brits just clap politely, we'll be on our way
The Brits just clap politely and say “that was OK”

Well the oil in the gulf, I guess you wanna blame me
But there's nothing very British about BP
There's no sound on earth like an English punk band
But it seems the election's just as hard to understand
So we're the same after all
Well, except for the tea

And you say USA
And you shout USA
And you yell USA
While the Brits just clap politely, we'll be on our way
The Brits just clap politely and say “that was OK”
Track Name: New Books and Panties
Chris Grayling doesn't want you to learn to play guitar
Chris Grayling doesn't care how dirty your pants are
Chris Grayling says he wants 'a more spartan regime'
And Cameron says 'like public school? I know just what you mean'

You can send a book to a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay
But not to one in Pentonville, or Holloway
Chris Grayling doesn't understand rehabilitation
He'll just get you ready for your next incarceration

Chris Grayling says that you can go to the prison library
Once in every six weeks, if you are lucky
Chris Grayling doesn't care that you're studying for a degree
Or that you're just learning to read properly

You can send a book to a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay
But not to one in Pentonville, or Holloway
Chris Grayling doesn't understand rehabilitation
He'll just get you ready for your next incarceration

You can't send a prisoner a pair of nice clean drawers
And Billy Bragg has had to stop his Jail Guitar Doors
Chris Grayling doesn't care that you're more likely to transgress
More prisoners means more money for his mates at G4S

You can send a book to a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay
But not to one in Pentonville, or Holloway
Chris Grayling doesn't understand rehabilitation
He'll just get you ready for your next incarceration
Track Name: Rain
I warned you, said David Silvester
God will punish you, oh yes he will
He'll send you nasty weather
For the same-sex marriage bill

It's not raining 'cos of climate change
it's not raining just because it rains
It's raining, and it's rained for days
David Silvester says, because of the gays

Retribution, says David Silvester
Yes, that what he said
He said it's written in the scripture
You can't let same-sex couples wed

It's not raining 'cos of climate change
it's not raining just because it rains
It's raining, and it's rained for days
David Silvester says, because of the gays

He's a fruitcake, David Silvester
A dangerous one at that
That's why you should never vote UKIP kids
Cos you'll be voting in a twat
Track Name: S.W.A.B.
That's not a car it's a fetish
Not a Ferrari but it's fire engine reddish
A mid-life crisis fat man wish
Your average consumer capitalist

But socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Jeremy Corbyn knows that's right
Socialism will arrive by bike

It's not a lorry it's a killing machine
It'll kill you dirty or it'll kill you clean
Eight this year, know what I mean
Last year it was bloody fourteen

But socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Even bloody Boris knows that's right
Socialism will arrive by bike

Death, damnation and convenience
More experience than expedience
Conformity and obedience
Pledge your Top Gear allegiance

But socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Attila The Stockbroker knows that's right
Socialism will arrive by bike

That's not a taxi, it's a money box
Quick off the block, the man's on the clock
Mind out the way if you're in the drops
It's a close pass but he never stops

But socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
David Cameron's stopped riding his
Socialism will arrive by bike

Death, damnation and convenience
More experience than expedience
Conformity and obedience
Pledge your Top Gear allegiance

But socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Socialism will arrive by bike
Jeremy Corbyn knows that's right
Full on carbon racer or an old man's trike
Support the National Gallery all-out strike
Socialism will arrive by bike

That's not a tanker
Track Name: Mr Goldfinger's Tower
f you're pushing a pram you're gonna struggle
To open those heavy swing doors
And the East wind don't half whistle
Down the access corridors
But we've got good neighbours
In an East End kinda way
And you milk doesn't go missing
Even if you leave it out all day
And it's condescending I'll accept
That I don't like their curtains
But the flats are well kept
And I say this without malce
We're better off here than we would be
In Buckingham Palace

It's Mr Golfinger's Balfron Tower
27 storeys and they're all ours
It's Brutalism's finest hour
It's Mr Goldfinger's
Balfron Tower

These flats have an advantage
Said Erno, cos he understood
The tenants are all families
With roots in the local neighbourhood
They're off the Brownfield, they're off Rowlett Street
We're gonna house neighbours side-by-side
A pavement on every floor
An East End street 300 feet high
And if you knock on the door of 130
There's the only celebrities that you'll find
'Cos that's where Erno
And Ursula Goldfinger reside

It's Mr Golfinger's Balfron Tower
27 storeys and they're all ours
It's Brutalism's finest hour
It's Mr Goldfinger's
Balfron Tower

Yeah, it's not for everyone
Living up in the sky
People got lonely, people got frightened
When Ronan Point blew sky high
And it suffered for maintenance
Suffered with vandals
Stuff got left that needed someone to mend
As the GLC gave way to Tower Hamlets Council
And there was never quite enough money to spend
But it was still solid houses for local people
It was still a community
The caretaker still knew all the kids
Even if it was on CCTV
And it's in 28 Days Later
Here's where Danny Boyle did his filming
Goldfinger's homes for local folk
Became a grade two listed building

It's Mr Golfinger's Balfron Tower
27 storeys and they're all ours
It's Brutalism's finest hour
It's Mr Goldfinger's
Balfron Tower

In 2006 there was a consultation
Sold Balfron Tower to a private firm
HARCA's a regeneration initiative
But will we ever learn?
They promised new bathrooms, promised new kitchens
Promised a whole range of repairs
All the stuff that the council couldn't afford
Just now privately owned, so why should we care?

Then they started moving people out
Started selling their flats
Moved the gentrifiers in, changed the rules
If you were out, then you're not coming back
Moved in an art installation
Moved in a Shakespeare play
Started making the place look interesting
'Til the last locals went away
Now they're on the open market
With views of The Wharf and views of The Dome
Empty flats owned by investors
That East End families used to call home

It's Mr Golfinger's Balfron Tower
27 storeys that were all ours
It's brutal in it's darkest hour
It's Mr Goldfinger's
Balfron Tower
Track Name: Dead Dog Walking
Row upon row of dead Staffordshire Bull Terriers
They don't know they're dead yet but that's where they're going
People tire of their pets as quick as they tire of their own children's crying
Never mind
Another can of Stella will ease the pain
While your landlord rubs his hands, and adds another ton to the rent.

Meanwhile Liz Kendall kicks over the rotting corpse of what used to be the Labour Party
Somewhere under there is a Facebook hero, but he's sixty-six and he's not saving anyone
See also: Owen Jones
See also: The fucking Green Party
Sometimes I think The Sleaford Mods have got it right; it's just bleak, no fight, just bleat
Does the left need another messiah?
See also: Tony Blair

Russian oligarchs buying up the city, piece by piece, off-plan
Did we know what an oligarch was ten years ago?
They didn't teach it in school
Whose school? What school? Free school
Anyway it's an academy now

Pass Teacher a valium
It's not the kids that are doing her head in, it's the bloke from Ofsted
Him and the fella with the face like a slapped arse, you know the one
The one on crutches

My mate's gone back to work for the bank, and who can blame him?
He's done that “put my family first” thing that works so well for the Tories
That's where the money is
Not their money, poor people's money
Ask anyone in Greece
Sold out by the revolutionaries
No wonder the bloke in the motorcycle jacket rode off into the sunset
Like a Marxist Tom Cruise
Does the left need another messiah?
See also: Russell Brand

Row upon row of dead Staffordshire Bull Terriers
As we consume living things like tabloid newspapers, celebrity panel shows and Christmas jumpers

The bloke selling puppies from a cardboard box
Reckons he's a vegetarian
Somebody ought to have a word.
Track Name: God Save The Queen's Speech
There's a woman in a crown talking on the telly
A woman in a crown talking 'bout austerity
A woman in a crown, some sorta ceremony
A woman in a crown, and she's tellin' me

That she lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
She lives a life of luxury that you might call obscene
She lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
A lifetime on benefits, God Save The Queen

There's a woman on the telly in a million pound hat
She's talking on the telly 'bout a welfare cap
Not sure the civil list's included in that
And she can still afford to buy a Right To Buy flat

Though she lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
She lives a life of luxury that you might call obscene
She lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
A lifetime on benefits, God Save The Queen

There's a woman on the telly talkin' 'bout the Tories 
A woman on the telly tellin' aspiration stories
She waves a royal finger to show Europe where the door is
While we pay for her family and food for her corgis

'Cos she lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
She lives a life of luxury that you might call obscene
She lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
A lifetime on benefits, God Save The Queen

The woman in the crown don't like you gettin' high
The woman in the crown don't like your human rights
The woman in the crown kissed your privacy goodbye
The woman in the crown don't like your right to strike

And she lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
She lives a life of luxury that you might call obscene
She lives in the biggest council house I've ever seen
A lifetime on benefits, God Save The Queen