This Band Is Sick

by Steve White & The Protest Family

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1.
It's No Pasaran in E17 The EDL came but they wish they'd never been Cos we took Bell Corner and they didn't pass You can stick your racist hatred up your arse Their plans to get to Walthamstow were laid in vain When RMT members wouldn't let them on the train So it's “chapeau” to Comrade Crow And they got a police escort to Blackhorse Road Across police lines to the town hall We found Little Tommy and Kevin Carroll But their mates never made, we were many they were few Wetting their knickers in Farnan Avenue They got no platform here, cos we said “No way” The coppers turned 'em round and made 'em go away They threatened to come back, but they won't say when If they show their faces round here, well they'll see us all again
2.
You might hate the Tories They don't know what being poor is And a band in our position Also hates the coalition We know if you were us You'd say they're not fit for purpose But you know what we're gonna say Yeah you know what we're gonna say....... What? We've got to Do something about it (Yeah we've got to) Do something about it (It's time to) Do something about it (C'mon let's) Do something...........about it You know that there's a war on And you know that it's wrong And we bet that you hate The death of the welfare state But you know what the worst is The killing of the Health Service But you know what we're gonna say Yeah you know what we're gonna say....... What? We've got to Do something about it (Yeah we've got to) Do something about it (It's time to) Do something about it (C'mon let's) Do something...........about it So before you ask the question We're gonna make a suggestion Talk to your neighbours, those closest to you You never know they might feel like you do Talk to them at work, talk to them at home Talk face-to-face and talk on the phone Send 'em an email, write a newsletter Organise a meeting, that would be even better Cos if you really want to have a revolution Everybody needs to make a contribution Talk to Attila, he'll tell you about Stalin But don't talk to Cliff, he'll just tell you 'bout Hank Marvin Talk to Thee Faction about GDH Cole Talk to Chuck Berry but it's only Rock 'n' Roll Talk to Billy Bragg, the activist But David Rovics is a better anarchist Cos if you really want to have a revolution Everybody needs to make a contribution Talk to your comrades in the SWP Your brothers and sisters in the Labour Party Stand shoulder to shoulder with the TUSC Man the barricades with the CPGB And don't forget the anarchists too Cos they all want the same things as you And if you really want to have a revolution Everybody needs to make a contribution So that's what we're gonna say You've heard what we're gonna say Yeah that's what we're gonna say....... What? We've got to Do something about it (Yeah we've got to) Do something about it (It's time to) Do something about it (C'mon let's) Do something.......do something......about it
3.
We want home rule for Awesomestow Home rule for Awesomestow We want places to go where the others don't know We want home rule for Awesomestow We love our MP, she defends our class Makes tea and cake whenever we ask Hates payday lenders, loves women on the money Doesn't think Funky Lol's picket line is funny What does she want the Labour Party to know? She wants home rule for Awesomestow We've got a farmers' market for our comestibles Allotments to grow our own vegetables A theatre pub and the gallery's exceptional We've even got our own music festival We've got the whole world in Orford Road We want home rule for Awesomestow We want home rule for Awesomestow Home rule for Awesomestow We want places to go where the others don't know We want home rule for Awesomestow We've got our own hashtag that Doug invented Street mattresses are over-represented We're getting our own hipster affectation We've even got house price hyperinflation Estate agents with hearts aglow They want home rule for Awesomestow We've got dogs in the pubs, we've got buggies in the pubs We've got coffees in the pubs, we've got mummies in the pubs We've got pizza in the pubs, we've got creches in the pubs They're knitting in the pubs while we're sitting in the pubs So what do we want with our nice Bordeaux? We want home rule for Awesomestow We want home rule for Awesomestow Home rule for Awesomestow We want places to go where the others don't know We want home rule for Awesomestow I met my new neighbour, he said 'See ya later' 'I'm not stopping long, I'm a speculator' 'I'm looking for a neighbourhood that's gone downhill' 'That I can tart up for the Stokey overspill' The bank says 'yes' but the people say 'no' They want home rule for Awesomestow We want home rule for Awesomestow Home rule for Awesomestow We want places to go where the others don't know We want home rule for Awesomestow Well I don't dig middle class aspiration And I don't dig gentrification But it's easy to dig, and I dig William Morris And I'm a proud member of We Are Waltham Forest So if you turn up in numbers and tell the fash where to go You'll get home rule for Walthamstow We want home rule for Walthamstow Home rule for Walthamstow We want places to go where the others don't know We want home rule for Walthamstow Home rule for Walthamstow Home rule for Walthamstow
4.
Isobel ain't got a name Just the Ecstasy Death Girl Only 15 it's a terrible shame 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl No accident, the internet's to blame For the Ecstasy Death Girl Dehumanised by the Daily Mail Assumptions and lies for a newspaper sale It's a modern world fail, a tabloid tale 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl A made-up story 'bout internet addiction And the Ecstasy Death Girl Have a go at the MySpace generation And the Ecstasy Death Girl Don't matter that it's almost a work of fiction 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl It's open season at the Daily Mail Middle England prejudices always prevail It's long on opinion, short on detail Trot out your stale morality tale 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl Don't let the truth stop a good story 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl A friend of a friend, well who else would your source be? 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl Your shabby headline's a memento mori For the Ecstasy Death Girl And if you need a moral to this tragic tale 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl It's this: Never buy the Daily Mail And read Ecstasy Death Girl They're misery vultures With celebrity cultures And a made-up tale 'Bout the Ecstasy Death Girl
5.
Smash it up and start again Is drinking diet coke any better than the real thing? Does it come with fewer murders, less sharp practice, less kidnapping? And if pornography is to sex what McDonalds is to food You'll understand that talk of Olympic sponsors doesn't put me In a very good mood. Smash it up and start again The press are all the same, they say capital is the only game in town So stop listening to Today, put your Daily Mail away and put that red top down Try watching Reel News or reading Indymedia Because there is an alternative, we just need People to hear Smash it up and start again Try confiscating every fortune over 10 million pounds We could pay off all the debt, cure world hunger, if we shared it all around It's what Bono wanted to do But he didn't have a clue That actually we'd use pretty much all Of his money too Smash it up and start again The banks crashed, the economy mashed, but that was several years ago You predicted I recall, capitalism would fall, but we kept the status quo We should invest in the people Not in their bosses And make it illegal To profit from their losses So smash it up and start again The benefit of hand and brain Belongs to us all Smash it up and start again
6.
Mayor Johnson is not a man Who cares much for promises Or for ticket offices Or passengers or staff He wants to axe a thousand jobs A thousand livelihoods he'll rob While ruffling his hair Oh my, he's such a laugh But it's a bad day for Bojo It's a good day for Bob Crow The Underground workers have all gone on strike It's a good day for Bob Crow it's a bad day for Bozo He'd best get on his Bollocks Barclays Bike He wants to close the ticket office I read it in the Daily Boris Replace it with a Costa Coffee He must be off his head And he's attacked the workers' right To say 'enough' and go on strike Let's have a ballot About the mayor instead Cos it's a bad day for Bojo It's a good day for Bob Crow The Underground workers have all gone on strike It's a good day for Bob Crow it's a bad day for Bozo He'd best get on his Bollocks Barclays Bike There's a moral to this story And it's one we've told before If you vote for someone funny They'll act above the law So if you think the mayor is crazy You wanna ride the tube in safety Join a picket line And show Bozo the door Cos it's a bad day for Bojo It's a good day for Bob Crow The Underground workers have all gone on strike It's a good day for Bob Crow it's a bad day for Bozo He'd best get on his Bollocks Barclays Bike
7.
On Funky Lol's picket line it could;ve been warmer I knew I should've brought me coat And as for Stella well we tried to warn her Now she's really got the goat Stella should've known better, spoke to the wrong fella Said it would be over by teatime But you know a strike's all day When you're losing a day's pay So we'll see you on Funky Lol's picket line It's got Funky Lol on it Neil Gerrard wouldn't cross it Some people did and noe their faces are red Forget your dressed crab When it's served by a scab Better go for a curry instead 'Cos it's in the right place, it's at the right time It's Funky Lol's picket line Well I've been on loads of pickets, a demo or two Seems we're protesting all of the time But I've never been anywhere I should've been more Than on Funky Lol's picket line And don't forget Darren standing his ground Chatting to the drivers, getting them to turn around You know this story ends up in the Rose & Crown When Funky Lol's picket finally closed down 'Cos it's in the right place, it's at the right time It's Funky Lol's picket line So it's hats off to Unison, the FBU Hats off to the Chandlers and the UCU It's a shame Stella had to find somewhere else to dine But you can't cross Funky Lol's picket line 'Cos it's in the right place, it's at the right time It's Funky Lol's picket line It's got Funky Lol on it Neil Gerrard wouldn't cross it Some people did and noe their faces are red Forget your dressed crab When it's served by a scab Better go for a curry instead 'Cos it's in the right place, it's at the right time It's Funky Lol's picket line
8.
If it turns out you're one of the 1%, Trust me you wanna know early You don't want it big, you don't want it clever, It's as manly as it is girly And if you think I'm talking 'bout the stinking rich, You just better think again 'Cos if it happens to your aunt and it happens to your nan, It also happens to men Self-examination is good Doing it with friends can be more rewarding But if you ain't in the mood Just have a quick feel, it ain't worth ignoring Man boobs are in the news In the mags and on the telly How to get rid of your muffin top Take an inch off your Christmas belly Here's some exercises you can do at home But a quick grope's much more fun And if you find a lump's giving you the hump It's off to the quack's my son Self-examination is good Doing it with friends can be more rewarding But if you ain't in the mood Just have a quick feel, it ain't worth ignoring Maybe you worked in a steel mill Maybe you're exposed to radiation Maybe it's family history Could even be a genetic mutation You've probably got too much oestrogen You can catch that from a Big Mac But it's a great excuse to squeeze your moobs Get your hands on your own rack Self-examination is good Doing it with friends can be more rewarding But if you ain't in the mood Just have a quick feel, it ain't worth ignoring Just have a quick feel, it's never boring Yeah have a quick feel You'll still respect yourself in the morning
9.
Handel Case once told us Many years ago Jesus was a socialist The bible tells us so Do unto others as you would have done to you It's obvious, but he didn't have a clue Why when he went to church Up and down the aisles Were rows and rows of Tories Wearing hypocrites' smiles Robert Tressell might've told him And the knowledge might've flowed That it's probably an anarchist Helping him across the road So don't be afraid, don't be alarmed You won't come to no harm Don't be surprised, don't be blowed When an anarchist helps you cross the road And never mind the bankers 'Cos they've read Hobbes And they're earning bonuses While we're losing jobs Adam Smith said the market is all that you need It's obvious, but it relies on greed If you believe what's right If you believe what's fair You don't want the government taking your share Don't buy anything tomorrow Erase your barcode Don't be surprised when an anarchist Helps you across the road So don't be afraid, don't be alarmed You won't come to no harm Don't be surprised, don't be blowed When an anarchist helps you cross the road He wants to smash the system But a window will do He understands the revolution May take a day or two Altruism can't compete with exploitation It's obvious, but it's a capitalist nation The haves tell the have-nots what to do Is the ballot box enough for you? Sit back and watch the fireworks Watch parliament explode And then wait for an anarchist To help you across the road So don't be afraid, don't be alarmed You won't come to no harm Don't be surprised, don't be blowed When an anarchist helps you cross the road
10.
Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? The rich preach of austerity Of economic plan They want to turn the working man Against the working man Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? They're selling off the hospitals Selling of the schools Selling what was held in common Taking us for fools Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Don't scab for the bosses, Don't listen to their lies. Us poor folks ain't got a chance Unless we organise. Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? I'm on the side of the unions, on the side of the strikers On the side of the bloggers and the protest song writers On the side of the disabled, fighting against ATOS On the side of the worker, not the side of the boss I'm on the side of the sick and the benefits claimants And the folk who can't afford their Wonga repayments I'm on the side of the kids on zero hours contracts On the side of council workers who had their jobs axed On the side of Uncut, I'm on the side of Occupy It's rich versus poor if you just open your eyes I hear people say that a change is gonna come So ask yourself which side are you on Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Which side are you on?

about

The media are lying to you. They're telling you that the era of the protest song is over. They're telling you that folk music is what Mumford & Sons do; cuddly, commodified, unchallenging and sanctioned by the Prime Minister, no less.

They are wrong.

Steve White & The Protest Family are East London's favourite folk punk political sing-along band. We may not be safe enough for the major labels, but we've definitely got something to say, and we're going to say it, with wit, a certain brash charm, guitars, banjos, mandolins and, dare we say it,
moments of four-part harmony. Ours is a revolution that'll have you tapping your foot and smiling from ear-to-ear. Thinking too, if we have our way.

Led by Steve, whose unplugged sessions have become something of a feature of the Tolpuddle Festival in recent years, the band features Funky Lol Ross on mandolin and electric guitar, and veteran of the East London music scene, Doug E Harper on bass. Meanwhile banjo duties fall to award-winning player and co-ordinator of the renowned Walthamstow Folk Club, Russ Chandler. Folk who've heard us make comparisons with Billy Bragg, Ian Dury and even The Clash.

This Band Is Sick is the band's second studio album and the first time that we've worked with Steve Honest at Hackney Road, bringing some polish to the production without knocking off the rough edges that make the band what we are. The songs were written over a two-year period that saw the band playing extensively in London and beyond, including opening for Mercury Prize winners The Young Fathers at ULU and appearing at the Music For A New Revolution Festival celebrating Derry/Londonderry's year as the UK's City of Culture.

The songs themselves are all tales of modern times, from the story of the day the EDL went to Walthamstow to be seen off by thousands of locals not keen to have the racists amongst them, to the Mayor of London's intransigence over London Underground ticket offices closures (Bad Day For Bojo), to the surprisingly tender treatment of the death of Isobel Jones-Reilly. Although crafted around the band's East London base of Walthamstow, the songs really are about everybody, and everybody's struggle. There are as many solutions posed in the songs as problems, and a definite call-to-arms. There's even a reworking of Florence Reece's Which Side Are You On? The careful listener may even notice that we're are all supporters of Leyton Orient Football Club.

Physical copies on CD are available at gigs and from our favourite retailers Four Dogs Music and Bookmarks The Socialist Bookshop If you're waiting for an Amazon or iTunes release, don't. We don't support corporate tax dodgers or companies that exploit workers on zero-hours contracts.

No kazoos were harmed during the making of this recording but that wasn't for the want of trying.

www.fourdogsmusic.co.uk
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credits

released October 13, 2014

Steve White - guitar, irish bouzouki, harmonica, vocals
Doug E Harper - bass, vocals
Russ Chandler - award-winning banjo, vocals
Funky Lol Ross - mandolin, guitars, violin, piano, vocals

All songs except 10 written by Steve White and all songs arranged by Steve White & The Protest Family. Recorded by Steve Honest at Hackney Road and produced by Steve Honest and Steve White & The Protest Family.

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Steve White & The Protest Family UK

"[They] remind me of The Clash" - Basil Gabbidon (Steel Pulse)

"I love this band. Punk minstrels who chronicle our times with humour, passion and immense talent." - Bob Oram, Morning Star

"Everybody please visit: Steve White & The Protest Family" - Tom Robinson

"Constructive political music" - Joe Solo
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