Me and my blog

Follow me on Twitter @emma1hartley

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

John Tams to Bellowhead: what are your politics?

John Tams was fresh from his set with Home Service on Thursday at Cropredy, including a stand-out moment from The Lark Ascending played on the flute. I said that I'd especially liked their brass section.

"Ah yes. We were the only ones doing that when we started out. And now there's Bellowhead..." Suddenly he looked a bit mischievous.

"You know, I'd really like to see them get more political. It seems a shame to be as big and successful as they are and not to use their platform. I'm a great fan - I live just down the road from some of them, I know them pretty well. And I've known Benji's dad for decades.

"But I can't help feeling that it's all a bit of a waste if they don't do the political stuff."

But there's hundreds of them! (See above if you don't believe me.) What are they supposed to do: form their own parliament in order to decide what line they're going to take? All those songs about prostitutes, it's probably not women's rights they're interested in, is it? And anyway, isn't Jon Boden's dad a stockbroker or something?

"You should stir it up between us. The Home Service and Bellowhead. It could be a bit like Blur and Oasis: I always thought that must have been a manufactured grievance. And instead of Britpop we could call it Britfolk.

"Tell Bellowhead I'm calling them out about their politics." Him and his mates.

And with that he belted off for the stage, where he was supposed to be saying goodnight to UB40...

I took this all in the puckish spirit in which it was intended... But a few hours after I originally posted this blog, I got an email from Mark Whyles, Bellowhead's manager, saying: "It's very easy for one man to have political opinions. It's much harder for eleven people to agree entirely about anything so important and as such it's almost impossible for Bellowhead to take a political standpoint."

He included this statement from Jon Boden: "Since you ask (and speaking for myself, not the band) I'm a card carrying member of the Labour party, who prefers traditional music to 'political song writing' (aka preaching to the converted...)"

Bellowhead were also instrumental in organising a Folk Against Fascism gig at the South Bank Centre, where they performed for free.

And breath... At least no one brought up John Tams' involvement with Help for Heroes.

* If you'd like to receive posts from this blog directly into your Facebook news feed you could *like* its Facebook page. That's all from Cropredy this year, but there should be something later in the week about the BBC and its music policy.

* My other Cropredy blogs were

John Tams on Steven Spielberg and Richard Curtis

Fairport's line on The FLK hardens, a bit

ahab's Four Weddings and a Funeral moment

The Urban Folk Quartet's secret weapon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Emma Hartley blog logo

24hourlondon logo

Did David Hasselhoff End the Cold War?