On The Campaign Trail

Haxey

That’s me done in for another weekend. Massive thank you to everyone who came out to the gigs and cheered, sang and hollered putting a bit of spirit back into the world.
 
We need that more than ever.
 
So I hit Liverpool on Friday to help raise funds for Everton Ward Labour Party and Medical Aid for Palestinians and a huge thank you to William Huskisson for inviting me over to the city that will always be my second home. If everywhere in this country had Liverpool’s spirit the Tories would be finished.
 
Then Saturday I hit Haxey Memorial Hall for A Musicians Against Homelessness event organised by Neil Sanderson and full of exactly that same spirit, folks coming together so that no-one gets left behind. Absolutely brilliant night among amazing people.
 
And this morning I recorded my 2019 General Election song, a reworked update on ‘Let’s Kick Out The Tories (For Once And For All)’ which you can stream or download here:
 
 
I’ve got The Joe Solo Show on Coast and County Radio tomorrow night from 10pm, then it’s getting ready for my last London gig of the year on Saturday, a PCS Culture Group benefit at The Betsey Trotwood organised by Poetry on the Picket Line.
In between there should be a frantic parcelling session as the new #LithiumJoe albums should be arriving soon.
 
Keep going, folks.
 
We are the life of the fight.
Tina Sherwood 2

LET’S KICK OUT THE TORIES 2019

KICK OUT THE TORIES

‘Let’s Kick Out The Tories (For Once & For All)’ has been rewritten and re-recorded for the General Election campaign ahead. Fresh from t’shed this morning, you can stream/download at:

https://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com/album/lets-kick-out-the-tories-for-once-for-all-3

The lyric reflects my anger at a government which puts ideology and the settling of its own internal arguments before the welfare of the people it was elected to represent. They have behaved shamelessly and the havoc wreaked on ordinary folk up and down this land is unforgivable.

Here’s the lyric:

Let’s kick out the Tories for once and for all
Come brothers and sisters and answer the call
Put your cross in that box, play your part in their fall
And let’s kick out the Tories for once and for all

The future is coming, and it’s coming fast
Let’s make Food Bank Britain a thing of the past
Put hope and compassion in all that we do
Build a land for the many and not just the few

Chorus

“Austerity’s over!” The lies are well-drilled
Tell that to the people those policies killed
Out here in the real world, it’s not just a game
So rise up for our neighbours who died in its name

Chorus

Cowards may flinch now, and traitors may sneer
And the fair weather marchers may all disappear
But in a world cast in darkness let us be the light
In the fight of our lives be the life of the fight

Chorus

Sing it, shout it, share it.

We need to get this job done.

LITHIUM JOE ALBUM PRE-ORDER

Park Street New Sleeve

****INCOMING #LithiumJoe PRE-ORDER LINK****
 
The ‘Upstairs At Park Street’ album was recorded in three weekend sessions between August 1999 and February 2000, and was our only full-length release.
 
We wrote it as we went, and we mashed-up all our influences and inspirations, and built it with all the skills we’d learned in five years as the line-up of me on vocals and rhythm guitar, Dave Foy on backing vocals and lead guitar, Big E Miller on Bass, and Adrian Gill on drums and percussion.
 
In the end it was almost our last hurrah.
 
We pressed 100 copies, sold them and moved on.
 
By early 2001 we were no more.
Collage
 
It basically sat for two decades until we reformed earlier this year.
 
After numerous messages, and much deliberation, we decided to press it properly.
 
So Dave has done new artwork, Chris Miley has done a beautiful job of remastering it, and we’ve added five bonus tracks from our final session together which never made it to an official release.
 
It’s at the pressing plant now, so we should have them for the reform gigs and pre-orders will ship as soon as the boxes land at Solo Towers.
 
Impossible to say how excited I am that these songs are going to find a new audience so many years after we put heart and soul, and as it turned out, everything we had left into writing and recording them.
 
Hope you like em.
 
Joe
LJ-2

New Song: ‘Hate Will Tear Us Apart’

New song.

Written Saturday, recorded Sunday.

About the dangerous path we are on when we exploit the fault line between one half of the population and the other to score political points.

Hate Will Tear Us Apart

If something’s come from all of this
I pray the lesson’s learned
So that future generations
See the bridges that we burned
Just led to anger, fear and hatred
And a desperate need to blame
And I hope that looking back on this
We hang our heads in shame

See love will build you bridges
Hate will build you walls
Love will help you off your knees
Hate will let you fall
Love will heal division
Put the hope back in your heart
But hate
Hate will tear us apart
Again
Hate
Hate will tear us apart

I hope the schoolkid told to ‘Go Home!’
Sees we’re not all bad out here
That those of faith don’t go to pray
Their heads bowed down in fear
Or them who use their words as weapons
When they take the stand
Can one day find forgiveness
For the blood that’s on their hands

Love will build you bridges
Hate will build you walls
Love will help you off your knees
Hate will let you fall
Love will heal division
Put the hope back in your heart
But hate
Hate will tear us apart
Again
Hate
Hate will tear us apart

Listen here:

https://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com/track/hate-will-tear-us-apart

The Picture Comes Into Focus

It has been a struggle keeping all the plates spinning, but the Autumn is finally coming into focus.

On Monday September 30th I’m heading over to Leeds to record two songs with the mighty Commoners Choir. One will go on each of two releases planned for early next year.

The first is a reissue of the now sold-out ‘No Pasaran’ album which will feature four bonus tracks including an acapella version of the title track; and the second an EP of Pete Seeger songs called ‘We Shall Overcome’ which I’ll be selling to raise money for just that.

And WSO is my next port of call after that. Thursday 3rd October I’m playing Robb Johnson’s Railway Roots in Portslade; Saturday I’m in first Leeds and then Wakefield; and Sunday it’s the annual Hatfield Brigade recording session in Stainforth. In between, on the Friday, Rebekah Findlay is bringing her fiddle to t’shed to sprinkle some magic dust on the recordings.

As if that wasn’t enough, on Sunday October 13th we’re assembling a very special choir of relatives of the Hull International Brigade volunteers to make sure their voices are on the ‘No Pasaran’ reissue too. I’ll be recording them on ‘To Die With Your Fist In The Sky’ and it will be a very special song as a result, as it nanechecks all their family members.

On top of that there’s Lithium Joe rehearsals…

Followed by some blinders out there on the road, so watch this space.

The two new CDs will be released January/February and then work starts on a 3CD compilation and songbook.

Can’t wait.

LITHIUM JOE TICKETS OUT NOW!!

Tickets are now available for the Lithium Joe gig at the Adelphi in Hull on Sunday December 1st.

We play twice that weekend in what will be our first shows in almost 20 years, and I can’t wait.

Both gigs are for We Shall Overcome, with Saturday at The Station Hotel, Ashton-under-Lyne raising funds to help Pauline Town battle homelessness in Greater Manchester; and Sunday’s ticket money will all go to Hull Help For Refugees.

Tickets for the Adelphi gig are available from:

Home

But be quick. They went on sale Sunday night and half are gone already!

I also did an interview with Nick Quantrill which you can read here:

Welcome back to Joetown

In the meantime there is a LOT of solo mischief to get through first…

WIGAN DIGGERS FESTIVAL #9

Had a truly incredible day at Wigan Diggers Festival yesterday. After a week of the worst of this country I saw the best, and it fully recharged my batteries for the struggles ahead. Great spirit, great people and great performances. What more can you ask?

There were fantastic sets, with Attila The Stockbroker, Darren Poyzer and Jess Silk being personal highlights, but headliners The Men They Couldn’t Hang put in one of the best shifts of their 35 year career last night and just blew us all away. I’m slightly biased as a teenage dream came true when I was invited on stage to sing ‘Ghosts Of Cable Street’, one of the most important songs in my life, and one I consider among the best ever written. What a moment. Truly unforgettable.

There were others too. I was officially there on ceremonial duties to hand my We Shall Overcome Big Sis, Pauline Town, this year’s Gerrard Winstanley Gold Spade Award for outstanding contribution to Socialism. A lot of famous names have won this accolade, but there can be no-one more deserving of it than this incredible warrior for the downtrodden and the dispossessed. To get the square singing ‘One Life At A Time’ and to hand it over was very special indeed.

A festival is made by an awful lot of hard work behind the scenes, and I want to pay tribute to the committee who set the tone every year with their kindness, their selflessness, their hospitality and their solidarity. When you are welcomed and looked after as a performer you take the stage with a skip in your step; when you are welcomed, respected and valued as an audience you generate a spirit in the crowd that artists tap into. It becomes a two way street and the atmosphere slowly builds through the day. It takes a great band, like The Men They Couldn’t Hang to then make the kind of magic we witnessed last night, but it exists in the first place thanks to the year-long hard graft of the Diggers Committee and the sound and lighting staff who make the whole thing tick. Respect comrades ✊

Right. Stockton today. Best get ready.

La lucha continua.