WE SHALL OVERCOME- In Lockdown

Hello everyone,

Wanted to keep you up to date with what we’ve been up to with WSO during Lockdown, and where we are heading.

Covid-19 has thrown us a LOT of challenges as a movement, but our first worry was keeping Pauline Town afloat. Without regular gigs there was no income to keep a roof over her head or to fund those 90 daily packed lunches and the incredible work she does getting people off the streets.

We secured that on Easter Saturday when WSO ISOLATION FESTIVAL- SAT APRIL 11th 2020 raised more than £26,000 plus another £2000 from Steve Nevard and his AMAZING merch campaign running alongside. You can catch all the festival performances by clicking here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/isolationfest/

and you can bag #WSO2020 merch from Steve here:

https://www.ecwid.com/store/we-shall-overcome-t-shirts/

Since then WSO Nottingham have been running regular events online, and the team there deserve massive credit for their innovation and ingenuity as well as the amazing sums they have made.

Janine Booth has compiled a book of poetry ‘Coronaverses’ which is being sold for WSO causes here:

https://www.janinebooth.com/shop/coronaverses-poems-pandemic-0

with a live performance this Friday.

Matt Hill has continued his brilliant Defiance Sessions online with the next event featuring one of THE stars of lockdown Jess Silk, so make sure you don’t miss either event!

Some regular WSO artists have been consistently active for their local food banks and outreach services. Skinner & T’witch’s Pick n’ Mix Social Club has been brilliant, as has Lewis Pugh with his regular Monday live streams. If you get chance to support them, please do.

Personally, I’ve been running regular ‘Live From T’Shed’ shows with GoFundMe pages running alongside; and for the last 11 weeks my #LockdownSolidarity campaign has been donating all merch money to a different cause each week.

I’ve also teamed up with Hull and District Trades Council to work on a proposed Trade Union Solidarity Food Bank in the city. We’re looking to establish roots in communities up and down the UK and involve the TU movement in the struggle at street level.

And current news is the INCREDIBLE single released on Sunday. Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds have pulled off something very special indeed and put together a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Lily, Rosemary and The Jack Of Hearts’ featuring 12 singers and 6 musicians all recorded in isolation during lockdown. The result is absolutely brilliant and you can download it here:

https://rollingramshacklereview.bandcamp.com/releases

with all money going to frontline WSO causes wherever need is greatest.

You can also enjoy the fantastic video here:

So what about the future?

Well, I think we all know tough times are coming, and on top of that we have no clue what the live music scene will look like on the other side, so it’s very difficult to book anything with any certainty; but we will continue to find ways to raise whatever help we can in whatever way it takes.

Anything you can bring to the party please do. As ever, We Shall Overcome is only as strong as those willing to stand up and support it.

Just wanted to update you all with where we are.

We have fought hard for the last five years and we will fight on for as long as it takes.

Hang on in there.

Joe x

The Rolling Ramshackle Review

Today saw the release of an INCREDIBLE lockdown project to record Bob Dylan’s classic ‘Lily, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts’ in isolation for We Shall Overcome.

The idea was the brainchild of Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds and has taken weeks of painstaking piecing together building the musical backdrop and compiling vocal takes from up and down the land.

You can watch the stunning video here:

Very proud to have been asked to add my voice to the likes of Naomi, Justin Currie, Jess Silk, Carol Hodge, Daniel Lucas, Aladsdair Roberts and Phil Odgers among others; and the finished product is just brilliant.

You can download it from:

https://rollingramshacklereview.bandcamp.com

with every penny going to frontline grassroots causes wherever need is greatest.

The reaction so far has been amazing, so watch it, buy it, share it and let’s make this little piece of lockdown magic a hit.

Thanks everyone x

#LockdownSolidarity UPDATE

LockdownSolidarity

MASSIVE thank you to everyone who continues to support my ongoing #LockdownSolidarity campaign. The numbers are staggering, but still you keep em coming.

For the uninitiated, eleven weeks ago I began donating what money I make in merch sales to a different cause every seven days. Normally this wouldn’t amount to that much as I really aren’t that popular, but you lot have taken the campaign to your hearts and this is what has been accomplished so far…

WK1 £125 for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham
WK2 £130 for Teardrops in St. Helens
WK3 £540 for Dundee Food Bank
WK4 £532 for The Florrie in Liverpool
WK5 £501 for East Worthing Food Bank
WK6 £335 for Help The Homeless in Glastonbury
WK7 £346 for Kitchen For Everyone in York
WK8 £915 for Feed Newport
WK9 £635 for LoveGlasgowHateRacism
WK10 £453 for DN7 Food Bank

And WK11 already has £160 on the board for East Durham Trust as I type.

Incredible stuff folks. Thanks you all so much for the support, enthusiasm and encouragement.

If you would like to help too then everything I have is included, from tunes to t-shirts and tote bags at:

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

We SHALL overcome x

#LockdownSolidarity Campaign

LockdownSolidarity

My #LockdownSolidarity campaign has been a massive success so far and I really can’t thank you enough for supporting it.

Six weeks ago I decided the crisis out there growing, and We Shall Overcome unable to operate on any meaningful level, I had better get creative. I decided to help raise funds on a weekly basis by giving away all merch money until I can gig again. ALL merch is included- CDs, downloads, t-shirts and bundles- from my Bandcamp page at:

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

Here’s a rundown of the work done so far:

WK1 £125 for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham
WK2 £130 for Teardrops in St. Helens
WK3 £540 for Dundee Food Bank
WK4 £532 for The Florrie in Liverpool
WK5 £501 for East Worthing Food Bank
WK6 £335 for Help The Homeless in Glastonbury
WK7 £346 for Kitchen For Everyone in York

Week 8 is looking to raise some much-needed cash for Feed Newport, so if you’re short a couple of my records, or in need of a new t-shirt or tote bag please remedy that and help me help others.

Thanks folks.

Live From T’Shed #2- No Pasaran!

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Last night’s ‘Live From T’Shed #2’ raised a fantastic £1000 for Black Country Food Bank and I can’t thank you all enough for tuning in and supporting the event.

It was a night with my ‘No Pasaran’ album and the stories behind the songs, and the support I received from the first second was simply overwhelming. Live streaming is tough as a musician but you are making life in lockdown not only bearable, but a successful continuation of We Shall Overcome work we are currently unable to do with live gigs.

‘Live From T’Shed #3’ will take place on Saturday June 20th, and will be a performance of my Miner’s Strike album ‘Never Be Defeated’. I’m hooking up with the annual Orgreave Rally to present a day of speeches and music of which my live stream will be the evening session. Can’t wait.

If you missed the ‘No Pasaran’ stream, it is now available on YouTube here:

Thanks again everyone. Your support is keeping me going through these troubled times, and is helping me help others.

Solidarity
Joe

Happy Birthday We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome is five years old today.

It’s five years since Stephen Goodall galvanised us into action with the words:

“What we need is a night of musical protest all over the country. Let’s pick a date.”

Five years since Matt Hill, Tony Peter Wright, Jamie Bramwell and meself ran with it, and quickly joined by Pauline Town, Pete Yen, Val Colvin and Steve White created a movement whose motto ‘A Raised Fist & A Helping Hand’ perfectly sums up our anti-austerity, pro-community agenda to keep people fed and housed and supported in spite of successive governments abandoning them.

Course that was just the committee.

What set WSO apart was that it was not top down but ground up grassroots front line activism by real people in real communities, targeting resources where they were most needed. It took THOUSANDS of people- volunteer organisers, willing promoters, poster designers; musicians, poets, writers and creative genii up and down the land- to make this happen, and every single one made a vital and valuable contribution to the cause.

That is the lesson of We Shall Overcome. That there is no such thing as an insignificant gesture, because added together, all those seemingly insignificant gestures become something very significant indeed.

From the first gig and that first donation of a bag of shopping, We Shall Overcome has built and built until it now stands at 1100+ events, in 150+ towns and cities and has raised an estimated £500,000 in groceries, cash, warm clothing, toiletries and hands-on help going straight to the front line of need in the town which raised it, helping food banks, soup kitchens, crisis centres, homeless outreach, youth projects and refugee support.

And we’ve got more than 400 people off the streets and into a new home and a fresh start.

Lockdown has stopped the physical gigs but we were pro-active and on Easter Saturday ran WSO ISOLATION FESTIVAL- SAT APRIL 11th 2020 a 12-hour online gig featuring the likes of Billy Bragg, Grace Petrie, Phil Odgers, Attila the Stockbroker and The Wakes. The event raised almost £28,000 securing our central operations in Greater Manchester until such times as we can gig again. A further £2000 was raised from t-shirts and is being divided up among our most active regions according to the levels of need.

Going forward times are set to get harder still, and WSO will be needed more than ever. As long as governments fail their people we will be needed to highlight and protest that failure while doing our best to keep folk alive.

If you want to get involved join our organising group at WE SHALL OVERCOME 2020 and run a gig or volunteer to help at another. EVERYONE can bring something to this.

We lost our comrade, brother and friend Stephen Goodall a few weeks ago.

We Shall Overcome is his legacy.

And what a thing to leave behind you.

RIP Ste. Long live what you started.

Live From T’Shed #2- No Pasaran

The next ‘Live From T’Shed’ gig will be a performance of my ‘No Pasaran’ album on Saturday May 16th from 8pm sharp.

Rather than just play gigs repeating the same songs I want to use lockdown to mix it up a bit and play songs that don’t make a standard setlist, and the three history albums- ‘No Pasaran’, ‘Never Be Defeated’ and ‘Headscarves and Hurricanes’- are individual gigs, each with a back story ripe for the telling. ‘No Pasaran’ is first up.

To watch this, and ALL ‘Live From T’Shed’ gigs, you need to join the Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

and be there at 8pm on the 16th.

Simple.

And yes, I will be playing the bonus tracks on the Special Edition reissue.

The gig is raising donations for Black Country Food Bank and there’s a dedicated GoFundMe page here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/joe-solo-live-from-shed-fundraiser

See you there ✊❤️👊

Live From T’Shed #1- STORMED IT.

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Last night’s ‘Live From T’Shed’ fundraiser was amazing, a truly memorable night that no-one was at but everyone was there.

I spent 2 hours and 47 minutes singing songs going back 29 years, all requests from you lot, and many way off my beaten track in terms of gig set lists. I absolutely loved every last second and the 1400 comments on the Facebook thread suggested I wasn’t the only one.

More importantly we smashed it for the cause.

My replacement laptop long ago covered by the fantastic response from you guys, on the night we raised £1435 for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham whose community outreach work is feeding up to 300 families a week; and the merch sales inspired by the gig pushed this week’s #LockdownSolidarity total to £540 for Dundee Food Bank.

Incredible.

Here’s some of the feedback:

It was such quality. There are a million and one livestreams out there at the moment, and some of them are very good and some of them are utter shite (like real life gigs), but that was as close as it gets to reconstructing an actual emotional-engaged gig. Whereas you’d normally get 30-40 mins, we got best part of three hours of pure storytelling gold. I have no idea how Joe managed to replicate an audience relationship built on emotion, through the medium of livestream, but fuck me he did. That was something powerful and meaningful and spot on right there. Superb.”

Next ‘Live From T’Shed’ gig will be a performance of the ‘No Pasaran’ album from 8pm on Saturday May 16th where we’ll be raising funds for Black Country Food Bank. 

#LockdownSolidarity this week will be supporting The Florrie in Liverpool. All merch is included so PLEASE bag a CD, download or t-shirt from Bandcamp and all money will be donated to The Florrie next weekend.

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

And if you want to watch my ‘Live From T’Shed’ gigs, just join the Facebook group at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

Last night’s live stream is there to catch-up.

Thanks for your continued support, folks. Never has it mattered more.

No Pasaran Poster

 

 

THIS SATURDAY- Live From T’Shed!!!

Live with times

This Saturday I’ll be live streaming a two-hour set from t’shed from 8pm sharp, and I’d love it if you can make it.

Easy to get in. You just join the Facebook group HERE:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

and be ready for an all-requests show going back through almost 30 years of my songbook. It will be quite an emotional journey and I’m proper looking forward to it.

The gig will be raising donations for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham as part of We Shall Overcome #WSO2020. Rachel and the team there provide vital grassroots community outreach work there putting together 300 emergency food parcels per week.

You can donate here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/joe-solo039s-emergency-laptop-appeal

or here:

paypal.me/joesoloWSO

But most of all please support the gig and interact with likes and comments. And if you want a shout-out let me know during the set.

Can’t wait.

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