MISSION STATEMENT 2020

Holed-up writing and preparing for a new year and a fresh fight. There are new releases and new projects to run alongside the old ones, but here’s a quick run through where I’m heading.

Three new CDs will land early in 2020.

1. First will be the ‘We Shall Overcome EP’, seven protest covers all raising funds for the new #NotOnOurWatchCampaign (see below). The download is available now as well as the CD on pre-order, but they won’t land in your letterbox until the end of January when they are scheduled for delivery to Solo Towers. The EP features collaborations with Rebekah Findlay, The Hatfield Brigade and Commoners Choir.

2. Hot on its heels will be the reissue of ‘No Pasaran’ with the new artwork by Kevin Pearson which looks STUNNING. There are five bonus tracks and we also have 50 limited edition numbered A4 prints of the sleeve art for those who want it on their wall. There will be a launch gig for this in Hull and details will follow.

3. The new #LithiumJoe single ‘Answer Machine’ will be released in the Spring on CD and download, and potentially vinyl if we can make ends meet. The B-Side will be ‘Forget To Remember’ and ’29 More Stolen Summers’, and we can’t wait to get that out there. Michael Lee Toas has shot footage for a music video and short documentary, so that will be along too.

On the other side of things, the fight just got harder, which means I will have to dig a little deeper just to tread water.

That’s ok. I’m good for it.

We Shall Overcome will continue as before, and we’ll be looking to encourage more people to get involved so that every weekend we are hitting poverty where it hurts and getting help to the front line of need. I will continue to hit the road and head wherever I’m needed to support #WSO2020. Too many people need it.

My gigs will continue to be collection points for food donations, warm clothing parcels for #SocksAppeal, sanitary towels for #PeriodPovertySolidarityCampaign and I will continue with the Pauline Pocket for anyone who would like to get a few quid to The Station Hotel, Ashton Under Lyne for those daily packed lunches.

And the #NotOnOurWatchCampaign is my new battle. It has been launched in response to the people I’ve spoken to, or messaged, who are going without food and heating waiting for wage packets or benefit payments after the money has run out. I’m going to be building a fighting fund to help bridge those gaps for anyone who messages me in trouble. Can’t promise masses, but if £5, £10, £20 will get folks fed and allow them to turn the heating on, then I’ll sort it. Not a loan, not charity, just solidarity in action because that’s what Woody would have done.

So I hope to see you all out there again next year fighting on. I promise to hit every venue and festival that will have me, and to support every benefit gig and picket line I possibly can. The Struggle may have left parliament, but it leaves there bigger, bolder and better than it began and I genuinely believe we are stronger for it.

And f*** it, I’ve got nothing better to do for five years.

You in?

We Shall Overcome EP

img_20190620_202826_687946521032262917314.jpg

The first of three releases due in the first months of 2020 is the ‘We Shall Overcome EP’.

These seven songs are protest covers and feature Rebekah Findlay on fiddle and vocal, The Hatfield Brigade and Commoners Choir.

I am using this release to raise funds for the new #NotOnOurWatchCampaign which I’ve set up to help people bridge the short term gap if they are running out of money before wage packets or benefit payments arrive.

The songs have mostly passed through the hands of Pete Seeger over the years, but The Men They Couldn’t Hang‘s 1986 classic ‘Ghosts Of Cable Street’ is there too and a massive thank you to Paul Simmonds for his permission to use it for the cause.

You can stream/download the EP here:

https://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com/album/we-shall-overcome-ep

and CD copies will follow in January.

News of the ‘No Pasaran’ reissue, with five bonus tracks, plus the new Lithium Joe single, will follow in the coming weeks.

For now though. Enjoy x

#Lithium Joe Return For #WSO2019

Joe Andi

Not quite sure where to start with this so I’ll just dive in.
 
The two #LithiumJoe gigs this weekend were absolute dynamite.
 
We loved playing together and kicking up a racket for you, and we can’t wait to get back on the road with our new single in the Spring. We finish that on January 30th and we’re working on the finer details over the Christmas break. Just have to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who filled both venues to support the band. I know there were plenty of you from back in the day, but plenty of you used to seeing me with a maraca in my shoe travelled from all over the country and that means more than I can possibly say.
 
Between the lot of us we moved absolute mountains.
 
Saturday at The Station Hotel, Ashton Under Lyne raised £1000 in cash, plus loads of bags of food and warm clothing. The cash housed four people, including a homeless family of three now facing their first Christmas together in a place to call home. So no matter how small your donation into the WSO bucket, YOU did that. Just brilliant.
 
Sunday at The New Adelphi Club in Hull raised £850 for Hull Help For Refugees and the money is being used to get decent quality waterproof footwear into the refugee camps around Calais and Dunkirk where cases of trenchfoot are a daily occurance. The donations of warm clothing I will get to Scarborough Friends of Refugees for their SNUG parcels heading in the same direction. The venue also waived their fee on hire for the room and donated that to the cause, so a massive #WSO2019 thank you to Jacko, Jim, Mat and all the Adelphi for that awesome gesture of solidarity.
 
So that’s £1850 plus food and clothing. In two gigs.
 
Absolutely amazing. Can’t thank you all enough.
 
Thank you’s are going to be complicated so here goes….
 
For Sunday, The Hurriers for a superb set opening for us; Chris Von Trapp for DJ skills; Michael Lee Toas for hauling down to film us; Ian Jones for hauling up to snap us; David Craik and Marie for handing merch; and everyone who sold the place out weeks ago making sure we walked out to a full house on our return home. You will never know how good that felt. Amazing.
 
For Saturday, all the musicians who gave their time and talents to the cause. I was in and out a bit, but it was great to see Darren Poyzer, Tony Auton, Bard Company, the utterly incredible Rebekah Findlay and bringing solidarity in stanzas from darn sarf, Karl and Red Rosa of Poetry on the Picket Line. So good to see The Hatfield Brigade drink their way through virtually every optic on the shelf and keep the pub running as an actual pub for once! And fab to see the Wigan Diggers and BFAWU contingents out in force. Great to see the place to full and so buzzing with positive energy. Fantastic.
 
And respect is due to all who went to both gigs, especially Paul and Lindsay Rutland and Simon Welsh Notton whose enthusiasm for it all could not help but put a smile on your face.
 
One last thing. I booked Saturday as a birthday party, not for the attention, but because I thought it was a good excuse to have a big all-dayer at The Station before the worst of the winter set in. I know you got that. I know you understood that. But your presents and cards made my day anyway. Love you all to bits. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your warm words, hugs and handshakes and all the rest. Incredible support xx
 
So to old friends and new THANK YOU for making the Lithium Joe comeback such a blast. We LOVED it.
 
Someone once said we were the best band they saw that never made it.
 
Yeah, well we haven’t finished yet.
 
See you soon x

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