What brought this grump on? I had been aware of Sleaford Mods for a while, but discounted listening to them when Mojo anointed them the next big thing a few years ago. However I drifted past a video of them on Later recently and found I should be taking notice. Reading about their most recent album English Tapas it seems they were looking to move on musically and lyrically and they have. I can take or leave most of what's gone before but "B.H.S", "Army Nights" and "Stick In A Five And Go" all have something to say about the state we are in. I'm not the first to compare them to John Cooper Clarke but I'm listening to Beasley Street as I write this and remember the effect of this in 1980 and how it helped shaped my thoughts about politics.
The fact that music doesn't shape thought and feelings as it used to is a loss, not only to the young folks who don't seem to have replaced it with anything else, but also to society which misses out on the prod to the conscience that politically aware music has given since "Strange Fruit" and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". That the most thought provoking current music is being made by two blokes in their forties and speaks more to me than my daughter is disheartening to say the least. Whatever your party colour, or lack of it, you are unlikely to feel that we are in a golden age of political thought and action. The world needs to find a way to engage with my daughter's generation and music still has the potential to shift opinions and mould minds.
The best thought provoking songs
Cleaners From Venus: Living With Victoria Grey
Peter Gabriel: Biko
The Specials: Ghost Town
Neil Young: Rockin In The Free Wold
Nerina Pallot: Everybody's Gone To War
The Clash: Clampdown
Public Enemy: Hell No, We Ain't All Right
Labi Siffre; Something Inside So Strong
Frankie Goes To Hollywood: War
B52s: Channel Z
John Cooper Clarke: Beasley Street
Sleaford Mods: B.H.S.
Yes I know, no Bob Dylan, CSNY, etc. While great songs they don't speak to me. For once I'm too young.