Blah blah detournment detourned, innit. The only interesting thing about this artwork is whether or not the record label got copyright clearance for the use of Batman.
Perhaps Sham’s recent appearance at the Labour Party conference wasn’t so surprising after all. I mean, it was only last year or so that “If the kids…” was used by McDonalds in a TV advert, so it’s hardly a quantum leap from that to the mcpolitics of nu-labour.
As Martin has pointed out, perhaps we have to look elsewhere for our punk fix now.
That tune, though… it gets hold of you…
This 7″ came out in mysterious circumstances in 1995. One side has a totally white label, the other side has a totally black label.
The “white” side starts off with this fantastic interview with Atari Teenage Riot conducted for the “Raw Soup” tv show:
Alec Empire: “There are so many things are wrong with the system… that’s enough.”
Interviewer: “Enough to cause a riot?”
Alec Empire: “We need a change.”
Interviewer: “And finally, how do you relax after a hard day’s rioting?”
Hanin Elias: “I don’t relax. Ever.”
The record then cuts into a brutal live Digital Hardcore version of “Kids United” which used the Sham refrain but adds lyrics such as…
“You know that violence is a disease
It’s going to be a part of our lives and our future if we don’t do something against it!
But if we put our energies together it could be a very powerful era!
Riot sound effects can produce riots
Play them in a riot situation and the police will come you’ll see!”
…which owe as much to Burroughs circa The Job as they do to punk.
The Blaggers ITA are one of the best bands ever and “Emergency”, the last track on this classic album, is one of their best tracks ever. Why?
Well, it kicks off with Madonna saying “You can dance – for inspiration” before bringing in some excellent horns, drums, bass and guitar whilst Matty Blag sings about the cops:
“999 on the telephone / 999 coming in my home”
Matty continues for a few verses, before the bridge to end all bridges, a mosh section, a HUGE horns and bass and drums section and then Christie comes in with some top geordie toasting business:
“Shout down the road and we’re all gonna come,
found all the nazis and we’re gonna make ’em run,
we’re all tooled up for a knuckles-to-the-ground,
there ain’t no place for a nazi in this town.”
Christie’s verses end with an impassioned dedication:
“This is for all the prisoners in jail,
all the people who’ve been jailed for being anti-fascists,
this is for David, Mark and Tony,
serving time for fighting against fascists,
fighting the right fight,
fighting the just fight,
fighting against them scum!”
The Blaggers were not fucking about with politics like most pop groups – their involvement with the militant “physical force” Anti-Fascist Action meant that they’d almost certainly had personal dealings with people who had been sent down for confronting nazi boneheads on the streets. The song then launches itself into a raucous terrace chant version of “If the Kids Are United”…
I’ll take that over Tony and Gordon any day of the week…