A Raised Fist & A Helping Hand

Mike Black – WSO Interview #10

“The fabric of our society being dismantled daily by the lies and cruelty of the rich and greedy. Enough is enough”

Mike Black

What event are you involved in?

I will be performing solo in Liverpool, there are so many venues and artists getting involved here that we don’t know exactly when or where yet, details to follow. Also will be at an event in my hometown Wallasey on the Wirral with a group of lifelong friends. Should, on top of that, be playing in Brighton with my Ska/Reggae band Skippy The Fridge, we’re in the process of booking a venue for that one too.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

I live in Bulgaria. We Shall Overcome? I Shall Comeover!

What made you want to get involved?

When I left school as a fully committed socialist I walked straight out the door into Thatcher’s Britain. On Merseyside there were no jobs but there was plenty of opportunities to get into mischief, so I went to London and studied, I opened a squat on the Rockingham estate off New Kent Rd and within 2 years there were 30 people from home living there, we gave the lie to the fact that ‘scousers’ didn’t want to work by getting off our arses and finding new employment away from home.

Now over 30 years later I still see the fabric of our society being dismantled daily by the lies and cruelty of the rich and greedy. Enough is enough! WSO is a chance to shout that from the highest rooftops. “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore” to quote Peter Finch’s character from Network.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

All the time I witness random acts of kindness that keep me hopeful for the future. A guy I once met at a mental health awareness event said to me. “Everyday I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall but everyday I know that the wall will collapse before I do” Those words have held me in good stead over the years.

Nye Bevan has always been a hero of mine, here’s a quote of his, “Soon, if we are not prudent, millions of people will be watching each other starve to death through expensive television sets” What more of an inspiration do we need?

What are you most looking forward to about October 2-4?

When I first heard about this event I saw it as a lead up to a massive celebration of the people who are against austerity, against Capitalism. But as the time has gone on, hard to believe it’s only been a few weeks, I have started to see it not as the culmination of something but as the generation or spark for a new movement. WSO will be day one of a new beginning.

Find out more about Mike and his music


Author: Matt Hill Songwriter

Storytelling singer-songwriter and community artist who offers a British take on folk and Americana. Formerly known by the stage name Quiet Loner. Recent projects include a songwriting residency in a museum, an album co-written with people at a homeless project and a stint as a resident musician in a prison.

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