Oct 2018. A raised fist and a helping hand.

Kit Flemons (Rat bit Kit) – WSO Interview #17

“I want to be involved in a bout of national catharsis, the collective scream of the doomed.”

ratbitkitKit Flemons aka ‘Rat Bit Kit’ is taking part in We Shall Overcome Liverpool

Tell us about yourself

I play the electric accordion – loud, distorted, discordant squeezepunk. I tried playing the guitar – I wanted to learn three-chord punk, but only got as far as the second chord. In frustration, I picked up the accordion, thinking it would be easier. Seems it was. What’s more, it’s versatile – the accordion has buttons for bass, rhythm AND lead. Normally you need a separate guitar for each of those!

What made you want to get involved?

Politics. We live in a capitalist system fuelled by selfishness and greed. All of our major political parties support this system – and our current ruling party doesn’t just tolerate, but positively relishes, the most destructive, brutal and cruel excesses of it.  I may be cynical, but even if we don’t overcome I want to be involved in a bout of national catharsis, the collective scream of the doomed.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

Resistance. The austerity movement isn’t just an economic policy, but an attempted cultural shift, an attempt to change who we are and how we think – to change what we consider acceptable, and what we aspire to. As long as we never change, those imposing it can never win.

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

A national shout of defiance. A unified declaration that we will not be beaten down.

Find Kit on Facebook



Val Colvin (Liverpool) – WSO Interview #16

“I am just one voice but with you all by my side I am thousands strong”

Royal_Liver_BuildingA host of Liverpool venues have announced We Shall Overcome events including Zanzibar, St.Michaels Irish centre, The Magnet, The Lantern, The Brink, Macguires Pizza Bar, 24 Kitchen St, The Pilgrim, Sounds Food & Drink and The Casa Bar.

We have a quick word with Val Colvin, the Children’s Intensive Care Nurse who is also a major driving force behind We Shall Overcome Liverpool.

What made you want to get involved?

I love music, I’m a people person, I love a challenge. I want to teach the next generation about the importance of community and helping each other no matter who you are, what your background is or where you come from. What better way than to do it through music.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

People – I am just one voice but with you all by my side I am thousands strong and We Shall Overcome!

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

Everything coming together, the buzz everyone will get after their gig, the joy this whole project will bring to thousands of people, not only from the music but also the people who are going to benefit from all the hard work put into the cause

Join the Liverpool WSO Facebook community

Jason White (Organiser Barnsley) – WSO Interview #15

“We Barnsley folk do a damn good job of raising money for those who need it the most.  If there is a cause still worth fighting for, we’ll get up and fight.”

jason whiteWe talk to Jason White, organiser of ‘We Shall Overcome Barnsley’ which will take place on Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October at the award winning Barnsley Rock & Blues Venue, over two stages.

Tell us about yourself

I’m known for running alternativebarnsley.com (and the facebook page of the same name), which is a blog that promotes local artists and events. I also organise my own monthly gigs under that name too. Personally, I like all kinds of music from folk to black metal, from electronica to punk. I’m a real ale connoisseur and for my real job, I work in a museum.

For We Shall Overcome I want as many people as possible coming to these shows, so I don’t want it restricted just to those musicians who are openly socialist or actively political.  Saturday will simply be the best of popular and local rock and indie, spread over a stage for big bands and a second/acoustic lounge type stage. Sunday’s music will have more of a message. We will have a main stage full of punk, ska, hardcore, spoke word and lots more good stuff. Second stage will be stripped back sets from local folk musicians singing songs of protest and revolution.
What made you want to get involved?

My good friend Tony Wright of The Hurriers told me about this. He approached me and local musician Chris Sammon to help put together an event. I said yes straight away and got on board a shit load of local promoters and musicians to help out.

Despite Barnsley being a town that has constantly had its nose rubbed in the dirt over the last thirty years, we’ve always got back up and fought. Not only that, we Barnsley folk do a damn good job of raising money for those who need it the most. If there is a cause still worth fighting for, we’ll get up and fight. This weekend will be no different.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

People. Simple as that. It’s what I tell the Jehovahs Witnesses when they come round knocking. When they ask what I believe in, I say people.

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

It’s about people coming together right? Saturday, it’s going to be good to see new people coming out who’s seen what the event is about. Maybe people who don’t often go out to watch live music. That’s always great.

Sunday, hopefully some people will return for something a little harder. Listen to the lyrics. Sing along. Dance harder and donate harder. As much as some will be in it for the craic, and it will be a damn good craic, we got to remember why we’re doing it.

Find out more about Jason’s events on Facebook

Dunstan Bruce (Interrobang?!) – WSO INterview #14

“We Shall Overcome is awesome in its power and potential and as a statement of intent for the situation we find ourselves in”

interrobang-photo-1We talk to Dunstan Bruce of Interrobang?! who are playing with Thee Faction at the Pipeline in London Friday 2nd October and again at Le Pub in Newport on Saturday 3rd October.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

For 23 years I was a member of Chumbawamba. I left in 2005 and got involved in making documentaries instead. I set up a very small production company, Dandy Films, with my partner, the documentary maker, Daisy Asquith. Interrobang?! has been in existence for about 18 months or so; it’s me and Harry, also once of Chumbawamba and Griff who was guitarist in Regular Fries. We are just about to release our second single. We’re recording an album. We mean it, man!

What made you want to get involved in We Shall Overcome?

That depressing election result has seemingly kick-started a groundswell of opposition. Positive opposition. It feels like we’ve got our arses into gear again. It feels like we’re saying okay you have the governmental power but do you know what? We’re going to organise and collaborate and create and unite and resist as a cohesive movement. We’ll work outside of your strictures and create something massively inspiring and powerful and we’ll help each other and support each other and form a popular resistance to the state we are now lumbered with. We’ll be loud and determined and celebratory and we’ll have a laugh doing it but we won’t forget why we’re doing it and how powerful we can be when we all come together. We won’t be marginalised or trod on or quiet. We’re making a stand, getting involved and not giving up. We’re still angry and we want a better world.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

Just how this whole WSO has taken off and exploded into an amazing coming together of people across the spectrum; it’s awesome in its power and potential and as a statement of intent for the situation we find ourselves in and the future. I’m overwhelmed by the camaraderie, the determination, the hope, the love, the power of the people being motivated to create something out of the ruins. This could be something; a network, a movement, a new cultural and social space, a new way of thinking and organising and creating. I’m inspired and motivated and optimistic.

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

Feeling a part of something that just could be massively significant, as though we are at the birth of something new and powerful and inclusive and culturally, politically and socially inspiring to those in opposition to the ridiculous system we currently labour under.

And performing on the same bill as Thee Faction, obviously. They are just wonderful and I love them with a passion.

Find out more about Interrobang?! 

Anarchy Dada – WSO Interview #13

“when we join together and take action from the heart we are magnificent”

anarchy dada

We have a quick chat with Anarchist Rob, one third of Hull based Anarchy Dada who will be bringing their Punk rock comedy theatre to Adelphi Hull on Sunday 4th October

Tell us something about yourself

Anarchy dada is me Anarchist Rob with Weird Beard and Bob La Frenzy. Original Punk rock protest songs. Its the same old arses they want you to kiss, the same old system capitalist where the harder you work the more they get rich. That’s why I’m gonna make a fist and that’s why I’m an Anarchist!

What made you want to get involved?

Had to be done! The more we all share the more we all have. Doing the right thing makes you feel good.. A life MUST be for something.. We are often greedy and stupid but when we join together and take action from the heart we are magnificent !

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

Just people joining together for a common cause. Thinking and giving and sharing and belonging and doing stuff together.

John Armstrong (The Speed of Sound) – WSO Interview #12

“This is the 21st century. We shouldn’t have to fight the social battles of the 19th century again”

We talk to John Armstrong whose band The Speed of Sound are playing Ashton-Under-Lyne The Station Sun 4 Oct and Manchester The Thirsty scholar Sun 4 Oct

speed of sound

Tell us something interesting about yourself

I write, sing and play guitar in three piece progressive-punk (or power-psych) band The Speed Of Sound which emerged from suspended animation and started playing live again in 2013 after a 20 year public performance gap. I have green eyes and often dress in black.

The most unusual gig I have ever played was a free improvisation on acoustic guitar to accompany a re-imagination of a pagan marriage ritual taking place inside Manchester City Art Galley in 1987, the officiating priest was artist Bruce Lacey (who was George Harrison’s gardener in the Beatles film ‘Help!’).

What made you want to get involved?

Waking up the morning after the election with combination of disbelief and anger at the arrogant smugness and selfishness that’s now apparently accepted as normal (and even desireable) character traits. The whole austerity thing is disgusting. This is the 21st century we should be looking outwards, living on the moon and Mars and working together not having to fight the social battles of the 19th century again. The ‘I’m alright sod you’ approach is not the way to develop as a species.

Foodbanks are not something to be proud of. There simply should be no need for this by now. The whole austerity thing is ideologically driven and completely senseless, the wider economy does not function like a personal spending budget; if people have money they spend it so by cutting employment and pay (and government spending) the economy contracts while the rich get richer. Its nauseous.

Simply put I needed an outlet for the frustration of effectively having to live through the 1980’s again. I co-host a radio show on ALLFM 96.9 and the first three records I played after the election were The Sex Pistols Silly Thing, Throwing Muses Furious and The Stranglers Something Better Change. It made me feel a little better… and then, I heard about We Shall Overcome weekend. It felt good to not be alone.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

Music inspires and invigorates me and so do people. A half heard phrase from a passing stranger can be a spark. It’s good to know there are other people that also don’t feel the current government speaks for them, it might be five years before we get another chance to start again but we don’t have to spend that time being timid or miserable. We can turn our amplifiers up and roar.

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

The sense of unity of purpose is already there and can only grow between now and We Shall Overcome weekend. With four months still to go there is a feeling of community with the other performers/venues and that will also involve the audience too. An organic togetherness, not manufactured, its the complete antidote the the current state of commercial music and the mainstream BritainsGotTalent/xFactor celebrity garbage. We may well be shouting at politicians in a PR bubble insulated from real people and the mainstream news organisations may ignore us, but I don’t think this community will disappear after the weekend. Something is happening.

Find out more about The Speed of Sound

Stephen Goodall (The instigator) – WSO Interview #11

“I was the culprit who had the original idea. My aim is to get at least 2 tonnes of food this year”

stephen GWe Shall Overcome was the brainchild of Stephen Goodall, a musician from Halton in Cheshire. We catch up with Stephen for his thoughts on how things are progressing.

What event are you involved in?

Well I was the culprit who had the original idea so I feel I’m involved in all the weekends events indirectly! But more directly I’m involved in organising six events in Halton, Cheshire.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve been a musician for 25 years always writing and performing my own material but over the last decade I’ve been more involved with promoting my own gigs but I will be dusting my guitar down for one of our shows. I work in power generation and am an active shop steward.

How did the orginial idea come about?

It was an inspirational late night Facebook chat. To give us all something positive to do in the wake of the election. I had the original idea, but with the hard work and ideas from Joe Solo, Matt Hill, Tony Wright and Jamie Bramwell it has spiralled into what we see today. My Facebook feed has never been so positive!

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

I’ve been inspired by how fast the five of us can work from having an idea to actually making it happen. It’s amazing to think that the internet is our board room. Every single person in our movement (Almost 6000 the last time I checked) makes it easy to wake up each morning.

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

The challenge of 6 venues in 3 days , a first for me. And the actual count up at the end. We did a food bank show last year and collected 306 kilos of food. My aim is to get at least 2 tonnes this year

Listen to Ste Goodall song ‘No more bikes in England’