manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

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peteloaf
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manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by peteloaf » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:40 am

Dear Frank. Awesome gig tonight: as is to be expected from someone who thoroughly deserved the 'best live act' accolade. Too right. Properly deserved. You're ace. I've seen you several times now and you never fail. But your spoken introduction to "Rivers" .... a lot of us boo'ed, including me. I hope you heard. Some of us talked after and agreed our surprise that the person who wrote "Thatcher Fucked the Kids" and "Love, Ire and Song" could possibly say that. I hope we misheard you, or, in the heat of the gig, your words were misunderstood or misheard. Don't get me wrong. We still danced like metals, we still sang till our throats were hoarse. But that introduction niggled enough of us to make it a significant post-gig talking point, and we only recognised one another afterwards because we turned our backs on you during the song. I know some shits burned down the warehouse. Total shitty cunty arse twats. But. But. To couple everyone, ie, them, with a proper, authentic, protesting grievance as voiced by 'us', as you did..., IMO, Wrong. Billy Bragg is running 'how to write protest music' workshops at Occupy London, so is Patti Smith and Loudon Wainwright III in the States. You seem to have given up on writing political songs a while back. Why? Somebody said your show tonight was a "sell out", and they weren't talking of tickets sold, but about a comparison of a Frank they saw four years ago and a Frank they see now. I tried to defend you but didn't have much to go on given that introduction. Can you clarify what you meant so I can fight your corner. I want to fight your corner.

jhunter
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by jhunter » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:57 am

Hi, I'm sorry, I know this was aimed at Frank, but I have a real problem with some of what you said.
Firstly, I thought that the booing was directed AT the riots, rather than at Frank for what he said, and I'm thoroughly disappointed that this isn't the case.

My next point is this, why were you rioting? (not necessarily you specifically, but generally). The whole riots thing started out in Tottenham, because of a police shooting, as I'm sure you know, and to me, it just seemed that everybody jumped on a bandwagon, that 99.9999% of the people out on the streets were there for shits and giggles, to try and get some free stuff and to f*** up anything they could, because they could. Don't get me wrong, I'm as dis-satisfied with the current government as anybody, but I don't believe that rioting will do any good at all. I was involved in the marches against student fees being increased, but I was ashamed the second that it turned to violence. The second anybody turns to violence, their point is lost.

So yeah, I just really don't get why you think that rioting was a good idea, and am completely shocked that anyone would boo Frank for speaking out against mindless rioting and violence.

Also, your points about Billy Bragg, Patti Smith, Loudon Wainwright III etc... Frank has mentioned several times that he respects Billy Bragg for what he does, but that he doesn't want to do that as he doesn't want it to all be about the politics, and in my opinion this is how it should be. Billy is great at what he does, but at times his public personality is completely one dimensional because of what he does. I can see why Frank wouldn't want to follow in those footsteps.

And as far as Frank "selling out" goes... Nah, no chance. Just as f***ing awesome as he's been since the first time he was placed in front of a mic, and only getting better.

I'm sorry for getting involved where maybe I shouldn't, but I just felt I had to say something.
Sorry to Frank also for hijacking/getting involved. I'll shut up now.
Peace out and all that jazz


p.s. Tonight was f***ing awesome. Thanks Frank!

jjlynas
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by jjlynas » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:17 am

Thought this might be relevant, from the FAQ on the main page...

Why don’t you play “Thatcher Fucked The Kids” any more? I got bored of the song, and more specifically, I got bored of the tedious political associations that came with it. Sorry.

:)

peteloaf
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by peteloaf » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:15 am

Cheers guys. I totally get why Frank doesn't want to play Thatcher any more, and understand, and even agree. I also get why he doesn't want to be 'the next Billy Bragg' - as he was too often labelled when he first went solo. He is BETTER than Billy Bragg (sorry Billy fans) - his voice is better, he has more venom and passion in his vocal chords than Billy could dream of, and yes, you're ABSOLUTELY right, Frank isn't a one-dimensional protest singer; nor is he a singer songwriter who can be categorised into just the one genre. I love Frank's music and the few times I have met him, I also know him to be a thoroughyl decent and highly loveable man. As for selling out, I'd never think that personally: the man who tours relentlessy and puts so much of himself into every performance, even when ill as in some of the recent american gigs, deserves nothing but the big respect.

I'm also disgusted at how the events in Tottenham (legitimate grievance against police bullying and the murder of someone on false grounds) escalated into mindless yobbery and shits-for-giggles rioting. I can't disagree with with anyone feeling fury at that. Though that said, I do think the violence (as abysmal and fucked up and despicable and foul as it was) can be understood as a by-product of the way the system now works: that is, if we ask *why* the kids went crazy, one interpretation might suggest it was precisely because they are an alienated generation, excluded from civic society and from having a stake in their own communties - what we witnessed with the riots might just have been what Frank kinda prophesied in Thatcher. I wish they hadn't burned stuff down: it's one thing to have a kind of namby-pamby sociological sympathy with the causes of the riots, it's another thing totally to be sympathetic with what they did.

It was the connection made between 'rioters' and 'protestors' that got our backs up last night. I too marched, both with the students, the Trades Union march this Spring and was there at the start of Occupy London. I've been at London and New York - including for the impromptu Loudon gig at Zuccotti Park. I agree wholeheartedly in the cause of nonviolent protest, so it was the connection, last night, between rioters and protestors generally that got my goat personally. That's why I am hoping, really hoping, we misheard - that Frank's words were against the rioters/looters/arsonists only, and not the marchers and occupiers too. Maybe it's cos I am sentimental old lefty. Maybe it's because one of the most spinetinglingly beautiful moments of my life was hearing 'Love, Ire and Song' sung, en masse, by folk marching past Parliament. I dunno. Either way, I'm not going to stop loving the music (as if that would be possible); I guess I just wanted - a personal, selfish 'want', or even expected - to hear Frank speaking out against the system.

As I said, if the words were just against the looters, then that makes my post largely irrelevant. If it against protestors generally, then I think there's a debate to be had.

Loads of love to one and all x

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frank
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by frank » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:21 pm

hi there. obviously i don't have 100% recall on everything i say on stage, so correct me if i'm wrong, but i'm pretty damn sure i didn't say anything about protests. that's not something i have any interest in commenting on from the stage, and as far as i know i haven't ever done that. i talked about the riots, which were pretty depressing for me, partly because the violence and the mindlessness of those involved was scary, and partly because of the ineptness of the various responses to it from the police, politicians and the media. nothing to do with protests.

for the record, i'm not into the occupy protests personally. i particularly object to the "99%" thing. they do not speak for me, thanks.

i've shied away from political stuff, partly because i cannot be arsed with the whole "political music" thing, but also because there's such a huge, intolerant groupthink about politics when it comes to the music scene that i find distasteful and depressing. people don't want me to sing about my politics, they want me to sing about politics they agree with already. it's both boring and magnificently conformist. on the few occasions that i have ventured an opinion that is different from what people expect me to say, they get hugely offended and call me every name under the sun. does that mean i'm censoring myself for an easy life? sort of, yeah, and that keeps me awake at night. i guess i hold opinions that are unfashionable with the hip crowd. oh well. as i've said a million times, i want to be a musician and want to be evaluated as such.
Shows? All of em.

"He's like an Uncle, I like him but I don't want to listen to him all day."

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frank
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by frank » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:23 pm

i might also add that there is a predictable minority of people who've been waiting for their moment to be "over" what i do because it's too popular. this tour seems to be a jumping off point for that lot. never had much interest in placating elitists, as it goes, so i can't say i'm bothered.
Shows? All of em.

"He's like an Uncle, I like him but I don't want to listen to him all day."

Shack
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by Shack » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:29 pm

I may be wrong but I believe you said something along the lines of (after talking about being glad to be back in England) "theres plenty of things that get to me about this country too though, the riots a few months back being one of them." Then went on to talk about your reasonings for writing the song Rivers.

Seemed like a passing comment to me, not directed at individuals or protesters. Also somewhat similar to a few points in the song "Love, Ire & Song" where it seems to indicate that certain protests/riots can be more harmful than helpful (as seems to be the case with a lot of what is going on these days).

Anyway, thanks for the great show Frank! I hope all is well & keep doing what you do best.

~Shack

minidazzler
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by minidazzler » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:55 pm

What I don't understand is how people can listen to Frank's music, Love, Ire and Song, Once we were Anarchists etc, and think he would take a go at protesters? That makes no sense at all. FFS, he told the story about the cops kettling him and then one bashing him and letting him go, more than a few times. What I'm saying is he is a known protester, but not a scumbag who decides to burn places down, and rob stores as some sort of moral stance.

Oh, and OP, looking for reasons behind the rioting? They are poor cunts who think the world owes them something so they lash out with violence, intimidation and robbery, they don't get a free pass for burning down places and beating people up because of socio-economic reasons. They're are so many ways to legitimately protest and they chose the one that ruins the point for everyone. I mean, does anyone really care about the facts regarding why the police shot the guy anymore? That little thing willl be all but forgotten in time, with just the rioting remembered. So any legitimate protests that happened will also be forgotten.
I'd rather be the one who loves than to be loved and never even know.

pablopablp
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by pablopablp » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:01 pm

A few points..

Firstly, I got the impression that the booing was directed at the riots themselves rather than at Frank and thats certainly why i boo'ed. I think its pretty unlikely people would boo frank at his own gig given the level of respect there is between Frank and us the fans.

Also i've heard Frank mention it a few times and he said it before Glory Hallelujah (albeit on a slightly different topic) that he has some pretty strong views on some things but whatever your view he would still have a drink with you after the show. I don't always agree with Franks political/religious blah blah blah views but in some ways that makes the music more interesting for me. when he's on stage he's expressing his views through music and if you have different views why not go sing a song/write a play etc about them instead of telling frank what he should/shouldn't be saying

90 percent sure he didn't mention protestors at any point

Cheers for a wicked show Frank

btw peteloaf i hope that doesn't come across insulting or patronising, just my take on this
Last edited by pablopablp on Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

peteloaf
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by peteloaf » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:29 pm

Thanks for the replies, not just Frank but others who cleared it up. I'm glad we heard it wrong. I wish now I'd just asked a question for clarification rather than write all that gubbins I put in the first post. Damn the boozethinking. Apologies. It was an ace gig, they always are, but given what we thought we heard, that sentiment jarred.

Frank: "people don't want me to sing about my politics, they want me to sing about politics they agree with already". I think this is true and explains some of the frustration people feel. I know so many people, myself included, who first came to your music because of identifying with the "political" songs. Falling in love with the rest of your music didn't take long/doesn't take long. We probably ascribed you an identity which doesn't fit anymore: we crave more music with that vibe, the political edge, a craving which is more pronounced (obviously) because of the current climate.

"i might also add that there is a predictable minority of people who've been waiting for their moment to be "over" what i do because it's too popular. this tour seems to be a jumping off point for that lot. never had much interest in placating elitists, as it goes, so i can't say i'm bothered."

That's their loss then. Don't let that bother you.

I, personally, think the Occupy movement is a beautiful thing. I'm not sure, Minidazzler, that history will forget either the Occupy or the riots. We're living in a curious world at the moment, and I have feeling history might just look back at the "occupies" in the "western" world as part of the same zeitgeist that led to revolutionary shift in North Africa and the Gulf States.

(I'm not defending the rioters btw, I just think some of the underlying causes and events - why it kicked off, why it escalated, why certain products were looted over others, why such anger in the first place, and so on - need to be addressed, and can't just be explained away by calling the kids feral and greedy. That's not excusing what they did. And I certainly wouldn't want protestors lumped together with the rioters as sharing common cause)

Anyway, excellent gig, FANTASTIC. Thank you. See you in the States soon and Wembley.

peteloaf
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by peteloaf » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:33 pm

Cheers pablopb :)

No sense of patronising at all. As I just said, I'm glad I got it wrong.

I think the 'have a drink' intro might well have been to Glory Hallelujah - Eulogy was first up.

pablopablp
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by pablopablp » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:38 pm

yeah i did mean Glory Hallelujah, edited the post

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frank
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by frank » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:52 pm

i think we're all friends here, haha. i'm glad you enjoyed the show! til next time.
Shows? All of em.

"He's like an Uncle, I like him but I don't want to listen to him all day."

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Watergirl
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by Watergirl » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:24 pm

Frank: i might also add that there is a predictable minority of people who've been waiting for their moment to be "over" what i do because it's too popular. this tour seems to be a jumping off point for that lot.

Doesn't that always happen? I am first and foremost a Bruce-fan. I got into him at the time of "Nebraska" (an odd one to start with, I know), but was too young to go to concerts at the time. I was delighted when "Born in the U.S.A." happened, because I loved the album (still do) and all of a sudden you heard Bruce everywhere, and I was able to go and see him. A lot of fans who had been on board since "Born to run" or "Darkness" however seemed to dislike the album plus the fact that Bruce wasn't exclusively theirs anymore. Oh well - their loss.
Hope you'll sell out Wembley!
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Wing-
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Re: manchester: riots, intro to Rivers

Post by Wing- » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:43 pm

The booing was without a doubt aimed at the riots, and Frank is right, there are many things to be proud about when it comes to dear old Blighty, and many things to be ashamed of, the riots being a prime example. He never once labeled anybody at the gig as a rioter, he simply said that is was something we should be ashamed of as a country, and that it was basically the ugly side to a society. Or at least that's my interpretation of it, which, he is dam sure right about, if that is indeed what he was trying to say.

On a less argumentative note, last night was absolutely incredible Frank, manged to get right to to the front, center right, just in front of Terrence. First time I've managed to get to one of your shows, and I built it up massively in my head, you certainly didn't fail to deliver, from start to finish. Oh, and your taller than I expected for some reason haha.

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