Monday, May 01, 2006

Love Music Hate Racism

I went down to see Belle and Sebastian headlining the Love Music Hate Racism event in Trafalgar Square on Saturday afternoon. The square was packed for a whole afternoon’s worth of short sets from a wide range of artists from indie to grime. We got there in time to have the dubious pleasure of hearing some average indie rock from Boy Kill Boy (though the small children on the edge of the fountain in the ‘Fuck the BNP’ t-shirts seemed to be quite into it) and Roll Deep (I thought grime was meant to be pushing new musical boundaries – this was just four guys shouting over some breakbeats).

It was good to see Belle and Sebastian again. It’s been a while – December 2003 - since I last saw them play. They did a short set which comprised of:

Sleep The Clock Around
Another Sunny Day
Funny Little Frog
I’m a Cuckoo
The Wrong Girl
White Collar Boy
What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love and Understanding (an impromptu cover of the Elvis Costello song, sung by Stevie whilst the rest of the band moved their gear around)
The Boy With The Arab Strap

[click on the highlighted tracks to download]

All good stuff, despite the dodgy sound, and a nice taster for their headline appearance at Summer Sundae in August.

LMHR is a worthy cause, though anyone who was there all afternoon may have got a bit bored with the constant repetition of the same theme in the speeches between bands. The message wasn’t subtle, but if it helps at all to prevent the BNP (for those of you not in the UK, it’s a nationalist, racist political party) getting elected at any of the seats they’re targeting in this week’s local council elections, it’ll be worthwhile. The BNP aren’t trying that hard round my way (not much point in a borough where almost half the population is from ethnic minorities), but are heavily targeting areas (mainly in the north of England) where there have been racial tensions in the recent past, and often running campaigns based on lies and misinformation. If you live in any of these areas – find out if you do by checking the Stop the BNP website run by the anti-fascist group Searchlight – get out and vote and stop them!

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