The final /Tuesday Ten of 2022 is, at least in part, about togetherness. Over the last few years, the idea of banding together to help, to achieve and make better has in some quarters at least gained traction again.
/Subject /Gangs, Groups, Gatherings
/Playlists /Spotify / /YouTube
/Related /338 /With a Little Help from My Friends /Tuesday Ten/Index
/Assistance /Suggestions/116 /Used Prior/12 /Unique Songs/106 /People Suggesting/48
/Details /Tracks this week/10 /Tracks on Spotify Playlist/9 /Duration/36:13
So I thought it appropriate to close out the year with a /Tuesday Ten that celebrates this, with songs about bands, raves, political groupings, gangs and more.
Thanks to everyone, as ever, that gets involved with suggestions and contributions. The /Tuesday Ten series will return in 2023, and in the meantime, /Countdown /2022 begins next Tuesday as I look at the best music of the year, in the usual format.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound me. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
/Come Out 2Nite
/At The Club
Originally released on the Skillex EP on Fierce Panda, this song is pretty much the perfect distillation of what Kenickie were about, but also the close-knit nature of a young band. Opening with handclaps, it quickly accelerates into a sugar-rush of a punk track, as Lauren Laverne details the tribulations of a teenage band as they gatecrash the music industry, having all manner of fun along the way. Sadly, it didn’t last too long, as Kenickie disbanded after two albums, but all members remain active, Lauren Laverne as a familiar face on TV and Radio.
/Everybody In The Place (Fairground Remix)
The rave scene that exploded at the end of the eighties and into the nineties changed a great many young peoples’ lives (I was rather later to much of the electronic music I got into, as I was only ten in 1988!) also resulted in laws being changed to combat it. An ad-hoc, underground set-up that couldn’t be controlled by the authorities perhaps was always going to have a short shelf-life, but the movement was so big legal replacements were quickly created, and among other things we entered the era of the “superclub”, as well as an explosion in smaller dance club nights.
The Prodigy were one of the acts to burst out of that scene into the wider music spectrum, and their music fast evolved to encompass rock and punk, and arguably for a while they were the biggest electronic dance act in the world. This earlier single – of which there are various versions, and Everybody In The Place (155 & Rising), the version on Experience, isn’t as great as the version I’ve featured – celebrates the idea of a ton of people in a venue, raving their metaphorical bits off, “as one”.
Killing Joke are frankly remarkable survivors from the punk era, having gone through a lot over forty-odd years and, like many older bands, have rekindled old fires by returning to the original line-up. The fans have stuck with them in their droves, too (their Royal Albert Hall show in March 2023 – a band that began life in the squats of Ladbroke Grove, playing the bastion of the establishment! – has sold out months in advance), and their live shows are often termed “Gatherings” rather than gigs. Having only attended the one show, remarkably, I can see why, as they turn into a seething mass of people there in love with one band, bellowing out the words to all the songs, and looking out for each other.
The term comes from the opening track of their 1983 album Fire Dances, whose stark power provides fuel for Jaz Coleman to spell out the good of the crowd.
/Crazy Crazy Nights
The Kiss Army is one of those rare band fan clubs that are probably as well-known as the band that they follow, and at least in part helped the band’s rise to success by extensive promotional activity. Even Condoleeza Rice has been inducted into the Kiss Army.
The biggest hit for Kiss in the UK, it has the feel of a song for their fans in the Kiss Army, as they embrace them as part of their team, making it clear that without their fans, they would never have had that success. I’ve never been a Kiss fan, but having been involved in the fandom for other bands, I know that feeling. Being part of something is amazing.
/Sick of It All
/Us vs. Them
/Built to Last
One scene that has always been about togetherness and brother/sisterhood has been hardcore (punk), and particularly within the regional scenes. New York Hardcore is one where that is especially the case, and there is a remarkably upbeat, positive feel to so many songs from the bands in it. Us vs. Them by NYHC veterans Sick of It All spells this out, reading like a hardcore manifesto: look out for each other, support each other, avoid division and do the right thing to make positive change.
(And yes, I could have used Step Down, but this is the better message).
This is the eighth song I’ve used from this album over the years, perhaps a testament to how much Jarvis Cocker had to say. The Britpop era in the mid-nineties was very much a combination of different groups of people, such was the breadth of the styles that were swept up under the banner. But in the main, there were two main groups – the parka/big coat-clad “lads” following the likes of Oasis and Blur, and then many of the people they might have picked on or bullied following the likes of Pulp. Cocker clearly noticed this with the lead-off track from Different Class, as Mis-shapes is something of an anthem for those that otherwise get trodden down, and just maybe, it was part of why Pulp became so beloved by so many.
/The Boys Are Back In Town
Probably Phil Lynott’s finest hour, and certainly best-known moment, is the charging rock of this song. Used incessantly to soundtrack just about anything over the years – even Republican conventions in the US, much to the annoyance of Lynott’s mother Philomena – likely because it brings to mind a gang of friends back home to cause trouble and have fun, and with an edge of danger to the song thanks to Lynott’s lyrics, it is reputedly about the Quality Street Gang in Manchester. Although, there appears some debate over whether this criminal gang ever actually were criminals! Either way, the song remains a rock classic.
/Sultans of Swing
The first Dire Straits song – the one that got them their initial record deal, and indeed remains one of their most iconic songs to this day – is very much about a group of musicians, but not necessarily Mark Knopfler and his bandmates. The story goes that it was inspired by Knopfler watching a scruffy jazz band play to an almost empty room, and introducing themselves as they left the stage as “the Sultans of Swing”, an almost impossibly lofty title for such a band. But regardless of the name, bands make music together: and the magic comes from that group, irrespective of the kind of music they make. Sure, they might split later, but it’s about that moment in time.
/Union Man/Proletarian Man
/Singing Down the Government, or The War of Position and How We’re Winning It
Larger groups than friends, bands or even criminal enterprises are possible, of course, and one such grouping is a Union. They’ve been in the news quite a bit of late, as there have been fights on multiple fronts by Unions to push for better wage increases as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. With disposable income dropping by 7% – effectively wiping out the last eight years of growth – you can rather see their point. Left-wing agitators (and absolutely phenomenal live band) Thee Faction have been making the power of unions key to their songs for some years, and this is the best of them.
/My Own Way
/My Own Way
Not everyone wants to join others, though, so we finish this week with the opposite view, as Philip Jeays wants to do his own thing: by going his own way. He doesn’t want advice from others, he doesn’t want people commenting on his demeanour, indoctrinating others into religion, or being patriots. Entirely fair – and this song remains one of his greatest. I’ll leave you with Jeay’s own words:
“So I don’t want to join your gang / I don’t want to belong / No I’m quite happy as I am / Singing my little song / And I’d like it even more if / You didn’t sing along…“