Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Housemartins - The Greatest Marxist Band Ever To Pick Up Guitars


I read that statement twice when I read it in Jordan Ellenberg's "How Not to Be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life", I know the Housemartins were committed left wing and Paul Heaton definitely still is but does that make them Marxist.

Maybe Robert Wyatt could be Marxist, especially listening to his stuff post Soft Machine. His band after that was Matching Mole which is extrapolated from the French for "Soft Machine" , "Machine Molle" apparently. My french is only 'O' Level but Google translates as "Machine Souple" though the reverse translation comes out as correct.

There were a lot of bands that may have been Marxist  that are in my collection , a possible list here:

And to some extent Billy Bragg, Woody Guthrie and the list could go on for a long time.

All these bands are well worth a listen whatever your politics, they are probably all on Youtube so go and have a look and listen. This is one of the great things about this digital age, you don't read this and then think I will have to go and research that tomorrow. I remember in the seventies when you read about a band you often had to look in the music mags like Sounds and NME scour the adverts and then order an album on import, hoping it would be as good as the title and blurmb made it sound.

Anyway I've included "Sitting On A Fence" the song that Jordan Ellenberg used to illustrate his point, and if you want to know what the point was you will have to read Ellenberg's book.

Have a good Tuesday.

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