A radio edit of last week’s Demo Tapes performance will be broadcast on Friday 30th July 1-3pm on Reform Radio (and listen-again from the same link): https://www.reformradio.co.uk/play/Demo_Tapes_30th_July_2021
The show includes performances of new protest songs by young people from More Music in Morecambe, Collective Encounters in Liverpool and Brighter Sound in Manchester. Ríoghnach Connolly ends the show with a new song inspired by the sound archives.
Young musicians at the More Media Collective listened to Campbell’s memories of the landlord at the underground Rockingham Club in Manchester in the 1960s before homosexual law reform. Campbell remembers the the club as a very egalitarian place, where gay people felt comfortable to socialise.
But even in this safe haven, Campbell remembers the landlord calling out at each night, ‘Stop touching! You can’t touch!’ And later, the landlord would give a signal that his clientele understood: ‘This is your last dance of the evening! This is your last chance of the evening!’ Campbell was interviewed in by Jez Dolan in 2013-2014 for the Polari project.
The immersive new video builds on the Campbell’s memories of the restrictions faced by the LGBT+ community in the past, and how that relates to the restrictions we’ve all been facing in the pandemic. Campbell’s voice swirls over the dancefloor beat where we can all feel a longing for our past lives.
We Had the Magic is a new track by LYVE (Lancashire Youth Vocal Ensemble), also based at More Music. It takes a clip from Luchia Fitzgerald’s interview with Sarah Feinstein in 2016 for the OUT! project. Luchia is remembering the start of the GLF (Gay Liberation Front) in Manchester, at the Picador club in Shudehill in the 1960s.
LYVE have taken Luchia’s phrase ‘We had the magic’ and made a thrilling video about the joy and potential of resistance and community-building.
The Baybeat Streetband were listening to oral histories about the changing environment in Cumbria and have written this fantastic new song about climate change called ‘Some people think there is no end, so let’s talk about the environment’.
Young musicians at Collective Encounters reflected on the pandemic to produce this new track, We Are People Too. This song combines resistance and celebration to emphasise our common humanity even in the nightmarish times we have been living through.
Meanwhile musicians at Brighter Sound were listening to clips from folk music collections held at Archives+. In this clip, Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart sing Wilkie’s song ‘You won’t get me down your mine’, recorded by Paul Graney in Manchester.
Colin introduces his song by explaining that the song is about a guy who doesn’t want anything to do with working in a mine because of the exploitation and danger.
Brighter Sound young musicians Charlie, Molly and Anreé brilliantly translate the emotion from the song into their own working experience to write an evocative protest song about working in present-day McDonalds.
This type of leap, where young people brand new to sound archives respond to them in a completely unpredictable but stunningly creative way, has happened all the way through this project. It has been a blast!
To listen to these and many more brilliant new songs, tune in to Reform Radio on Friday 30th 1-3pm.