01 January 2009

2009 - the year of punk rock?

One of the great things that arose from the mess that Labour created in the late 70s was Punk Rock. It makes me wonder if we will see a return to genuine rebellious music in the mainstream next year? Music is potentially a very powerful means of challenging the status quo; one that does little harm, but gives a powerful and influential outlet to people that need one.

I claim to be the only Conservative Party member with an anarchy badge. Of course I am not an anarchist, but I am a huge believer in music as a means to vent frustration and offer a rebellious voice in a way that captures imagination.

I have many friends with the same musical tastes as me, and most of them can talk about songs that have helped them through tough times. I can cite “I am, I’m me” by Twisted Sister as a song that I turned to a number of times during some of the darker days of my Army career (I should stress that my Army days weren’t all dark, not by a long way).

Stiff Little Fingers are a great example of what I am talking about. They provided an important voice to the youth of Belfast and Northern Ireland during the rise of punk rock - which was also a tough time to be growing up in Northern Ireland. It was a spirit that must have been infectious; they became one of the most successful of the original Punk bands. Thankfully, they still tour and Alternative Ulster is still a track that gets people going.

But that sort of music is largely lacking in today’s world of plastic, instant pop stars. Despite the fact that we have a thriving live music scene. I just wonder if the tough times of 2009 will see a return of music that gives a voice to people’s frustrations, and hopefully a return to days when bands and musicians work their way to the top of the charts because of quality and hard work rather than because they won a PR battle.



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