spotCurrent events

spotHistoric events

spotSocialist Party major events


All keywords


Historic events keywords:

11th September 2001 (16)

1926 general strike (16)

1945 Labour Party landslide (2)

1945 in Europe (1)

1962 Cuban missile crisis (1)

Berlin Wall (4)

Bloody Sunday (6)

Brixton riots 1981 (1)

Chartist (4)

Chartists (8)

Chinese revolution 1949 (1)

East Germany 1953 (1)

Falklands (2)

Falklands-Malvinas war 1982 (1)

First World War (2)

France 1968 (10)

Fuel protests (6)

Genoa protest 2001 (7)

Germany 1919 (2)

Great French Revolution 1789 (6)

Great Unrest 1911-1914 (1)

Grunwick (6)

Gulf War (7)

Hatfield rail crash (4)

Heath government 1974 (1)

Hillsborough 1989 (1)

Hiroshima (4)

Hungary 1956 (3)

Hurricane Katrina (8)

Iran 1978-79 (1)

Jarrow Crusade (5)

Korean war 1950-1953 (1)

Labour Representation Committee 1900 (1)

Lockerbie (1)

Madrid Bombings (2)

Malvinas (2)

Manningham Mills 1890 (1)

Militant Tendency in Liverpool 1983-87 (3)

Miners Strike 1984-85 (6)

Newport Rising 1839 (1)

Nicaraguan revolution (1)

Northern Ireland 1969 The Troubles (1)

Orgreave (22)

Palestinian uprising (4)

Paris Commune 1871 (4)

Pentrich (3)

Poll tax (84)

Portugal revolution 1974 (1)

Potters Bar (3)

Russia 1905 (1)

Russian Revolution 1917 (10)

Russian revolution (74)

Second World War (5)

Shrewsbury 24 (6)

Spanish civil war 1936-39 (2)

Suez 1956 (1)

Teamster Rebellion (2)

Teamsters (1)

The Holocaust (2)

Tiananmen Square (4)

Tolpuddle 1834 (1)

USSR 1989 (1)

Vietnam war (11)

WW1 (4)

Wall Street Crash (2)

Wapping (1)

Watergate (1)

Winter of Discontent (2)

dotcom bubble bursts 2000 (1)

Russian revolution


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 958, 9 August 2017: Striking back against poverty pay

Search site for keywords: Music - Review - Wales - South Wales - Miners - Strike - Labour - Working class - Closures - Russian revolution

Music review: 'Every Valley' by Public Service Broadcasting

Crunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners

Public Service Broadcasting

Public Service Broadcasting   (Click to enlarge)

Matt Kilsby, Salford Socialist Party

Combining music, sampling, spoken word and audio clips, Public Service Broadcasting's 'Every Valley' is a poignant, angry exploration of mining, pit closures and the legacy of industrial decline in south Wales.

To record the album, the alt-rock three-piece travelled to Ebbw Vale where they interviewed ex-miners and their families. Some of these interviews feature on the album, together with audio from British Film Institute footage of the period.

The album's opening is optimistic. The third track, 'People Will Always Need Coal', samples a 1970s TV advert that cheerily urges viewers: "Come on, be a miner! There's money and security!"

However, this mood of optimism turns sharply with 'Go to the Road'. There is the gathering storm in the industry between 1979 and 1984, when 47,000 mining jobs were lost and 21 pits closed.

The album's stand-out track, 'All Out', is a clash of picket-line noise and crunchy guitar that perfectly evokes the titanic battles of the miners' strike between 1984 and 1985. An ex-miner tells the listener that "we never went on strike because we wanted more wages... we went on strike for a job."

The track evokes the conflict between the heroism of millions of ordinary working-class people during the strike, and the treachery of the official leadership of the labour movement - in particular Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock and the Trade Union Congress.

An important feature of the strike was the role played by women. Many joined political activity for the first time.

'They Gave Me a Lamp' features clips from an ex-miner's wife explaining how the strike got women out of the kitchen, onto picket lines and organising support groups. She concludes: "I think a lot of women found their feet."

With the betrayal by the right-wing union and Labour leaders and consequent defeat of the strike came pit closures and the devastation of mining communities. There is a sense of angry sadness pervading 'Mother of the Village' which describes the destruction of towns and communities in painful detail.

As poignant as the album is in places, it is not an exercise in nostalgia. There's a sense of defiance throughout - and that working class people will fight to defend their jobs and communities, and fight for a better future.


Awesome sound

I've never bought a Public Service Broadcasting album until now.

But when I saw their new release was called 'Every Valley' and featured soundbites from the Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield, Richard Burton and the miners and their communities themselves, I couldn't resist.

The album sounds awesome and makes me proud to be from the Valleys with every track, especially 'All Out' and 'They Gave Me a Lamp'. The south Wales miners have always held a special position in the working class for their sacrifice, solidarity and place at the forefront of every major struggle.

Appropriate timing too, 100 years since the Russian revolution. The miners always linked their struggles to the fight for socialism, and Lenin and the miners exchanged letters and ideas.

Towns across the Valleys became 'Little Moscows'. My nan always calls the Socialist the 'Daily Worker' because my grandad, her dad and brothers - all miners in Abertillery in the 1940s and 50s - used to buy it.

Great album about a great history.

Scott Jones, Loughton






Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999