'Up The Workers'

Thee Faction ‘Capitalism Is Good For Corporations’ – album review
'Up The Workers'

“Taking down the Tory government, one song at a time” (The Guardian)

Thee Faction ‘Up The Workers’ (Soviet Beret Records)
CD – Available now

(Review written by Pete Bennett and first published by N16 Magazine – Cheers)

Motion 01) ‘366’ [every day i’m gonna be protestin’..] To bring a bit of revolution to the evolution of rock music, you can either, push the sonic manifesto to the limit and cultivate a strange branch of the family tree from that experimental seed. Or, by marrying an original lyrical idea with a traditional riff, turn an established form into something nouveaux. The latter is the strategy of Thee Faction and it works, if only because it takes a certain determined, and clearly collective, genius, to extract Marxist theory from dusty tomes and weld it to soul/blue collar rock n’ roll, to give birth to Socialism Rhythm & Blues.


‘Have you ever heard of G.D.H. Cole and the theory of Guild Socialism?’ Guitarist and Hackney lad, Nylons says by way of introduction. The dialectic is elaborated on, and reinforced by, the bounding entrance of Billy Brentford, the band’s enthusiastic singer. This, comrades, is the unorthodox arrival of the headliners at Core Arts cultural centre in the heart of Hackney on a rainy bonfire night in November. Slowly they all populate the room and join the ensuing debate: Dai Nasty, Babyface, Horace Hardman, Kassandra Krossing. If they published a white paper on it, the Lords would rip it to shreds, but the minute they take the stage and launch into brand new song ‘Putney’ – not a homage to the home of Clegg and assorted domestic goddess’s, but far more poignantly the site of Cromwell’s infamously Bolshy discussion – without rifle or rant, and within seconds, they win the crowd over to their very own, stupendously fun and soulful interpretation of the work of Highgate Cemetery’s finest economic theorist.

Thee Faction ‘Capitalism Is Good For Corporations’ – album review

Motions 02-04) [‘Deft Left, Ready? Marx My Main Man’] Fronted by an unholy agitator possibly from the school of Holly Johnson/Kevin Rowland but with that particular text book seriously graffitied over by a punk – a one man dialectic dynamo in NHS specs ”“ he and his party members throw their collective weight behind a rock n’ roll show that has the energy of bands half their age.

Motions 05/06) [‘Customer/Do Your Bit’ {for G.D.H. Cole}] We are treated, over the course of the next hour, to a live showcasing of a collection of songs that largely expound on the virtues of Guild Socialism (the 1922 theory put forward by the aforementioned author) which, when infused with the energy of ’75 Chiswick pre punkers The Gorillas, with the devil-may-care genre hopping savvy of the Blockheads – becomes material for an 11 track, kick up the establishment, album.


Motion 07) [‘Angry’] …put it this way, if Thee Faction were a badge sold at a demo, they would not be the puny pin of the beardy Lib. Soc. student rad, ready to brush up ‘n gap year graduate into the family heirloom of the finance sector the moment the going got tough. But a giant, auto-reflective, hubcap sized appendage, replacing hammer and sickle with a huge effing grin and a pair of Northern soul pumps. Born not of irony, dreary bookwormishness, LSE jobs-for-the-boys professorship, but of a rites of passing ”“ from origins in the stale Champers’ drunge end of 80’s Thatcherism through latte fuelled lies of New Labour, into a promised land where clearly the only obvious answer is proper socialism; in big, red, dancing Kapitals.

Motions 08-11) [‘Join The {local} Party’]


Only now it’s all come full circle in 2011. What was just laughable is now rightly fashionable. And loud, and brash, and leery. But be warned, Conservative friend: also learned. And so it is indeed worth 10 sheets of your finest linen to promote this cause, by making a donation to the revolution and joining Thee Faction’s particular R’n’R guild. Comrades ”“ we respectfully ask you to don your best dancing shoes, raise a clenched fist and collectively shout out loud – Up Thee Workers.

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