Anyone who knows who Joe Solo is will be entering this competition in seconds - anyone who doesn't is in for a treat! All you have to do to win is come up with a caption for the above pic - what follows may help inspire you.
The Prole Star is helping run this competition in conjunction with Political Provocateur website and Joe Solo Music - and Joe will be announcing the winner on his Coast and County radio show on Monday evening - so get busy, there isn't much time! To enter, reply to posts of this article, or the piece by Political Provocateur, on Facebook or Twitter.
If you aren't lucky enough to win, you can also buy the full 11-album set for the bargain price of just £35 - there's your Xmas presents sorted!
Before you read the official bio - here's the condensed version: Joe Solo is an ordinary human being like all of us. But when he isn't working for a living repairing washing machines, or spending time with his family, he travels the length and breadth of the UK, at his own expense...
The new song by Joe Solo & The Hatfield Brigade was recorded at Central Club in Stainforth last Sunday. ‘Rise Up!’ will be released on Monday November 26th as soon as it is mastered, with all funds raised going to the DN7 Hardship Fund helping those struggling to make ends meet in the former pit villages of South Yorkshire.
As ever the session was total mayhem and the best fun you can have making a record. This is our third song together and every bit as shambolic as the first, but always one of my favourite days of the year.
The event doubled-up as a We Shall Overcome gig and thanks to donations from the choir we managed a fantastic stack of food, shoes, coats, socks and sanitary towels for the local food bank on top of TWO recordings; because as well as ‘Rise Up!’ I recorded Mick Lanaghan singing his own song ‘Farewell Hatfield Main’which will close the forthcoming reissue of ‘Never Be Defeated’ released to mark the 35th anniversary of the Miner’...
Apparently KoKo’s (the recently appointed Lord High Executioner in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado) ‘I’ve Got a Little List’ of ‘society offenders who never will be missed’ is the most parodied of Gilbert’s lyrics. In 1992 Peter Lilley MP, the then social security secretary, recited his version at the Conservative Party Conference.
Lilley’s list included: ‘benefit offenders who I'll soon be rooting out and who never would be missed ... ladies who get pregnant just to jump the housing list and dads who won’t support the kids of ladies they’ve just kissed, and I haven’t even mentioned all those sponging socialists’.
Not nice, to say the least, I think many will agree.
And yet even though there was much critique of Lilley’s speech at the time in 2009 UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn felt confident when writing this, in support of the minister’s previous pronouncements:
Popular culture, which once endorsed the liberal view that Lilley was a bigot, has now accepted the reality o...
Delighted to announce the launch party for my new album ‘Not On Our Watch’will be held at The Station Hotel, Ashton-Under-Lyne on Saturday February 3rd 2018.
There’s really no other place I can hold it than the beating heart of We Shall Overcome, and the event will be making collections of food, cash and clothing for WSO as well as being an RMT Solidarity Event showing our support for the union, fighting daily for passenger safety on the rail network. The RMT have made a donation to the pot and together we are looking to raise enough money to house some very vulnerable people facing life out on the streets. I can’t think of a better way to launch an album out into the world.
We have an incredible bill for you with sets from my WSO brother Jamie Bramwell, Daniel Lucas aka Boss Caine, Tony Auton, Steve Davis, Neil Edwards, Dan Hetfield, Josie Caton-Greasley and John Caton-Greasley, Chris Neale and more tbc. There will be music early til late and...
Hopefully the above photograph sums up the spirit of a fantastic day at Central Club in Stainforth recording The Hatfield Brigade. Utter mayhem from start to finish, but so much fun I wish we didn’t have to keep waiting a year to have another crack at.
This year’s single ‘They Could Not Break This Town’ has been mixed and sent off to Strange Reality Studios for mastering. From there it will be hoyed out to the various online distributors and available to download from 4th December.
There will also be a 2-track limited edition CD featuring ‘They Could Not Break This Town’ and last year’s ‘Merry Christmas From Hatfield Main’, but due to costs this will be limited to 200 copies so be quick. Sleeve design is by the brilliant Kevin Pearson of Vagrant Art.
All links will be shared as soon as we have them.
Michael Lee Toas once again travelled from Durham to shoot the music video which we hope to have for you the week before release, so please look out for that and share it EVERYWHERE!
Two years have seen us take We Shall Overcome from an idea on a Facebook thread to an international anti-austerity campaign fighting for communities everywhere.
We have run upwards of 550 events now, in 135 different towns and cities across nine countries on three continents and the estimated £225,000 worth of food, cash, clothing, bedding and furniture raised has helped change lives up and down this country, it has got the homeless off the streets, it has rehoused young children living in slums and it has forged long-term bonds between musicians, poets, organisers and activists which have led to the movement changing, evolving and making the leap from protest/benefit gigs to feet on the ground 24/7 working in tandem with dozens of other campaigns to help the poorest and most vulnerable at the point of need.
Sadly though, if anything, we are needed now more than ever and it is in this spirit that I appeal to you all to rise again and start planting your red stars on our map.
In recent months, I have been spending a lot of time in the company of my Nephew, Connor. My favourite way to describe him is that he is really great as long as you don’t ask him to do anything more practical than breathing. I do think this is a little unfair, while he has yet to master the ‘turning off the light when leaving a room’ thing, he has mastered the ‘empty the dishwasher instead of piling shit into the sink’ thing. So evidence of progress has been made.
Why have I been spending so much time with him? Well, the quick answer is that I have two things in my house, that he doesn’t have in the house where he’s staying;
the internet and tasty food :)
You see, my nephew is a Battle Rapper and he has turned his love of battle rap into a business venture. The organisation of which requires rather a lot of time on the internet. Social media - so young and hip and so very important. He used to battle for the biggest league in the country, Don’t Flop, but then got annoyed with the lack of...
Just want everyone to know this and to spread the word that ‘Merry Christmas From Hatfield Main’ is already out there changing lives.
Yesterday, Pauline Town posted on Facebook to say she had a young couple sleeping rough over in Ashton-under-Lyne who were very vulnerable and wouldn’t make it out there on the streets. For those of you who don’t know Pauline’s work, she runs a pub called The Station which has become more of a community hub and drop-in centre than a bar, and every day she is helping vulnerable people with meals and warm clothes and doing her best to find accomodation for those rough-sleeping. She has an amazing track record and there are literally dozens of people who have had a fresh start thanks to her and the team over there giving them a helping hand in their darkest hour.
This young couple had a glimmer of hope as Pauline had managed to secure the promise of a flat IF she could raise the deposit and a month’s rent in advance. I found this...
Greetings Comrades. Would you be interested in contributing to The Prole Star?
The mainstream media is not fit for purpose - now more than ever it is vital to support independent media projects like ours.
We believe that The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has not had a fair hearing. This is because the mainstream media is controlled by a very small number of rich individuals - and their vested interests are plain to see.
We intend to challenge this bias as an independent media outlet, shared through social media, appealing to the masses with sport and entertainment, but having a political agenda to offer our readers a point of view which is in their interests, and not in the interests of corporate power.
In the long term we plan to form a cooperative company, owned and democratically run by its members. All our members and contributors can ask to be added to our Bio Page.
We are looking for people to help in a range of roles, from writing and promoting to recr...
On September 9th 2016 I was contacted by Les Moore of 'UK Miners Pension Scheme for Justice and Fair Play Association' to write a song which would help pay back a 'Debt of Honour' he felt they owed the thousands of people around the world who clubbed together during the darkest days of the 1984-85 Strike to give them a Christmas they have never forgotten.
Les had seen the poverty austerity was inflicting upon his community first hand. He had friends using the local food bank as they simply couldn't make ends meet, and decided enough was enough- it was time to repay that debt.
I'd met Les and the Hatfield Brigade after I'd sung at the 30th Anniversary commemorations, and I'd soaked up all their stories via conversations, emails, phone calls and loans of archive footage which had resulted in me releasing an album 'NEVER BE DEFEATED', the story of the Miner's Strike through their eyes.
The whole thing was an absolute joy start to finish, so I was only too happy to rise to this new challen...
The UK Miners Pension Campaign in conjunction with We Shall Overcome are proud to announce the forthcoming release of 'Merry Christmas from Hatfield Main' raising funds for independent food banks.
Ex-Miners from Hatfield Main - the last pit in the Doncaster area - joined with award-winning singer songwriter (and sometime washing machine repair man) Joe Solo to record the single in Stainforth, right in the heart of the South Yorkshire pit communities.
They were joined by pit men and wives from as far away as Kent and Durham to repay a long-standing debt of gratitude for the Christmas they were given by strangers during the darkest days of the Strike in 1984. They plan to donate all proceeds to helping people struggling to make ends meet in Food Bank Britain.
Les Moore, the Pensions Campaign lead spokesperson said:
"It cannot be stressed strongly enough that although it's from Hatfield Main, it could be from any of the striking mining communities across the UK back in 1984. 32 years ago str...
"A short promotional video for the upcoming charity Christmas single created by Joe Solo and The Hatfield Brigade. The single is being brought to you by UK Miner's Pension Scheme Association and We Shall Overcome, raising money for those enduring hardship in the former pit communities up and down the UK.
Merry Christmas From Hatfield Main will be available on all download sites from Monday 28th November and a campaign is under way to make it No.1 on Christmas.
The miners and their families feel they have a debt of honour to repay after people from all over the world chipped in to give them a Christmas they have never forgotten during the hardest months of the Strike back in 84. In raising funds for struggling families today, they are saying thank you for the solidarity they were shown back in the day."
This is a song sung by a mining community, on behalf of ALL mining communities in solidarity with all those suffering in Food Bank Britain.
This amazing artwork was designed by my comrade-in-arts Kevin Pearson for the forthcoming single ‘Merry Christmas From Hatfield Main’ featuring the assembled Hatfield Brigade choir.
The song will be available to download from all the usual sites from Monday 28th November, and a massive push is underway to get it into the charts for Christmas.
‘Merry Christmas From Hatfield Main’ is being used to highlight the twin struggles of ‘UK Miner’s Pension Scheme for Justice and Fair Play Association’ and ‘We Shall Overcome’, with all proceeds going to a newly-established crisis fund for anyone in the Doncaster area struggling under austerity cuts and benefit sanctions.
I’m also proud the sleeve shows off the iconic headgear of Hatfield Main pit, closed last year after almost a century of graft which saw sons follow fathers underground for generations. There is a campaign working very hard to have these incredible structures preserved as a monument to the coal mining industry, and a reminder to fut...
Just over a month ago “The Prole Star” was little more than an idea between two people. Today it has a website, a Twitter and Facebook page and most importantly, a small team of writers. Our short term goal is to build up our Social Media platform and create a large following to share our articles. This will allow our writers to share their work to a much larger audience than they would get from blogging or writing Facebook statuses alone.
Our long term goal is to form a non profit making media cooperative with a membership that anyone can join. Every member will have a say in how "The Prole Star" is run, in keeping with our democratic traditions. Even our name is the result of a collective decision. We intend to create a media organization, which in contrast to the current situation, will be inclusive to working class people.
Never forget what history has shown can come from a grass roots level. We are looking for people just like you. Complaining about the status quo, but ta...