We Shall Overcome 2017 is four short weeks away, and it is a sad indictment on the state of this country that we are needed more than ever.
Poverty among the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities is simply getting worse despite the changing rhetoric from government. Benefit sanctions, targeted to attack those least able to fight back, have created hunger and homelessness and claimed the lives of hundreds of people; and while the political landscape is certainly changing, and anti-austerity policies are being drafted in Westminster offices by a resurgent opposition, we can’t just sit back and wait for another General Election when the need out there is so acute.
And it will get worse.
2018 sees the national roll-out of Universal Credit, which experts say will likely cause a huge spike in poverty and a potential homeless crisis. We aim to be where there is acute need, highlighting the issues surrounding this and hopefully shaming the government into a change of policy. Enough is enough, austerity has failed and our communities can take no more.
As for this year, well, I’ll be working my socks off trying to help. My gig list looks knackering even at this distance, so no doubt by mid-October I’ll be fit to drop; but big problems need big responses and I’m not ducking my responsibilities regardless of the miles ahead.
I will be singing or speaking (or both) for We Shall Overcome at the following places.
SEPTEMBER 19th LOUTH– Labour Party Meeting 29th HUDDERSFIELD– Ukrainian Club
OCTOBER 1st DURHAM– People’s Bookshop (Teatime) 1st STOCKTON-ON-TEES– The Golden Smog (Evening) 5th PORTSLADE– The Railway 6th SCARBOROUGH– L’Amour 7th LEEDS– The Grove (afternoon) 7th STAINFORTH– Pit Club (evening) 8th WARSOP– Black Market Venue 15th BRADFORD– Malik House
Then on Sunday November 12th I’ll be recording with The Hatfield Brigade for our next Christmas release to raise money for the community Hardship Fund. All are welcome and the event itself will be a We Shall Overcome gig. That will be at Central Club in Stainforth and it will be filmed by Michael Lee Toas for the music video so bring your glad rags.
Speaking of Michael, he’ll be travelling to selected WSO events over our weekend and compiling footage for a documentary film on the movement. We are very excited about this as we were let down by another film company in 2015 and we feel what thousands of ordinary people are doing out there to alleviate poverty in their communities needs to be recorded for posterity. It matters. It is inspirational. Hence why that gig list is as long as it is. I just love to get out there and be a part of what happens.