The Alistair Hulett Memorial Trust is sponsoring a performance of Still Life: Tales from the West Bank, a 75 minute show performed by Karen Chalk and Penny Stone, based on their experiences as human rights observers with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in the occupied Palestinian territories. The show will take place at Govanhill Baths, Glasgow on Saturday 9th June, doors open at 19:00. Entry is free, but there will be a collection, proceeds of which will go to EAPPI. Penny and Karen lived in the villages of Jayyous and Yanoun in the northern West Bank, witnessing and experiencing everyday life in the occupied Palestinian territories. The aim of the show is to enable people to engage with human stories of the occupation as well as learning more about the context. The show was originally devised for performance at the Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe 2011, where it played to a packed house nightly.
Giving Voice Workshops is committed to spreading an awareness of all varieties of political song and songs of social justice; so with that proviso and in that spirit, this news item covers Sing – a song created by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber to be the official Diamond Jubilee song. I am pleased to report that as mentioned in a previous news item, the Sex Pistols’ punk anthem version of God Save the Queen is being re-released at the end of May, and it will be interesting to see how Sing and the Pistols compare in terms of play time – although with the BBC and the establishment very much on board with Sing, it appears to be a fairly uneven contest!
Sing features vocals from Barlow, as well as contributions from a number of artists from the UK and various countries across the Caribbean, Africa, the Pacific Islands and Australasia (so plenty of hints of ex-“Empire”), together with The Military Wives, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Band … and Prince Harry on tambourine (although I’m not sure why)! The lyrics repeatedly berate the listener to do things like “Sing it louder, sing it clearer / Knowing everyone will hear you / Make some noise, find your voice tonight / Sing it stronger, sing together” whilst giving very little indication of just what it is we are supposed to be singing about – at least you know where you are with the Sex Pistols!
The Sex Pistols have been in the news recently in connection with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and the Olympic Games. Plans are underway to re-release the Pistols’ God Save the Queen, originally released in 1977 during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee events.
The song caused huge controversy, both for the defaced image of the Queen on the cover, and for its lyrics, which include “God Save the Queen / A fascist regime”; despite a ban by the BBC, the record managed to get to number two in the charts. This time round the song is likely to be up against a special Jubillee song of celebration written by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and pop singer Gary Barlow, do to be released at the end of May; perhaps this time the Pistols will get to number one!
The Sex Pistols are also in the news after they declined to take part in the Olympic ceremonies, along with various other acts. The Olympic authorities wanted to censor Pretty Vacant by not allowing Johnny Rotten to sing the word “vacant” with his usual slight variation on the final syllable!