song

New Songs and Stuff

Just a quick update on the musical side of life. Since publishing my last post here I’ve recorded three new songs – all covers, for a change. As usual, free to hear/download/pirate/destroy/share/generally defame.

The first I recorded for St Piran’s Day – the Cornish ‘national’ day – and the song is the Cornish anthem Trelawney (or Song of the Western Men). Gets the patriotic blood flowing. Not that I’m in to patriotism generally, but Cornwall is pretty great so I don’t really mind.

The next is a cover of Bob Dylan’s beautiful Song to Woody, an ode to Woody Guthrie, the early 19thC socialist folk hero of America. Hope I’ve done it justice. If not, well, soz.

Finally, another Guthrie-related tune, This Land is Your Land, written by the great man himself. I’ve tried to ‘angry’ it up a bit. The lyrics are brilliant, and still very relevent.

The new EP is coming along slowly and should be released with a launch gig over the next month or so, and I’ve got a gig lined up at the Sage in Gateshead on the 29th April, as well as a couple of other speculative gigs lined up. Everything’s up in the air with the end of my degree, but music is a nice distraction.

Anyway, that’s all, folks.

PS don’t forget to visit my SoundCloud page where all my stuff resides/goes to die – soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer. I’m also, inevitably, on Facebook. Have a gander, and ‘like’ that shiz.

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New song, ‘All You Fascists’, now up in wake of EDL protests

I’ve just recorded and released my latest song, ‘All You Fascists’, a re-working/writing of Woody Guthrie’s classic, in the wake of the horrific rise in racist violence over the past week after the Woolwich murder. It’s free to hear/download online (as usual), and comments are very welcome. I’m hoping to do a proper studio recording in October but in the meantime, this phone-recording should fill the gap!

I wanted to record it in time for the York gathering against the EDL on the 26th May, which in the end proved a massive success with over 100 members of the local community coming together to show our unity and solidarity. The EDL, on the other hand, were virtually a no-show with just four or five supporters turning up. News of the community day has now gone viral online – see here – particularly in light of the fact that the EDL were invited in to drink tea, chat, and play football in the sun (though they gave the latter a miss. My team lost, sadly). A great turnout from both students and locals showed unity isn’t just a nice word.

It’s been a busy past few weeks, trying to squeeze in song-writing and gigs between exam revision. But good things have come out of it, including playing alongside the wonderful Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly in Manchester, on the 18th May at the People’s History Museum (for NoiseStock). It was an incredible experience and a great gig with hopefully lots of exciting opportunities to come out of it.

PS While you’re here, have a listen to my other new song, ‘All I Got Is This’, a piece on being young and relatively lost in the world.

I’ll be playing again at this term’s Jamnesty, the fantastic Amnesty-organised music event so see you there!

Hope you like the new tunes, and keep an eye out for more updates at www.facebook.com/josiahmortimeracoustic

‘Live and Overcome’ – An Acoustic Tribute to Chavez

I’ve just recorded and uploaded my latest song (written tonight!), ‘Live and Overcome’. It’s an acoustic tribute to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who tragically passed away on Tuesday. He was, and is, an inspiration to millions world-wide seeking an alternative to the destructive free-market capitalism which has landed us in all this mess.

You can listen and download it for free (along with all my other stuff) from soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer. Feel free to share around – it’s all on a copy-left license (Creative Commons), so I won’t sue 🙂 You can listen to it below too, using Soundcloud’s fancy embedding stuff. Recorded rather quickly on my phone, but I hope it comes across OK.

If you’re around York, I’ll be playing on Saturday at York Social’s ‘The Gathering’, a night of radical acoustic music and poetry, at York’s only co-operative pub, the Golden Ball. It’s a great pub and it should be a fantastic night. It’s free (as far as I know!) and will start from about 8pm. See you there!

I’m also playing the University of York Amnesty International fundraiser ‘Jamnesty’ next Wednesday at Tramways Working Men’s Club from 8pm, billed as a night of decent local acoustic music, ‘because we give a folk’. Good stuff. Should raise a lot of money for a great (on the whole) organisation.

Anyway, hope you like the track. And maybe see you at a radical gig at some point in the future!

New (Semi-)Political EP ‘Bonfire Songs’ Released

At the end of December I recorded (and have now ‘released’) a new acoustic EP, Bonfire Songs, featuring music inspired by modern protest, student life and, in March and In This Together, the disturbing policies of this government. All four songs from the record are available to download for free online, released under a Creative Commons licence (copy-left ftw). Have a listen, download it, share it around if you want. You can hear and download Bonfire Songs here: soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer/sets/bonfire-songs.

I recently had the massive privilege of playing at Luddites 2013 – a big 200th anniversary event of the execution of the Luddite’s executed in York for their role in trying to (literally) smash capitalism from the outset. The radical music event in the evening showed the extent to which the left-wing musical tradition does live on, albeit underground. Hopefully there will be plenty more political music events to come. We need to keep radical song alive.

Firstly, some background about the political music on Bonfire Songs itself. March was written for the TUC’s ‘A Future that Works’ protest in October 2012, and was entered into the TUC’s ‘Make the March’ project, which promoted the demonstration through art and song. March became one of the most shared songs on the site, and has now been entered into Noise Festival’s ‘Art of Protest’ competition, potentially being featured in the People’s History Museum, Manchester. Wish me luck.

In this Together was inspired by the betrayal of the Liberal Democrats going into coalition with the Conservative Party, and condemns the brutal cuts which resulted from that decision. As a student involved in the 2010 student protests, it tries to reflect some of the anger students like myself felt (and still feel).

 

Hope you enjoy the EP. And if you’re after someone (however unrefined!) to play a political/charity event in the Yorkshire or South West regions, drop me an email #willplayforpints

 

Bonfire Songs Cover

‘March’ – a song for the TUC’s ‘A Future That Works’ Demonstration

There aren’t enough modern political songs. Especially not about this government. In a feeble aim to fill part of that massive gap I’ve written a song in support of the TUC march for A Future that Works, being held on the 20th October in London. The song is part of a project called ‘Make The March‘, which encourages artistic and musical work to promote the demonstration, as well as new talent (and of course opposition to austerity).

Five works will be picked out by comedian Josie Long and artists Bob and Roberta Smith, the most ‘shared’ of which will win £100. So if you think it’s any good, please share the song (even if you’re not keen on the song itself!). Half the dosh in the unlikely chance I win will be given to the Green Party, who I believe are the only serious political party to support a real alternative to austerity based on green jobs, fair taxation and an end to costly wars and nuclear weapons.

Anyway. Share it around by going to the Make The March page here and Tweeting/Facebook-ing it. Ignore the poor iPhone recording. It’s a small contribution to enraged-British-youth political music, but a contribution nonetheless. See you on the streets!

You can find out more about Make the March here.