MARK STEEL, author, broadcaster and political stand- up sifts through his record collection to find his top five protest songs.
1 Only a Pawn in Their Game - Bob Dylan The extraordinary thing about this song is that not only was it a protest song about a racist murder. but because I think it‘s misunderstood that Dylan was part of the protest movement of the 60s. Not only was he saying what an outrage this racist murder was. but that the white person who did it was only a pawn in their game.
2 Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine For no other reason than it enables you to scream: 'Fuck you. I won't do what you tell me' at the top of your voice. Any song that has the audacity to do that and mean it is just astonishing. And what better slogan is there for any generation?
3 Welcome to the Terrordome - Public Enemy I saw them at the Royal Festival Hall this year. and it seemed ridiculous to be watching this militant Nation of Islam band in such a traditional venue. An elderly usher showed us to our seats and I thought any minute she would say ‘There you go dear. hope they do “Welcome to the Terrordome". dear. Are these the ones who do "Fuck the Police". love?’
4 Young, Gifted and Black - Nina Simone/Bob & Marcia The extraordinary thing about this song is that it's a protest song that is just so joyous. Instead of moaning or even being angry, it is able to combine screaming against racism in America while being so utterly joyous. So much of the left and campaigning people take great delight in being miserable and thinking everything is shit. I think it should be played every morning in every house.
5 San Quentin - Johnny Cash Again, it's the joy. It's live at San Quentin prison and the opening line is “San Quentin. I hate every inch of you'. There is this half a second where nothing happens and then the prisoners just let out this ecstatic cheer. They can't quite believe that someone has said what all of them feel 24 hours a day. Every time I play it. it just brings a tear to my eye.
" 59‘: a T I n MTV in the Gardens Princes Street Gardens. Edinburgh Thu 6 Nov
It was OK. Got excited when someone said the Darkness were playing: I was really disappointed when they didn't appear.
8 THE LIST 13—77 Nov 2003
The daftest divide
Why are Glasgow and Edinburgh still culturally poles apart? It’s time we stopped being so trivial. Words: Philip Dundas
ne of the least appealing elements of the
Scots' psyche (apart from the damaging
effects of deep-fried pizzas. sectarianism. tartan gift shops and Brian Souter) is the east-west divide. I never really noticed it until I moved back to this country from London a few years ago. Since devolution the great cultural coming of age just hasn't happened. Edinburgh is still superior while her cousin across the conurbation minces off in a huff.
During the late summer. when the capital celebrates its festivals (book. intcmational. film. TV and fringe). in Glasgow you would hardly know they were happening. In Edinburgh. the City of Architecture. the Art Fair. the Tramway or Celtic Connections are snootily ignored as amateur hubris. The equivalent of a tube ride from Shoreditch to Brixton might as well be light years away.
I just discovered that what I thought was a new festival has taken the lead in a more enlightened attitude to our petty parochial prejudices. It's called Glasgay! and in fact it's been going for ten years. Ever since I can remember. the gay world of Scotland (it‘s all right girls — I wouldn‘t dare speak for the lesbians) has been low-rent. Dreary karaoke bars. bad-food
cafes. hi-NRG glitter-ball dance ﬂoors. a couple of
saunas and a sex shop. For anyone with a view to the brilliance and creativity that a gay life can inspire and afford. Scotland‘s just been an embarrassment.
The Glasgay! programme of international 'multi- sexual‘ culture is urbane and diverse. As well as the stock-in-trade drag. stand-up and campy clttbs. there is cabaret. music. art. theatre. dance. movies and writing workshops. lt tttms out that it‘s the biggest festival of its kind in the UK.
Now unsurprisingly. despite the lack of
Didn't think much of the presenter. The Chemical Brothers were really good but I would have liked more than one song. It wasn't cold. and all in all it was good.
entertainment during the rest of the year. Edinburgh punters only comprise four per cent of the Glasgay! audience. Three times as many come from abroad. So the producer (from England) catne up with a remedy for the east coast indifference. He put on some special buses to take the girls and boys from Edinburgh to the venues in Glasgow. If you can’t lure them over the Harthill divide on their own. drive them there. It worked. The buses were full.
Imagine the results if we tried to consolidate our efforts a bit more. High-speed rail links and one multi- terminal airport. equi-distant frotn both cities. We'd be enjoying direct international flights and cheaper domestic fares around the country. At one time there were even plans to set up a joint tourist board between two cities. based on the pragmatic manifesto that you can‘t visit one and not the other. It was an inspired and obvious idea and would have brought untold benefits. But of course it was shelved due to lack of co- operation and partisan agendas.
What about the International Scottish Festival of Arts? Hundreds of perfomiances and venues all over the country. A national triumph rather than the greedy possessiveness of a few self-interested artsy careerists. Fantasy perhaps. though by no means impossible to achieve.
The gay bus was just an infant step towards getting some cross-cultural connections going on across 50 miles of Scotland. We need to learn to revel in the reflected glory of each other‘s successes. Rather than pooling our resources and sharing the glory we insist on creating two trivial regionalised power bases. which means that neither is truly great.
I Philip Dundas works for the BBC in Glasgow, and lives in Edinburgh
Thurston S/na/l boy When are the Darkness coming on’? 2772/22.
It was difficult to see. They should have had the stage wrder so everyone could see. felt we were a bit cut off from the rest of the crowd.