Fiery chanteuse Florence Welch tore into Prime Minister Theresa May on Twitter yesterday evening, in response to the playing of Welch’s hit ‘You Got The Love’ as walk-on music for the PM’s keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Today’s use of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ at the Conservative party conference was not approved by us nor would it have been had they asked.
— florence welch (@flo_tweet) October 4, 2017
Seeking to distance herself and the track, first released by Welch as a B-Side to the Florence + The Machine’s 2008 breakout hit ‘Dog Days Are Over’, from the Conservative party, Welch insisted that use of the track was ‘”not approved by us nor would it have been had they asked.”
‘You Got The Love’ has a fascinating history in its own right. Originally recorded by Alabaman gospel singer Candi Staton as an a cappella for the soundtrack of a straight-to-VHS documentary about a man overcoming obesity, Staton’s version was uncovered by late-80s production/songwriting crew The Source, who sought to remix it into a club anthem.
When approached by The Source, Candi Staton had no recollection of ever recording it, by nonetheless presciently decided to waive her fee in favour of a share of future profits.
Florence Welch hit upon the idea of covering the song for her first minor headline slot at Festival, as it reminded her of raving in her youth.
Yesterday she reiterated on Twitter how disheartened she was by the use of the track, a massive fan favourite, by Theresa May and the Conservatives, and expressed her wish that the party refrain from using her music in future.
If the Conservative party could refrain from using our music in future. x
— florence welch (@flo_tweet) October 4, 2017
Politicians being chided for using bands’ music unauthorised is by no means an exclusively UK-based phenomenon. Last year the surviving members of Queen expressed outrage that Donald Trump used ‘We Are The Champions’ to presage his victorious Republican Convention speech.
More colourfully, The Dropkick Murphys took to Twitter in 2015 to protest Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s co-opting their tunes at a campaign rally, saying ‘please stop using our music in any way…we literally hate you !!!’
— Dropkick Murphys (@DropkickMurphys) January 25, 2015
Theresa May’s speech, during which she succumbed to a fit of coughing, a sign fell apart and saw a P45 handed to her by a prankster, was widely considered to be a failure.
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Jeremy Corbyn hopes Wolf Alice, who released their album Visions Of A Life on Friday, beat Shania Twain to the top spot.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 5, 2017
His above tweet has seen excitable reception so far from Twitter users who have labelled Corbyn’s tweet “iconic” and “so indie”. Wolf Alice were indeed “helpful” with Labour, active campaigners in the election, and urged people to get involved in voting. Their influencecertainly had an impact on the increase in young people voting labour, an effective move that has destablised the Tories ever since.
The band are regular faces at demonstrations in London, fighting austerity-driven politicians at any given opportunity.
Corbyn’s tweet should help put more fuel in their motor as it’s been neck-and-neck with Shania proving stiff comeptition with her first album in 15 years.
But, as it stands, the band, who were nominated for a Mercury Prize with their debut, are leading the race – just. They sliped behind by 1400 copies last night but have pulled back today.
This acceleration was helped by drummer Joel Amey when he recalled childhood line-dancing torment at hands of country megastar in heart-wrenching cry for help on Facebook.
Amey highlighted the extent to which he endured pain and humiliation at the rhinestoned hands of the Queen of Country Pop.
“When I was in year four, one of our teachers (Mrs Bond) used to take us for compulsory line dancing lessons every week,” declared Amey in a gut wrenching stream-of-consciousness status update. ‘My poor, fat, nine-year-old self had to dance back and forth to an endless loop of ‘Man, I Fee Like A Woman’ while cursing the name of Shania Twain.’
The 24 year-old sticksman then appears to strike a more conciliatory tone, before again rounding on the multi-platinum Canadian chanteuse, comparing her to no less than a Stephen King monster:
‘Time passes and memories fade. By lo! 15 years later, like a country star makeover of “It”, she has returned from her slumber to take on the real life Loosers Club [sic] Wolf Alan from taking the top spot. Together we can put an end to this madness.’
Amy rounds off his gut-wrenching cri de coeur with an emotive plea for, if not commercial dominance, at least the respect to which he feels his life’s work is due:
‘If you don’t have a copy of Visions Of A Life and fancy picking one up this week then I’d love you forever – not actually ’cause of being number one but because I’m very proud of what we’ve made, I really like it and would love it if you did too.’
— wolf alice (@wolfalicemusic) October 3, 2017
Fans of Shania Twain – the biggest selling female artist in country music history – were predictably disgruntled by this outburst, but ever-the-conciliator Amey clarified “she is obviously a legend everyone be chill #visionsofalegend’.
Wolf Alice are touring from next month:
08 – Bristol, 02 Academy
09 – Manchester, 02 Apollo
11 – Glasgow, Barrowlands
13 – Newcastle, 02 Academy
15 – Nottingham, Rock City
16 – Birmingham, 02 Academy
17 – Norwich, UEA
18 – Leeds, 02 Academy
20 – Brighton, Dome
21 – Southampton, 02 Guildhall
24 – London, Alexandra Palace
27 – Belfast, Ulster Hall
28 – Dublin, Olympia
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Loyle Carner’s music connects with people. His fine debut album Yesterday’s Gone moulds influences of classic East Coast hip-hop with undeniable Britishness. While his flow recalls Mos Def or a young Nas, Carner’s sensitive lyrics touch on student loans, whiskey-soaked evenings and the importance of family. As a writer, he is passionate and brutally honest; and his performances, bristling with energy and natural charisma, bring his words to life. Carner’s set on Radio 6 Live series, following Alt-J and Morrissey, is a kind of victory lap in a year that has seen him nominated for the Mercury Prize and, after years of stagnation, put U.K hip-hop on the map once again.
Carner opens with the album’s lead single ‘The Isle of Arran’, backed by a ten-strong choir. It is a rousing and inspiring anthem, with Carner seeming equally frustrated and hopeful over a sample of S.C.I. Youth Choir’s “The Lord Will Make a Way”. On ‘Mean It In The Morning’, he is nostalgic for past love, while ‘(The Seamstress) Tooting Masala’ is a hazy journey through early summer afternoons in South London, ‘reminiscing on the time where I was single and haps’. The album’s intimacy, the feeling you are having a conversation with Carner, is transmitted in his live shows. He is an effortless performer, joking charmingly between songs, and delivering each bar with palpable intensity.
The sun-drenched, Tom Misch-produced ‘Damselfly’ has the whole crowd dancing along, while the pure hip-hop of ‘Stars and Shards’ and ‘No CD’ (featuring legendary UK rapper Jehst) stand as the best showcases of Carner’s considerable technical ability on the mic. Collaborator Kwes takes the stage for the beautiful ‘Florence’, a touching song about the joys of having an imagined sister. DJ, producer and supporting MC Rebel Kleff, a veteran of the scene, is an understated but solid presence on stage, giving Carner a base upon which to thrive. ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Changed’, perhaps his best song, is explosive in a live setting, railing against “brothers burning paper on that sticky greed” in contrast to his own financial desperation.
However, it is ‘Sun of Jean’ that proves to be the most moving moment of the set. A tribute to his late father, also a musician, he introduces the song as a means of ‘immortalising my mother and father together’. The last two minutes of the song, a poem written by Carner’s mother where she dwells on raising him, is sincere and genuinely moving. As they embrace on stage, there is that rare moment experienced during concerts of complete human connection: a dissipation of the barrier between performer and crowd. At only 1.30pm, the crowd scatter out of Maida Vale somewhat breathless, knowing they have witnessed something special.