On Donald Trump, Brexit and Punk Rock

“Donald Trump will signal the re-birth of punk rock”. I’m not sure where I heard that but I do however remember when I heard it, the day Donald Trump got elected. That phrase stuck with me, and as the 2 and a bit years since Trump became president of America has shown, that fact has proven to be true. I remember being 17, going to see Slaves live for the very first time with my band mates around the time Trump was running. The support band (who’s name I never annoyingly found out, I’d like to credit them for their awesome gig, Slaves were hanging about with Spring King and Wonk Unit at the time so it may have been one of them but I’m not sure, anyone go to see slaves at the Cambridge corn exchange late 2016 and can tell me?) did a huge “Fuck Trump” chant which both the crowd and I loved. It was my first punk rock gig, and before this I wasn’t that into punk, but seeing Slaves changed everything for me. The energy, the style, the noise, it was perfectly describing my rage at the world but in an intelligent way. Slaves are now my favourite band along with Idles, yet another awesome band (AF gang love) who despite having been formed in 2012, they’ve only picked up steam in the past couple of years. These two are part of a small group of underground rock/punk bands that since 2016 have gained massive attention from fans and the media alike. That list goes on to include Fontaines DC, Heavy lungs, Estrons and many more. One of my personal favourites, Estrons are largely identified by a female lead singer who sings about feminist topics in true Riot Grrl fashion, and even legends like Bikini Kill are doing UK shows again (if you go on the 11th of June, and you see a skinhead 19 year old with Riot Grrl tatted on his knuckles, thats me come say hi!). So why all this attention around punk? Well in my opinion it’s simply punk being punk. Rebelling against the injustices of this world with angst filled lyrics, loud guitars, heavy bass and pounding drums is the cornerstone of punk and rock n’ roll as a whole. Where ever the right wing bastards rear their ugly heads, punk is there with a left response. Think of all the major events that have happened since 2016. Donald Trump, Brexit and terror attacks were all features of 2016 and were largely the reason everyone fucking hated that year. My Mum told me “when bad things happen, artists go to work”. This is a quote I live by, whenever shit goes wrong in my life, or there’s some asshole politician trying to do some dodgy shit, I go write a song or a blog post like this one. I know I’m not the only one who does this, and there’s proof! Everyone from comedians to musicians to artists have all made their voices heard in the past couple of years, rallying together in the face of adversity. Punk rock has been at the forefront of this fight, as it always has been in every fight it’s ever been in. Music is emotional, primal and deeply personal to us as humans, and we need to use that force of nature to combat the mega-corporations, politicians and the afore-mentioned right wing bastards. This fight will never end. But it’s our duty to keep fighting, not because there’s a chance that we will eventually defeat all the bigots and live happily ever after. We know that’s not happening. But because it’s the right thing to do.

Peace, Love and Cowbells,

Oscar

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