The Barstool Preachers - Blatant Propaganda album review

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The Bar Stool Preachers Blatant Propaganda album cover

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Reviving the spirit of 2 Tone is more than getting the music right, although this Brighton five-piece have no problem bending the choppy ska rhythms to their own ends. It’s also about attitude, and the band have cleverly wised up on that one too.

The issues are no longer as black and white (pun intended) as they were 35 years ago. For a start there’s no Thatcher to rail against (although who knows what the next couple of years may bring). Instead the band make some sharp observations, particularly about the wizened geezer who gave them their name and the insidious evils of the media circus (Good News).

They’re also not afraid to turn a harsh spotlight on themselves (Own Worst Enemy) but they can also turn that glare into a glow (Ballad Of The M1). Sometimes their energy tips into a full-tilt punk onslaught. It’s not subtle but it does make an impact.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.