Thee Faction: Up The Workers!

Fun socialist indie pop.

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Upgraded from Thee Hypnotics, with who Sophie Ellis-Bextor found fame, Thee Faction’s mission is plain and unabashed – to restore to indie pop the ragged-trousered, old school, socialist polemic of the mid 80s – The Redskins, Red Wedge and the like, and not to rest until the last member of Mumford & Sons is strangled with the entrails of the drummer from Coldplay.

Lyrical soundbites such as ‘Bread and circuses don’t keep me satisfied’ and ‘Argue with a Tory, don’t meditate’, require little interpretation. This is a re-imagining of a time when the link between pop and politics was a given in the fight to kick out Thatcher, with the musical weapons of back-to-basics pub rock, skinny R&B, clipped brass and a Clash-like directness.

Titles like Capitalism Is Good For Corporations; That’s Why You’ve Been Told Socialism Is Bad All Your Life, as well as the Soviet-style sleeve graphics suggest they’re ruefully aware of the aesthetic difficulties of agit-pop delivery, especially nowadays.

But their tongues are only partly in cheek. This is 100 per cent fun and they 100 per cent mean it, man. Catch live.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.