Category Archives: Celtic Football Club

ALBUM REVIEW: THE WAKES- ‘Venceremos!’ (2016)

by Pete Morgan

Glasgow Irish folk’n’roll hooligans.

They might all be Jock Tamson’s bairns but their Mammy is Roisin Dubh!

the-wakes

London Celtic Punks friends and favourites launched their fifth studio album at the end of September just gone with a fantastic hometown gig at the Classic Grand, Glasgow.  A gig that saw the band enhanced with a small brass section that added to the sound and showed how the boys are growing musically.

The CD, like the gig, doesn’t disappoint: Thirteen tracks over forty-five minutes show the band in top form and giving all and more that we’ve come to expect from Glasgow’s finest ‘punk, folk’n’rollers’. Building on and growing from previous CD’s including No Irish Need Apply and The Red and the Green, Venceremos shows a growth in musical maturity and songwriting while staying true to the bands fundamentals will have you hitting replay button time and time again.

wakes3

For this release the band have teamed up with Drakkar Records and the result is an all singing, all dancing package with a gatefold sleeve CD that includes a pullout booklet of photo’s and lyrics which can be bought from the band’s website below and also from the Glasgow independent radical bookshop Calton Books (link below).

Opening with an irresistible punk/new wave beat of ‘Within These Towns’ the gauntlet is thrown down: the song delivers up a crushing criticism of politicians  of the Thatcher era who turned their backs on those towns and people reliant on manufacturing as they allowed industry to fall into irreversible decline and communities abandoned. A bleak subject of towns

“where we are born to die, to live our lives …”

is nonetheless invested with defiance and pride in it’s delivery and any thought of being downbeat is erased with the upbeat, ska infused, Rise. A story that dances along and is bound to become a live favourite, telling a tale of Dublin, Easter 1916, and provided lots of opportunities for a sing-a-long while raising a clenched fist…

wakes1-2

‘No Human is Illegal’ as a song is a class apart. This song possibly best defines the ethos of the band: humanitarian, international, caring, willing to stand up, to wear those hearts on sleeves … A simple enough statement, but a statement that carries undeniable power, delivered almost in an understated manner. This song is impossible to resist and invites us into a quiet corner, the lyrics falling softly, yet challenging the scaremongers and those who use sensationalist headlines to turn a profit  … but we’re left in no doubt

“That old bullshit just don’t cut it any more”

There’s no time to sit around as ‘Whisky Afternoon’ has us back on our feet as the band ‘rock-out’ to an enjoyable wee number of an afternoons drinking that we’ll all be familiar with, same goes for this tune that has a solid back beat that moves it (too?) quickly to a conclusion and then it’s on into ‘The Battle of George Square’: Tanks on the streets of Glasgow to quell the red Clyde revolution. Again the music and lyrics invoke an atmosphere that’ll put on the ground, shoulder to shoulder with Glasgow’s working class.

wakes2The Wakes don’t do shying away and, just as with No Human, they address issues head-on: the turning of young men into state killing machines in ‘Kings Shilling’, (touch of Skids/Big Country?) the bloodshed  in the ‘Holyland’. The domestic home-grown issues of poor housing and rising rent are highlighted in ‘Nae Soft Touch’ (touch of Christy Moore about this one) telling the story of issues from Govan, 1915, that are just as relevant today.

Track 8, ‘I Believe’, a ‘up-beat’ cry of positivity , a rallying cry and affirmation of the power of people is driving along on the back of some beautiful brass that shows how the band, as musicians, have grown and the sound of the Wakes continues seeking out avenues to explore. While ‘Ramblin’ Man’ pays tribute to the great Woody Guthrie in a tune that will almost have you up on the floor square dancing! But wait, whats next, a fecking polka! ‘Freighter of the Dead’ sails us over choppy waters navigating the straits of Pogue Mahone and onto the shores of Gorgol Bordello in a rollickin’ rocking good time tune that shows the boys are well able to let their hair down (sorry Chris!) and this is another tune that will fill the dance floors. As we’ve come to expect there’s a track from the ‘homeland’ that’s given the Wakes unique and personalised  treatment: ‘Erin Go Bragh’ starts off familiar enough but the bass playing and thunderous drumming supported by the chants gives this a whole new life and the song feels ‘epic’, a TV shows turned into a blockbuster of a movie!

wakes-4

The Wakes (left to right): Paul- Vocals/Guitar * Conor- Banjo/Mandolin * Chris- Vocals/Bass/Saxophone/Flute * Danny- Whistles * Eamonn- Drums * Christopher James- Harmonica/Guitar.

Closing on the title track, ‘Venceramos’ the song as well as the album as a whole, is a triumph: carried along on the back of a guitar sound that gets under the sink, drums & bass that get the heart pumping, the piercing harmonica, everything comes together with the united rising vocals in a song that is an affirmation of the power of truth against evil, the truth of those who struggle against the evil of corruption, greed, inhumanity … In an echo of Bobby Sands we’re told:

“You can try to kill the dreamer but the dream never dies’ and the heart grows huge with the refrain Venceremos! Venceremos! We Will Overcome …”

Venceremos is a must have, the Wakes a must see.

Discography

These Hands (2007) No Irish Need Apply (2009) Stripped Back Sessions Vol. 1 (2011) The Red and the Green (2013)

Buy The Album

 FromTheBand  Amazon  iTunes  CaltonBooks 

Contact The Wakes

WebSite  Facebook  Bandcamp  Twitter  Soundcloud  YouTube

(live in London last year at the Cock Tavern in association with London Celtic Punks and the Hayes Bhoys CSC- thanks to Deano for filming)

 

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THE LONDON CELTIC PUNKS GUIDE TO LIFE- HOW TO PRONOUNCE ‘CELTIC’

Today is our birthday. The 30492 – London Celtic Punks blog was born today on the 7th July, 2014 . It’s been an enjoyable slog I must say and it’s been an pleasure to meet so many like minded people. There is plenty more to come from us and we just hope that we can continue to introduce you to good music and good craic for many years to come. 

Celtics

One thing that we have been asked more than any other is how is the word ‘Celtic’ pronounced. For us over here in England it seems pretty natural but I can see how it can be a bit confusing if you are from overseas. During the so-called Celtic Twilight period in the late 1800s and early 1900s both hard c (‘Keltic’) and soft c (‘Seltic’) were used. The word Celt is derived from Keltoi, which is the name the Greeks gave the ‘barbarian’ tribes along the Danube and Rhone rivers. The Romans borrowed the Greek name, but spelled it ‘Celtae’, and the word entered French in the form ‘Celtes’, from which the English derived Celt. In French the soft c pronunciation is standard for ‘Celtique’, following standard French pronunciation rules. The Irish (‘Ceilteach’) and Breton’s (‘kelt’-ethnicity and ‘keltiek’- language) both use a hard c sound. Modern Breton also has a word ‘Keltia’, meaning the Celtic world.

Dewsbury Celtic

Dewsbury Celtic

The Celtic Twilight period was also around the time when many sporting organisations were springing up with the name Celtic in them. Most were based outside of Ireland and were formed either by first or second generation Irish immigrants. The most obvious being of course Glasgow Celtic in 1888 but their are many other great examples. Dewsbury Celtic Rugby League Football Club (1879) are the oldest Irish sporting organisation outside Ireland. Formed in 1879 when the Irish escaping post-famine poverty and hunger arrived in Yorkshire to work as labourers and in the local mills. They settled in the Irish ghetto of Westtown and formed a rugby club which soon after changed to being a football club before changing again shortly after and returning to rugby. They began life as Dewsbury Shamrocks and changed their name in around 1910 to Celtic. The club today are based in Irish National League Club in Dewsbury and play in the National Division of the Rugby League Conference. The club field a dozen or more youth teams and are doing an absolutely amazing job of keeping alive the ‘Celtic’ spirit and traditions in West Yorkshire.

As more and more Irish flooded into England and Scotland football teams like our very own (1888) and Stalybridge Celtic (1909) or Farsley Celtic (1908) in the north of England were established and then later in America the Boston Celtics Basketball Club (1946). These are all referred to with the soft c pronunciation and the modern convention is to keep the soft c pronunciation to refer only to sports teams.

The use of the hard c version in cultural matters indicated, until recently, that the user was somewhat knowledgeable in these matters. This has changed since Riverdance, Titanic, etc., and also the use of the term ‘Celtic Tiger’ to refer to the improved economy of Ireland and Scotland. Personally I would use the hard k when talking about Celtic culture, language or traditions except when talking about sporting clubs but to be honest both can be ‘korrect’!!

BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS CHARITY SINGLE ‘Something Inside So Strong’

Charity Single Released with Ginger Melodeon Experience Music Collective for The Lymphoma Association.
FREE DOWNLOAD!!

click above for your free download don't forget to donate!

click above for your free download
don’t forget to donate!

All we ask is that you make a donation, any amount you like!

Tracie O’Sullivan is a friend, she is one of the lucky ones and is the reason why The Bible Code Sundays have recorded this song. This is her story in her own words:

“In April 2013 my world was shattered, a routine blood test showed an abnormality in my liver, laughing I told the Doc I would slow down on the shots!  Her face wasn’t smiling, it was full of sorrow for me, it was nothing to do with shots, it was Lymphoma a blood cancer.  After eleven weeks of tests and an operation my sub type was found and a treatment plan put in place for 6 sessions of aggressive chemo.  There are so many types of Lymphoma cancer, and mine was a rare one, Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkins Lymphoma, what a mouthful!  You immediately google it, and get a load of scary non truths, the Lymphoma Association had the answers for me and all written in easy to understand jargon.  My daughter was living in Australia; I had to tell my only child I had cancer and might die.  She was terrified and so distraught, being so far away.  The Lymphoma Association to the rescue again!  Loaded with information and realisation that, although a rare type, my type of cancer could be cured.  After a gruelling six months and the support of my family and friends I am out the other side, bald but better!! I am in remission and I am one of the lucky ones.  The Bible Code Sunday lads, are included in my group of bestest buddies, they were a huge support and comfort to me and the family, we love them dearly.  Along with the other talented Musicians on this track, my cancer anthem ‘Something Inside So Strong’ has been recorded.  It’s a free download, and is a fantastic version, it’s a free download, all we ask is you make a little donation, anything you can spare, no matter how small will go to the Lymphoma Association. I intend, when fully better, to volunteer to be a Lymphoma Buddy.  This is a free service for those who are diagnosed to talk to someone who has been through the experience, some people are not as lucky as me and don’t have the wonderful friends and family that I have around them. Your donations will help fund these types of schemes.  Every forty minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with Lymphoma and it is particularly common in the younger population.  Thank you to the best group of lads and lassies ever, musical geniuses!  – The Ginger Melodeon Experience”

inspired by our friend Tracie O’Sullivan.
to donate to this great cause

http://www.lymphomas.org.uk/
http://www.lymphomas.org.uk/

THE BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS

The name…
The band started out as ‘Slainte’, originally formed by Ruairi and Kieran MacManus, Ronan’s brothers, before being joined by Ronan and other brother Liam, playing traditional Irish music. Slainte grew and evolved, with many musicians joining the band as part-time members. Simultaneously, Ronan and other band members had started to write original material for other bands. Over time other band interests quickly faded and writing and performing their own material became the band’s focus. It was in 2006 that the band changed their name to The BibleCode Sundays, at the time, the band were playing back to back gigs every Sunday in small pubs full of hard-drinking Irishmen

“…we used to have to join them in their drinking just to get through the gigs because they were so crazy!”- Ronan

And so, the band would routinely find themselves up in the small hours talking, usually about conspiracy theories, including the so-called Bible Code, which refers to an encryption in the Torah believed by some to prophecy future events. These drink-fuelled discussions would happen every Sunday around 4am, and hence became known as BibleCode Sundays…
The journey…
The band celebrated their name change with a self-titled album of covers of Irish crowd-pleasers and then, with new material, and a packed schedule of gigs around London, their popularity in London took off, winning the award for ‘Best Band on London Circuit 2006’ by the readers of The Irish World newspaper.
The Band released their first original album, ‘Ghosts of Our Pasts‘ in 2007, to great critical acclaim, both in the UK and North America. The album included three songs, ‘Bang, Bang, You’re Dead’, ’Honour Of The Gael’ and ‘My Town’ especially written for Mike O’Dea’s Boston-based movie ‘Townies’, subsequently retitled ”The Code Of Silence’. The album also included the bitter-sweet ‘Boys of Queens’ dedicated to the FDNY, inspired by the events of 9/11, and subsequently used in the 2011 CBS show ‘Unforgettable‘.
Second album ‘Boots or No Boots’ followed in 2008, and included the track ‘Maybe It’s Because I’m an Irish Londoner‘, which was subsequently adopted by premiership rugby club, London Irish RFC, as the club’s anthem. With their growing popularity and adoption by both Celtic FC and London Irish RFC supporters, the band’s fanbase has grown to include Europe and the States, with performances at major sporting events and stadiums, including Twickenham and music festivals, including Glastonbury. In 2007, they were invited to perform on the Sky Sports Christmas Day special. In 2009, with growing popularity in the US, the band were invited to support The Dropkick Murphys for their Boston St Patrick’s Day concert, a relationship which continues to date with BCS supporting The Dropkick’s on their 2012 UK Tour. With the addition of Kian on lead guitar and ever-maturing song writing, a new BCS sound started to emerge which began to find its way into their live performances.
The new BCS album New Hazardous Design was released in November 2013 and was launched with a sell out gig at swanky London venue Under The Bridge and we loved it so much we awarded it the London Celtic Punks Album Of The Year For 2013 by us here. A great band and a London Irish treasure.

From the community, For the community, Of the community

Palestine GigYou can catch the Bible Code Sundays playing pretty much week in and week out throughout London and the surrounding areas throughout the year but what about this for a great gig. Next Friday on December 11th ‘Irish Music For Palestine’ presents The Bible Code Sundays live on stage at Hennessys Bar in South Harrow with the original post-Pogues celtic-punk legends Neck. This will be the first time they have played together since the old days of the famed London Irish nightclub The Galtymore back on St Patrick’s Day in 2007 I think it was. Also supporting is Anto Morra. London Irish singer-songwriter of great standing. A great roster of bands and wrapping it up Greenford Bhoy will bt DJing all your favourite Irish rock and rebel all through the night and after the bands have finished. And all for the children of Gaza as every penny will go to the educational charity ‘Voices Of Gaza’. You can find out a whole lot more at the Facebook event here. Tickets are a straight £10 and you can get them here.

Contact The Bible Code Sundays

Facebook  WebSite  Twitter  YouTube  Amazon  iTunes

99p FOR THE KANO FOUNDATION- CHARITY SINGLE RELEASED

The Kano Foundation is a group of volunteer Celtic supporters working to help young children. They work in partnership with other Celtic fans to offer a match-day experience at Celtic Park to a range of children’s groups and charities.

Joe McKenna

The song ‘Have You Ever Seen?’, written and performed by Joe McKenna And The Kanettes, has been released through iTunes and PlayStore with all money raised to go to fund the excellent work of the Kano Foundation. Joe is one of the hosts from the HomeBhoys podcast on Hail Hail Media. The proceeds of another of his songs are also being donated to us. Joe has also wrote and performed ‘We Still Won’ for fellow HomeBhoy Paul Larkin’s ‘The Asterisk Years’ documentary.

“Well if you wanna go, K-A-N-O, ‘Hail Hail’, rain, sleet or snoooooooooooooooooooooow!”

Origins

The KANO Foundation took inspiration from the highly successful ‘Bringing Martin Home’ fundraising effort that was undertaken by the Celtic support.

Overnight in 2008, Martin Kane, a Celtic supporter living in Australia, was struck down by a rare neurological condition called Devic’s Syndrome.  The condition is an extreme form of multiple sclerosis and causes the immune system to attack the protective material that covers the nerves. Martin, known as ‘Kano’ to his friends, was a regular contributor to the Celtic Quick News forum and once other members of the forum found out about his situation they quickly kicked off a fundraising effort to raise £60,000 to pay for modifications to his house to get him home for Christmas with his family after spending a year in hospital. The overall campaign exceeded the target and it was decided to use some of the extra money to take a group of children, who had volunteered at the bucket collection, to a match at Celtic Park. The idea for The KANO Foundation was born.

Soon after, The KANO Foundation was formed and since season 2010/2011 The KANO Foundation has been Keeping Football Free for Kids by giving over 3000 kids a unique match day experience at Celtic Park.

About Us

The KANO Foundation is a group of volunteers Keeping Football Free for Kids.

Our mission is to treat youngsters, regardless of background and circumstance, to a day out at Celtic Park.  Since season 2009/2010 we have given a modern day ‘lift over the turnstile’ to over 3000 children varying from boys and girls football teams to local youth clubs and young people with special needs.

We are fully self-funded and rely on the generosity of the Celtic Fans.

Kano

Buy The Single

iTunes  PlayStore

The Kano Foundation

Facebook  Twitter  WebSite  YouTube  Flickr

So our message to you the generous readers and supporters of London Celtic Punks is simple. Honour the fantastic work that the Kano Foundation do and put your hand in your pocket and download the song for just 99p…

*Catch Joe with the rest of the HomeBhoys on their weekly podcast, Monday nights at 7.30pm on the Hail Hail Media channel on Spreaker.

LONDON’S GREEN’n’WHITE: THE WAKES LIVE AT THE COCK TAVERN SATURDAY 29th AUGUST 2015

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

CHANGE OF VENUE

LONDON’S GREEN’n’WHITE

CELTIC SUPPORTERS IN LONDON UNITE!

wakes @ cock

supported by the
UNDERGROUND CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB
HAYES BHOYS CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB
BRIGHTON CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB
LONDON CELTIC SUPPORTERS-FACEBOOK
URBANKELT
LONDON CELTIC PUNKS

Buy Tickets Here

click above to buy advance tickets

THE WAKES

we are pleased to announce the headliners who will be making a very rare London appearance. The Wakes are a folk rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. The band’s sound is a mixture of Celtic traditional music fused with punk rock. The band’s lyrics embrace their culture, heritage and surroundings. They cover all manner of subjects from anti-fascist politics, immigration and unemployment to uprising and rebellion in Scotland, Ireland and beyond.
http://www.thewakes.info/

supports act will include
ANTO MORRA
the music of London Irish Celtic and QPR supporter Anto can be found somewhere between the Pogues and Ian Dury with a dash of Madness.
http://www.antomorra.com/

BUCKETS OF COURAGE
an old school streetpunk band made up of Celtic fans all the way from County Kilburn!
https://www.facebook.com/bucketsofcourage

GREENFORD BHOY

our resident DJ Mr.GREENFORD BHOY will be spinning his ipod playing a whole host of celtic punk and rock, trad folk, rebel Irish and just plain auld rebel before, inbetween and after the bands.

more acts to be announced (and SPECIAL GUESTS to be confirmed!) so keep an eye out here…

the proceeds for the gig will go to the Clapton One. an anti-fascist Celtic supporter who was recently arrested unfairly in London and received a huge fine. lets show that we look after our own…

Entry is from 7-30pm and is £10 and advance tickets are available (click the giant ticket stub above). If their are any tickets left then it will be Pay On The Door. The gig will end at midnight.

The Water Rats is closed for refurbishment (thanks for telling us!) so we have had to move to The Cock Tavern, home of the Underground Celtic Supporters Club, literally just around the corner from Euston station and not far from the Water Rats either!
Plenty of trains, tubes and buses galore will get you back to pretty much anywhere all through the night. Map and some other shit here and here.

cock tavern

The Cock Tavern

23 Phoenix Road, Euston, London, NW1 1HB

020 7387 1884

Facebook event here

https://www.facebook.com/events/933811693308277/

come down before the gig and join the infamous UNDERGROUND CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB for the Celtic v St Johnstone game which will be shown live in the pub at 3pm.

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW: GIL SCOTT-HERON- ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ (1974)

The godfather of rap and hip-hop and son of Celtic’s first black player

FREE DOWNLOAD

Gil Heron

Gil Heron 1922-2008

Today we are giving you something well out of our loop as part of the ‘Classic Album Reviews’. Whereas normally we’d give you some out of print folk album from the 30s/40s/50s here’s something a bit more recent (still its forty one years young) and, some would say the very first hip-hop/ rap album. Well, I hear you say, so what? Whats the connection to us? Well it’s a little known fact (though it has appeared here before) that Gil Scott Heron’s old man, Gil Heron was the first black player to play for Celtic. Known as ‘The Black Arrow’ the Jamaican-born Heron played one season, 1951-52, in the hoops and played five games and scored two goals. His son, also Gil, is who we celebrate here though. Known in recent years as the ‘Godfather Of Rap’ he was an articulate voice for change but despite being a well respected composer, musician, author and poet he remains best known for writing and performing the spoken-word track ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’. He wrote the song when he was just 21 years old and would go on to perform and release several re-workings of it in his lifetime. He once said

“The revolution takes place in your mind. Once you change your mind and decide that there’s something wrong that you want to effect that’s when the revolution takes place. But first you have to look at things and decide what you can do. ‘Something’s wrong and I have to do something about it. I can effect this change.’ Then you become a revolutionary person. It’s not all about fighting. It’s not all about going to war. It’s about going to war with the problem and deciding you can effect that problem. When you want to make things better you’re a revolutionary”

It was never a hit, which suggests that Gil’s point that attempts at revolution are always suppressed by those in power was completely right! It is said that fans would turn up to his gigs wearing Celtic shirts but the poet-singer was estranged from his father until adulthood. Still it is truly amazing that both father and son were such pioneers in their chosen fields. His own term for himself was ‘bluesologist’, which he defined as

“a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues”

GIL SCOTT-HERON- 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' (1974)

click on the album cover to get your Free Download!

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag
And skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws
Confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theater and will not star Natalie Woods
And Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner
Because the revolution will not be televised, Brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
Pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run
Or trying to slide that color TV into a stolen ambulance
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
Or report from 29 districts
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers on the instant replay
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young
Being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy Wilkens
Strolling through Watts in a red, black and green
Liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies and Hooter ville Junction
Will no longer be so damned relevant
And women will not care if Dick finally gets down with Jane
On search for tomorrow because black people
Will be in the street looking for a brighter day
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock news
And no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists
And Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones
Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink or the Rare Earth
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a white tornado, white lightning, or white people
You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom
The tiger in your tank or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised
Will not be televised, will not be televised
The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live

I won’t pretend to be too knowledgeable here so I am just gonna put it out there and give you a bit of history about the guy and the album and impact it had and hopefully you will download it and make up your own minds. That after all is all we ever want.

If the people were to rise to rebellion, there will be no news coverage of the event. That is in a nutshell what Gil is getting at. The years preceding this album America was rocked with scandals and assassinations and political strife that had shaken the very foundations of the state. There was a feeling that revolution was on the cards, though looking back it now seems mad to have thought that. Nevertheless some things did change for the better and music was at the forefront of pushing for that change. Gil was known primarily as a jazz musician though ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ is more a collection of Rhythm and Blues and spoken poetry. While it would be hard to say that Gil invented rhyming there are definitely parallels between angry poems like ‘Whitey on the Moon’,

“Taxes takin’ my whole damn check
The junkies make me a nervous wreck
The price of food is goin up
And if all that crap wasn’t enough
A rat done bit my sister nell
With Whitey on the moon”

‘No Knock’ and ‘Brother’ and 1980s onwards hip hop. Poetry doesn’t dominate though and most of the selections illustrate his excellence as a singer, including ‘Home Is Where the Hatred Is’

“A junkie walking through the twilight
I’m on my way home
I left three days ago, but no one seems to know I’m gone
Home is where the hatred is
Home is filled with pain and it,
might not be such a bad idea if I never, never went home again”

‘Did You Hear What They Said?’ and the poignant ‘Save the Children’. One of the less political tracks is ‘Lady Day and John Coltrane’, an R&B classic that articulates how easily jazz can lift a person’s spirits. ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ is  not the last word on Scott-Heron’s but it’s certainly one of the best places to start if you’re exploring his work for the first time. Besides influencing contemporary musicians, Gil remained active until his death in 2011. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death, ‘The Last Holiday’, was published, posthumously in January 2012.

“My father still keeps up with what Celtic are doing. You Scottish folk always mention that my Dad played for Celtic, it’s a blessing from the spirits! Like that’s two things that Scottish folks love the most; music and football and they got one representative from each of those from my family!”

Tracklist
1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
2. Sex Education – Ghetto Style
3. The Get Out Of The Ghetto Blues
4. No Knock
5. Lady Day And John Coltrane
6. Pieces Of A Man
7. Home Is Where The Hatred Is
8. Brother
9. Save The Children
10. Whitey On The Moon
11. Did You Hear What They Said
12. When You Are Who You Are
13. I Think I’ll Call It Morning
14. A Sign Of The Ages
15. Or Down You Fall
16. The Needle’s Eye
17. The Prisoner

DEDICATED TO ROBERT KING

Robert King

Robert Hillary King, aka Robert King Wilkerson, was part of a trio of American political prisoners collectively known as The Angola Three. Robert became a Celtic supporter through the influence of Gil and recently appeared on worldwide televison wearing the hoops. Robert’s membership in the only prison-recognized chapter of the Black Panther Party, and his work organizing against prison injustices, resulted in his being targeted for retaliation by prison officials. Despite overwhelming evidence exonerating him, prison-snitch testimony alone convicted him and he received a life sentence for the death of a fellow inmate. Robert’s tenacity in proving his innocence came to fruition when a Federal Appeals Court finally found him “probably innocent.” In February 2001, after thirty-one years of imprisonment and twenty-nine continuous years of solitary confinement, King walked out of the gates of Angola Prison a free man. He has spoken at universities, conferences and other venues. He has made appearances on radio and television and addressed members of the European Parliament. He worked hard to win the release of his comrades, the release of all political prisoners, and an end to the new slavery that is the Prison Industrial Complex.

“I may be free from Angola, but Angola will never be free of me!”

find out more about the Angola Three case here.

Part of the ‘Classic Album Reviews’ series (here) where we bring you something a little bit different to what you’re use to. Lost gems that have inspired and provoked folk music and musicians right up to modern celtic-punk music. Usually out of print so we can provide a free download link for you.

PUT THE KETTLE ON. HAVE A BREW. WE’RE HOME- FC UNITED

heartfelt congratulations to our footballing comrades FOOTBALL CLUB OF MANCHESTER or better known of course as FC UNITED. Ten years after Malcolm Glazer completed his unwanted hostile takeover of Manchester United, FC United have risen from nowhere to the brink of the Football League. The supporter owned club is truly a part of its community and is an inspiration to us all. Modern Football is shit but their are glimpses every now and then of a better world…

FCUM4

by Jonathan Allsop

FCUM6I reckon Odysseus had it relatively easy. Okay it took the Greek ruler and hero of Homer’s Odyssey ten years to return to his Ithaca home following the Trojan war, battling various cannibals, witches, ghosts and six headed monsters along the way. But it pales a little compared to the story of FC United of Manchester’s ten year journey home. Ten long years it’s taken us but on Friday 29th May 2015 the Northern Premier League champions welcomed the Portugese champions Benfica to the opening of Broadhurst Park, our very own Ithaca. What an epic journey it’s been for those seeking asylum from the Glazer regime, grafting relentlessly to raise the small matter of the £6.3 million needed to build the ground at a time when the economy is on its arse, dodging the slings and arrows of the planning process and coping with other obstacles like having to find another site for the ground after Ten Acres Lane fell through, the judicial review, contractors going out of business and Japanese knotweed. Finally though we’re playing football in Manchester and have our own ground, somewhere to call home. And we moved in one day short of ten years since the public meeting at the Apollo theatre when the idea of FC United was discussed. Odysseus? Pfffftttt. For FC United it all began at a venue named after a Greek god no less.

There must have been around two thousand of us at the Apollo on Ardwick Green on that warm, sunny bank holiday Monday. I’d been to Chester for the weekend and the street stalls flogging t-shirts celebrating the “miracle of Istanbul” had done nothing to improve my mood. May 2005 had been a thoroughly dismal month to be a Manchester United supporter following the hostile takeover by the Glazer family. The rather forlorn looking red wristband on my left wrist said, incorrectly, “not for sale”. Yet somehow I’d convinced myself that all was not lost and that with a concerted “fight from within” we could still send the Glazers packing. The protests, flash mobbing and boycotting of sponsors would have to continue and surely we’d have to boycott games too. It wouldn’t be easy but if any set of fans could do it it had to be us. Love United Hate Glazer. The FC United breakaway club thing sounded like a good idea but it probably wasn’t for me.

FCUM5I’d gone along to the meeting at the Apollo primarily to find out what the plans were for the next stage of the fight to get rid of the Glazers but something changed for me that afternoon and I’m not sure exactly what it was. Maybe it was those ace t-shirts with the fist and the “our club, our rules” motif. I’m always a sucker for a political slogan or two. Maybe it was hearing Kris Stewart from AFC Wimbledon describe forming your own football club as “the best thing you will ever do”. Or maybe it was re-reading the photocopies of that stirring “think about the future” article about FC United that appeared in Red Issue back in February 2005 as the Glazer takeover loomed large.

The meeting got me thinking, like perhaps never before, about what a football club actually is. Is it the team and its players and manager? The football ground itself? The directors and shareholders? Or is it something less tangible than that? What is apparent is that without supporters football is nothing. Take away that passion and noise and colour and all you’re left with is twenty two people kicking a bag of wind around a patch of grass. So, if that’s the case, surely the best way to secure the long-term future of any football club is to entrust the ownership and running of it to the very people without whom it would be nothing; the supporters. Maybe, just maybe, something beautiful could emerge from this wreckage. More than one thousand signatures of support for FC United were received from that meeting. Mine was one of them.

So it was that on a muggy August day I found myself on a bus to Leek heading to FC United of Manchester’s first ever league game against Leek County School Old Boys in the North West Counties League, six divisions below the football league and ten divisions below the Premier League. Me and a mate arrived early to watch United in the lunchtime kick-off versus Everton at Goodison Park in a back street pub. The place was rammed and as more fans drifted in during the first half one of them glanced over at the screen on his way to the bar and said something, not too complimentary, about “the other lot”.

It caught me by surprise and it took me a few seconds to realise that “the other lot” were in fact our red shirted heroes on the telly. As an out-of-towner I’d been spared much of the pain and acrimony of the split in United’s support that summer as groups of mates who’d been going to the match together for years went their separate ways. Emotions ran high and that split in our support in the summer of 2005 was perhaps the single worst aspect of the Glazer takeover, one barely mentioned by the media. For me it was a huge wrench to stop going to United after twenty eight years. The decision mangled my head for weeks but I was relatively lucky, at least I hadn’t suffered the jibes of being a “splitter” or “Judas scum”. The worst that got chucked my way when mentioning FC United, aside from “who are they?” was the old missing-the-point chestnut of “why don’t you go and support another non-league team instead of forming your own?”

Sat in that pub in Leek town centre I still felt like a United supporter and when “we” eventually ran out 2-0 winners that felt like the main event of the day. If FC won as well that would be great, but I wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it. It still felt like a protest. As hundreds of us walked through the rain from the pub to the ground, singing anti-Glazer songs, it wasn’t unlike that pre-match march before the AC Milan match six months before.

FCUMAnd for much of those first two seasons in the North West Counties League it continued to feel like a protest. We carried on singing the songs about Glazer, Gill, Fergie and Rio and what happened on the pitch was, at times, almost incidental, the noise of the crowd often not matching the ebb and flow of the game. At some point though this changed. The third round FA Vase tie against Quorn in December of the second season was undoubtedly a turning point for many as an FC side down to nine men with half an hour of the game to go battled valiantly and unbelievably took the lead with only a few minutes left. The Manchester Road End went bananas. This, all of a sudden, was a football club, our football club not just a protest movement. “We” eventually lost 3-2, cruelly in the last minute of extra time but it was a seminal moment nonetheless.

There have been some great memories on the pitch that have been wonderfully documented by better writers than me elsewhere but some of my proudest moments of the last decade have occurred off the pitch. Pay what you can afford season tickets. The vote to ban Sky and any other pay per view broadcasters from a future ground. The refusal to speak to strike breaking BBC journalists the day after the FA Cup win at Rochdale. The continued principled stance taken against shirt sponsorship. Being recognised as community club of the year in 2011-12. Raising more than two million pounds in community shares. The annual Big Coat Day. The recent vote to choose not to work with any organisations who operate the government’s shameful policy of Workfare. Boycotting the Curzon Ashton game in December 2007 after the kick-off time was moved for television purposes. Becoming the first football club in the country to adopt the Living Wage. The assistance and advice provided to other supporter owned clubs (as AFC Wimbledon did for us). And, of course, the wonderfully irreverent pre-match Course You Can Malcolm nourishing us with music, poetry, comedy, theatre and fairly priced food and ale.

FCUM2On that Friday evening against Benfica, there was a tear in my eye as I stood on that magnificent terrace behind the goal. After years of pound for the ground draws, standing orders for the development fund, sticking loose change in barrels, community shares, crowd funding and the rest we finally have a place to call home. It’s wonderful that something so beautiful and so positive has emerged from the years of protesting and being told to “sit down and shut up” and that “it’ll all be over by Christmas”. Broadhurst Park is a monument to Mancunian defiance and a reward for the assorted oddballs, subversives and “real ale hooligan socialists” who had the courage to stand up and prove that there is a better way for football. It felt apt too that Benfica, with the largest number of supporter members of any football club in the world, were our guests for this special occasion. Like Broadhurst Park, their original Estadio da Luz home was built primarily with funds donated by their fans.

As I tucked into a bottle of Two Hoots in that lovely, make-do-and-mend space beneath the St Mary’s Road End before kick-off I, strangely, found myself thinking back to the summer of 1991 when Manchester United were floated on the Stock Exchange. Arguably the very beginning of a timeline that has brought many of us to Broadhurst Park. It was a few weeks after Rotterdam and having recently shelled out for a season ticket for next season I had to borrow some money from a mate to scrape together the minimum share investment of £190.

Despite the cost, it felt great to buy those fifty shares and have a stake, no matter how small, in the football club I loved. Somewhat naively I thought that this could be the start of something beautiful; a Manchester United owned by its supporters. I didn’t realise at the time that the primary motive for floating the club on the Stock Exchange was to raise money for the redevelopment of the Stretford End, to transform it into an all seater stand following the Taylor Report. It was reckoned that the rebuilding would cost around twelve million pounds with roughly £6.7 million to come from the share issue.

FCUM3That figure is uncannily similar to the cost, twenty four years later, of the entirety of Broadhurst Park. When the Glazers took over in 2005 I got a cheque for my United shares. Unbelievably those shares purchased in 1991 were worth a staggering three thousand pounds by 2005. Usually I’d be delighted to be sent a cheque for that much. But this felt like a kick in the teeth. A recognition that my stake in Manchester United was no longer needed, no longer welcome. A symbolic moment. In that summer of 2005 I gave some of that money to FC United, one of thousands to do so, to allow the club to get through its first season. Since then we’ve all invested our time, our skills and our hard earned cash to get us this far safe in the knowledge that this time no one with a big wallet and a smart-arse business plan can pinch it off us. This is ours. This football club. This ground. It’s ours. It’s been a remarkable ten year footballing odyssey.

re-printed from the excellent blog ‘NOWT MUCH TO SAY’. head over there now by pressing here to find more from a London based politically and footballingly red and founder member and co-owner of FC United of Manchester.

‘THE SPIRIT OF WALFRID’ CELTIC CHARITY COMPILATION ALBUM OUT NOW

For Celtic Supporters By Celtic Supporters

Brother Walfrid

I tell you the Celtic Family never ceases to amaze me. While one bunch of supporters has come to the aid of a Celtic fan arrested unjustly in London recently (here) another has released this compilation album to help out several charities all close to the Celtic heart.

The album has been organised by The Celtic Network on the belief that

“if you run a site for Celtic fans it is important that charity and good works are promoted alongside the football”

There are seventeen songs, some of which have been recorded and/or written specifically for this album, uniquely produced by a set of football supporters and by Celtic supporting bands and artists. The music itself is mostly of the Irish kind and The Celtic Network is hoping to donate £5 from every sale to the nominated charities. The idea of a ‘charity’ album is nothing new, however I think this may be one of the few to be produced by football supporters, so if that is the case this album maybe a wee bit unique. Fortunately The Celtic Network supports both good causes and Celtic supporting bands and artists, which gave a good starting point for this fund raising project.

If you can, please show your support for The Celtic Network and all of the artists who have given their time and effort to produce the album and the wonderful charities who will benefit from your generosity.

Full Track Listing:

  1. Willie Maley – Charlie And The Bhoys
  2. Colours – The Wakes
  3. They Built Paradise – Bible Code Sundays
  4. Viva La Familia Celtic – Billy No’Well
  5. The Midfield Man – Dusty Bhoy
  6. The Immigrants –  Gary Óg and The Exiles
  7. Home From Home – Paddy Ryan
  8. The Spirit of Brother Walfrid – Hutchy
  9. Tell You This – Closure
  10. Inter Milan – Charlie And The Bhoys
  11. The Uncrowned King of Football – The Wakes
  12. Maybe It’s Because I’m An Irish Londoner – Bible Code Sundays
  13. Invisible – Billy No’Well
  14. Here’s To You Tommy – Dusty Bhoy
  15. Freedom – Gary Óg and The Exiles
  16. My Heart Is In Ireland – Paddy Ryan
  17. In Paradise – Hutchy

The good causes to benefit are:

(click on the charity name to go direct to their site)

Band and Artists are:

(click on the band name to go direct to their site)

you can buy the CD or the Download from The Celtic Network web-site here for just £7.50 or £6.

Join The Celtic Network

Facebook  WebSite  Twitter

The Celtic Network ‘for Celtic Supporters, by Celtic supporters’. We aim to provide a free alternative to mainstream media, promote Celtic fans sites and support good causes be it large charities or individuals.

BROTHER WALFRID

“a football club will be formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed”

Brother Walfrid4

Andrew Kerins was born on 18th May 1840 to John and Elizabeth Kerins (nee Flynn) in Ballymote, County Sligo in the north-west of Ireland. His parents were poor farmers and devout Catholics. When Andrew was just 5 years of age the Great Famine (Irish: An Gorta Mor) struck Ireland. Lasting for seven years this was a period of mass starvation, disease, death and emigration. During this horrendous time in Irish history more than 1 million people died from disease and starvation and a much larger number emigrated from Ireland to avoid the same fate.

Many of those who left headed straight for the large industrial cities of Britain like London, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The conditions that met them there were often little better that those they had just left behind in Ireland.

Andrew survived the famine. However, coming from a poor family, he would have known hunger and witnessed countless scenes of indescribable pain and suffering, the memories of which would stay with him for his lifetime. Andrew went on to study teaching and in 1864 he joined The Irish Marist Brothers Teaching Order taking the name Brother Walfrid, after Galfrido della Gherardesca, an eighth-centuty saint from Pisa, Italy.

Brother Walfrid3

In the early 1870’s his Order sent him to the East End of Glasgow. There he taught at St. Marys School and the Sacred Heart School where he was appointed headmaster in 1874. In 1884 Brother Walfrid set up the Poor Childrens Dinner Table charity, also known as ‘Penny Dinners’ whereby for a penny (or some bread and ha’penny) a child could get a nourishing meal. To fund his charity Brother Walfrid would arrange exhibition football matches.

On 6th November 1887 Celtic Football Club was formally constituted at a meeting in St. Mary’s church hall in Forbes Street, Carlton, Glasgow, by Brother Walfrid with the purpose of alleviating poverty in the East End of Glasgow by raising money for the charity he had started three years earlier, the ‘Poor Childrens Dinner Table’. A circular was issued declaring that

“the main object of the club was to supply …. funds for the maintenance of the dinner tables for the needy children in the missions of St Mary’s, Sacred Heart and St Michael’s”

In 1893 Brother Walfrid was sent by his Religious Order to London’s East End where he continued organising football matches to support his charity work. This time the beneficiaries were the poor children of Bethnal Green and Bow.

Brother Walfrid died on 17 April 1915 and is buried in the Mount St. Michael Cemetery in Dumfries.

Brother Walfrid

In 2005, a fine sculpture of Brother Walfrid was unveiled outside Celtic Park to commemorate the major part he played in the founding of the club. The chair of the Memorial Committee, Eddie Toner, observed ruefully that modern football has been taken over by many of the values and philosophies that Walfrid would undoubtedly have opposed. The memorial would act “as a humble reminder of the club’s origins”.

For more On Brother Walfrid visit this recommended web site here.

REMEMBERING ATHLETIC BILBAO SUPPORTER INIGO CABACAS KILLED BY POLICE IN 2012- STILL WAITING FOR JUSTICE!

THREE YEARS WITHOUT JUSTICE

by Diarmuid Breatnach

Inigo Cabacas, photographed with the Basque hermitage Gaztalugatxe, on the Biscay coast, in the background.

Inigo Cabacas, photographed with the Basque hermitage Gaztalugatxe, on the Biscay coast, in the background.

Most Basques and especially supporters of their most popular football team, Athletic Bilbao (1), were very happy in the early evening of 5th April 2012. Their team had beaten a football giant in the UEFA cup twice and another premier European team once. The fans were expecting Athletic to win or at least draw again that evening, in which case Athletic Bilbao were through to the second leg of the quarter-finals. They had no idea that the evening would end with a police riot squad firing rubber bullets into a festive crowd, causing the death of a young fan.

The high expectations of that evening in Bilbao were the result of a run of wins for the Athletic team. On March 8th 2012, Athletic Bilbao beat Manchester United 3-2 on their own ground, at Old Trafford.

Bilbao3One needs to know a few population statistics to understand what an achievement that was. Manchester United are a team on the world stage, based in a city with a population of 2.55 million – that is not far from the population for the entire Basque Country. In addition, Manchester United’s players are drawn from around the world; Athletic recruits only Basque players from a total population of the Basque Country of less than 3 million.

A week after their win in the northern England city, on March 13th, Athletic faced Manchester United again, this time on the Basque team’s home ground, San Mames, in Bilbao. Manchester Utd. were beaten 2-1 and it seemed that the Basque lions (2) were unstoppable.

These wins created a huge interest in the next game, which was with FC Schalke 04 on March 29th at the German team’s home ground. Schalke plays in the top tier of the German football league and have won many championships including one UEFA League. With around 130,000 members, Schalke 04 is the third-largest sports club in the world in terms of membership, behind their compatriot rival FC Bayern Munich and Portuguese club SL Benfica.

Athletic Bilbao is not a sports conglomerate – it is a football club which is owned by its 40,000 members (remember, this is a small country – that’s nearly 1.5% of the whole population! It’s also around 11% of the population of their home base, Bilbao). The management board is elected by the membership.

At Schalke 04’s home ground on March 29th, the Bilbaino team beat them 2-4. The interest was therefore at fever-pitch for Athletic’s return match with the German team at Athletic’s home ground, San Mames on 5th April. The result was a 2-2 draw but Athletic were ahead 6-4 on aggregate and the fans were delighted. Bilbao was, as they say, buzzing.

Bilbao6After matches, young fans especially go to different pubs around town. Inigo Cabacas and many others went to an Herriko Taberna (a ‘Peoples’ Tavern, i.e. one managed by theAbertzale [Basque pro-Independence] Left) which is located in an small ‘square’ with planters, connected by alley with Licenciado Poza street. This small ‘square’ is off the María Díaz de Haro street near the stadium; it runs parallell with the San Mames street itself, an area of bars well-known as a destination for fans after a game at the stadium.

The Herriko is too small to accommodate all those who gathered there but that was no problem for the area outside took the overspill. Early in the evening a few people were seen scuffling there and the rest of the crowd around them told them to knock it off, this was a time for celebration, etc. The scuffle ended and the festivities continued.

Some time later, a van load of police arrived. These were the Ertzaintza, a Basque Police force of 7,500 created in 1982 which has had numerous clashes with Basque strike picketsand with the Abertzale (pro-Independence) Left. Supporters of the Abertzale Left and many others refer to the Ertzaintza as ‘zipayos (i.e. ‘sepoys’, local soldiers recruited by colonial occupiers). The Ertzaintza are responsible to the Basque Autonomous Region Government(CAV), a semi-autonomous entity covering three of the four southern Basque provinces.

Basque Police, the Ertzaintza, face a 'Solidarity Wall' built to defend Basque comrades the police have come to arrest in Donosti/San Sebastian some years ago.

Basque Police, the Ertzaintza, face a ‘Solidarity Wall’ built to defend Basque comrades the police have come to arrest in Donosti/San Sebastian some years ago.

Some of the youth perceive the arrival of the masked and helmeted police as a provocation and begin to throw bottles at the van.

The police officer in charge of those in the van asks for reinforcements and these are sent. The police emerge from their vans and begin to fire rubber bullets (3) at the crowd at quite close range (the ‘square’ is less than 45 metres at its furthest from the street) and everyone scatters except for a small group who are throwing bottles at the police but even they eventually dive for cover. People are sheltering in doorways, huddled up against the walls on each side of the “square”. Some are inside the pub wondering what is going on. A local shop-manager has raised the shutter over his doorway and people crowd in there. Some people are sheltering behind the wooden planters that are in a line down the centre of the narrow square.

After some time three young men walk towards the police with their hands in the air, asking them to stop firing rubber bullets; the police strike them with batons. Meanwhile it comes to the attention of some in the crowd nearby that a person is lying on the ground, apparently unconscious with blood coming from his ear and the rear of his head. People go to his aid and one of his friends recognises Inigo Cabacas. He gets his mobile phone and rushes towards the police telling them that someone has been seriously injured and to call an ambulance. A police officer tells him to drop the mobile. Inigo’s friend repeats his urgent request and the police officer tells him again to drop the mobile and hits him with a truncheon. The man drops his mobile and retreats from the police.

The police advance into the area and reach the injured man who has some people around him; a women is rendering first aid.  A policeman tells her to move away.  She tells him the man needs and ambulance and that she is applying pressure to stop the bleeding.  He says he wants to see for himself and pulls at her arm but after awhile desists and goes away.

Eventually an ambulance arrives and takes Inigo Cabacas, still unconscious, to hospital, where he lies in a coma.

(video of the scene of the incident and interviews with friends and witnesses with English subtitles)

The news runs through a city, a shock in the midst of its celebrations and soon afterwards throughout the Basque Country. The first official reaction is given by the Interior Minister of the Basque Autonomous Regional Government, who declares to the press that the Ertzaintza acted properly and in line with their procedures, although he regrets the unfortunate death of they young man. He also repeats the first line of defence given by the Ertzaintza, that they were called to help someone injured in a fight and that the crowd was preventing the ambulance in attendance from rendering assistance to the injured.

When eye-witnesses give their version and the reporters of some newpapers begin to gather information, it becomes clear that the Minister could not possibly have investigated the incident in the time available. Furthermore, it emerges that no ambulance attended until after the incident with the police and that it appears that no call for one had been made earlier. Furthermore, according to the woman who attended to Inigo at the scene, the ambulance paramedic told her, when she complained at their delay in arriving, that the police had delayed their entrance. Under a storm of criticism from civil society and from the Abertzale Left party, EH Bildu, the Minister promises a full investigation.

Inigo Cabacas dies after three days without having recovered consciousness.

Some time later, a recording of the police communications on the night is made available by GARA, a pro-Independence Basque daily newspaper. The following becomes clear from the recording:

* The Controller at Ertzaintza HQ calls a police van leader and directs him to attend the Herriko, saying that a fight has occurred there and that someone is injured.

* The van leader reports that they have arrived and that some are throwing bottles at them, that they require reinforcements.  No mention of ambulance.

* The Controller confirms reinforcements are being sent.

* Reinforcements arrive. One of the van leaders now reports that nothing is happening, everything is ok.

* The Controller replies that he wants the police to go in and take possession of the area and make any arrests necessary. He emphasises that he wants to be understood clearly, that they are to “go into the Herriko with everything we have”, to take control of the area “and then everything will be ok.”

* The van leader replies that the order is understood and soon shots are heard (the firing of rubber bullets).

The family employs a solicitor. A judge is appointed to carry out the investigation but is required to do so along with her other duties. Immediately, the police investigation ceases (according to the family’s lawyer, the file contains just three pages), using the excuse of the judicial investigation.

Bilbao2A number of legal applications are made, e.g. for all the police at the incident to be obliged to make a statement, for all police who fired a rubber bullet gun to be identified, for the Controller to be obliged to make a statement, but all are refused by a judge, giving a number of reasons (4). Little is established over the following three years, except that three police voluntarily admit to having fired rubber bullets and the identity of the Controller on the evening becomes widely known. There is widespread outrage when the senior officer on duty the day of Inigo’s death is appointed Chief of the Ertzaintza. At a recent press conference, the Cabacas family’s lawyer, Jone Goirizelaia, announced that they had possibly identified the officer who had fired the fatal shot.

It emerged during the campaign by supporters of the Cabacas family that no recognised procedure was followed by the police with regard to the incident: debriefing statements were not taken from each of the police participants, guns were not examined to identify which had been fired, no inventory was taken of the number of rubber bullets fired. No attempt was made to contact witnesses after the event to gain a picture of what had occurred. Indeed, some witnesses who approached the police station to give statements were told to go away (see video link posted earlier in this article). It further appears that the Ertzaintza have been issued with no specific operational instructions with regard to the firing of rubber bullets.

According to some sources, the rubber bullets should only be fired at knee-height and at no less than 50 metres from the target. The ‘square’ is, according to locals, less than 45 metres at its furthest from the street and therefore the police from the moment they began firing, were in serious breach of the minimum distance requirements. In addition, the Ertzaintza have frequently been seen aiming their rubber bullet guns at protesters’ faces from as little as a metre or two and also firing from the shoulder with the muzzle parallel to the ground, i.e. directed at head or chest-height of the target. Also, the rubber-coated steel balls bounce uncontrollably.

Rubber bullets against Palestinians

PalestineRubber bullets are regularly fired by the Israeli army at Palestinians. A Palestinian source reports: “Israeli professor Michael Krausz and colleagues at the Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa analysed the medical records of 595 casualties admitted to hospital during the October 2000 protests by Palestinians living inside Israel (typically described as “Israeli Arabs” by the media). Of those, 152 were found to have been injured by rubber-coated metal bullets. Injuries were distributed randomly across their bodies but were most common on the patients’ arms and legs, and on their head, neck and face.

“The doctors said their findings dismissed the theory that “rubber bullets” were safe.Rubber-coated metal bullets with some of their rubber coating removed, revealing their hard steel core. Fired at speeds of what must be several hundred feet a second, these are munitions that cause enough damage that their manufacturers feel compelled to describe them as only ‘less lethal’.

“Writing in the Lancet, they said firing the bullets at civilians made it ‘impossible to avoid severe injuries to vulnerable body regions such as the head, neck and upper torso, leading to substantial mortality, morbidity and disability.’ They added: ‘We reported a substantial number of severe injuries and fatalities inflicted by use of rubber bullets ….. This type of ammunition should therefore not be considered a safe method of crowd control. “The study, ‘Blunt and penetrating injuries caused by rubber bullets during the Israeli-Arab conflict in October, 2000: a retrospective study’ (The Lancet, Volume 359, Issue 9320, Page 1795), also highlighted previous research which suggested that even plastic bullets may not be safe and may cause more severe head injuries.” (Sourced at http://electronicintifada.net/content/misleading-terminology-rubber-bullets/4000)

Rubber bullets against the Irish

IrelandSeventeen people were killed in the Six Counties (‘Northern Ireland’) by rubber and plastic bullets fired by British soldiers (11) and colonial police (6) during the 30 Years War. A number of people were also blinded. (http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/violence/rubberplasticbullet.htm

It emerged in 2013 during a compensation case taken by a Derry man blinded in 1972 that the authorities knew that the missiles were potentially lethal even before they issued them.(http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jun/11/mod-rubber-bullets-lethal-records) It is clear also from a wealth of evidence that the missiles were regularly fired by soldiers and police not only at close range but also aimed at chest or head. In addition, a deadly ‘game’ was played by some British soldiers. Knowing that rubber and plastic bullets were collected by children as mementoes and objects to sell to tourists, soldiers would fire some into an open area and wait for children to run forward to collect them, then see if they could hit the children with subsequent rounds.

Rubber bullets in the Spanish state

Basque-CatalanThe Spanish state continues to allow its police forces to carry and to fire rubber-coated metal bullets, in particular at protesting Basques and Catalans. Recently, the EU expressed concern at Spanish police firing at migrants attempting to swim into the Spanish state from Morocco, an occasion when 11 of the migrants drowned. But no international protest criticises them for firing potentially lethal missiles at their own citizens. Police in the Spanish state enjoy impunity and none more so than in the Basque and Catalan countries as well as with regard to African migrants. This week, a motion was put to the Basque Parliament to ban the use of rubber bullets in the area under its control (CAV). Instead a proposal was accepted to “restrict” the use of the missiles to “situations of grave danger” to the police, and to “definitely seek a replacement” for them. The Spanish right-wing PP, the liberal Spanish unionist UPyD, along with the PNV (Basque Nationalists), currently in power, voted for it, along with the Basque version of the Spanish social-democrats, the PSE. The only party to vote against the amendment was EH Bildu, party of the Abertzale (pro-Independence) Left; they had proposed the original motion, seeking a total ban and the removal of the missiles.

Bilbao5

the parents and friends of Inigo Cabacas confront spokesperson of the Basque Nationalist Party after attempt to ban rubber bullets fails

Among those in the public gallery at the discussion were the parents of Inigo Cabacas. Afterwards, in the corridor outside, they confronted the spokesperson of the PNV, Joseba Egibar.During the exchange, another PNV parliamentarian, Luke Uribe-Etxebarria, tried to prevent its filming by the Basque TV station ETB. That attempt will be the subject of a complaint to the President of the Parliament by EH Bildu; they view it as particularly serious since Uribe-Etxebarria is also on the management board of the TV station and the filming was taking place in areas open to the public.

“I’m never coming to this Parliament again… I feel cheated,” said Manue Cabacas, father of the deceased, speaking about the majority decision. “My son is dead… I only wanted to ensure that it would never happen to anyone else …”

"No one dies, if we don't forget them"

“No one dies, if we don’t forget them”

On the third anniversary of the killing of Inigo “Pitu” Cabacas, among many commemorative vents in the Basque Country, 10 minutes’ silence was observed in the San Mames stadium. Alongside Inigo Cabacas; many are also remembering Aitor Zabaleta, fan of the Real Sociedad team, murdered in Madrid in 1998 by fascist ultras of Club Atletico Madrid.  Many Basques around the world will be conscious of the three years that have passed since Inigo’s killing without anyone being even charged in connection with his death or any noticeable change, whether in Basque police behaviour, procedure or their use of rubber-coated steel projectiles.  A change of political control of the Basque Regional Government from the social-democratice party of Patxi Lopez to the Basque Nationalist Party . (PNV) of Urkullu has had no effect.

It is true that for ordinary people, in capitalist society, the wheels of justice move very slowly; in this case it is hard to see that they are moving at all.

Footnotes
Bilbao1
1 Based in Bilbao, it is the most popular and most successful (two things that often go together) but not the only football team; there are also Real Sociedad, based in Donosti/San Sebastian and Osasuna, based in Iruña/ Pamplona.
2  A roaring lion is the emblem of the team, arising from the legend of St. Mames, to whom the local church is dedicated and which gives its name to the area, street and stadium. English-language football commentators persisted in calling the team “the Spanish lions” or ‘the Spanish cavaliers’ (??!), in total ignorance, one hopes, of quite how insultingly that would be perceived by the players and their fans. The Basque Country is not even politico-geographically Spain, it is divided between the Spanish and French states. And Bilbao Athletic is most certainly not, nor has it ever been, a Spanish team. When the Spanish King attends finals or semi-finals between Barcelona and Athletic in, yes, a Spanish football league, and the Spanish national anthem is played, the stadium fills with howls of derision, hoots and whistles from the supporters of both teams.
3  These are about the size of a tennis ball, perhaps a little smaller, of steel and coated in rubber.
4  E.g., the Controller could not be held responsible for the shooting by the police; individual police would have to be accused of firing the fatal shot if they were to be obliged to make a statement …

Rebel Breeze

many thanks to Diarmuid Breatnach for allowing us to reprint his article. It first appeared in the wonderful Irish blog ‘Rebel Breeze, always thought provoking and entertaining. Click here to go and have a look. Go on then…go and have a look.

*if you live in or around Dublin there will be a commemorative event on Tuesday 28thApril, on the day of a Basque derby, Bilbao Athletic v. Real Sociedad. They plan to hold a protest picket at the O’Connell Monument in Dublin’s O’Connell Street at 7pm for a short while and afterwards to go to watch the Basque derby (kick-off at 9pm) at the Living Room bar, Cathal Brugha St. Facebook event page here.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Scotball’ by STEPHEN O’DONNELL

a Celtic supporter working in the mainstream media trying to tell the truth about RFC’s liquidation finds out that the people in power not only don’t want to hear the truth but they actually want to hide the truth from the people…

Scotball

This is Stephen O’Donnells second book and the follow up to his critically acclaimed debut Paradise Road (which you can read our review of here) which told the tale of Scottish football prospect Kevin McGarry on his journey through life as he grows from a banter-loving teenager to the sudden realisation of being a directionless 30-something with but one constant in his life: Celtic. Its a great read and one which will bring out a wry smile in any Celtic supporter but with the publication of ‘Scotball’ Stephen has surpassed himself.

Paradise Road

Scotball tells the story of Peter Fitzpatrick. He has spent five years in Prague, enjoying the Bohemian lifestyle and everything that it entails, but he has itchy feet. He has married a local, Czech girl who expresses an interest in seeing and learning about his country so, short of money, he decides to return home to his native Kirkintilloch in the West of Scotland. After moving back in with his parents and reacquainting himself with his old friends, he resumes the career in banking and financial services that he abandoned just before the credit crunch hit. He feels unfulfilled however. His application to host a television programme discussing the hot topics relating to Scottish football is summarily rejected by the national broadcaster, but as the country moves towards the independence referendum he revisits the idea, and this time it finds favour in the new media environment. ‘The Scottish Football Debate’, or ‘Scotball’ is born.

Stephen O'Donnell

Stephen O’Donnell

The show is an instant hit; it tackles the problems relating to the game in a more forthright and intelligent manner than people are used to hearing and reading about in tabloid newspapers and commercial broadcasters. It is considered refreshing and wins praise for being uncluttered by the customary agendas and petty grievances which usually distort and disfigure these types of shows. The programme runs successfully for two full seasons, debating and discussing such previously taboo subjects as sectarianism, declining standards in Scottish football and the pejorative influence of finances and a too powerful media on the game, when the biggest story in the history of Scottish sport begins to unfold, namely the liquidation of Rangers. Gradually the free reign that the show was permitted for open discussion begins to be checked and …well you’ll just have to buy the book won’t you!

Written in Glasgow dialect its still very easy to follow and is full to the brim with moments of humour and pathos and in the light of the tragic defeat of the Scottish Independence vote and the mass media’s blatant propaganda on behalf of the unionists many events in Stephen’s book ring entirely true. Congratulations on a riveting and entertaining read Stephen. In a world of dreadful books written both by footballers (or ghost writers we really should say!) and about football ‘Scotball’ sticks out like a bloody sore thumb!

A Nation On The Page

A Nation On The Page

Stephen O’Donnell was born in Glasgow and after working in Scotland, London and Prague, he has returned home as a full-time writer. Currently halfway through his next book, Stephen is a welcome addition to the Scottish literary scene.

Price: £9.99 

ISBN: 978-1-901514-13-1 

Size: 198mm x 128mm 

Binding: Paperback 

Length: 280 pages

Buy The Book

Amazon (E-Book/Paperback available) 

Contact Peter

WebSite  ScotballFacebook  ParadiseRoadFacebook  Twitter

FC ST.PAULI! A FOOTBALL SPECIAL OR SPECIAL FOOTBALL?

special guest post on FC St Pauli from the editor of the fantastic ‘This Drinking Life’ web-zine.

by Rob Nesbit

the football club that’s often described as the most left-wing team in the world

St. Pauli

since 1910

Fußball-Club St. Pauli was founded on the 15th of May 1910, based in the lively St Pauli quarter of Hamburg, an area known for its docks, its left-wing activism and for the infamous neon-lit strip clubs of the ‘Reeperbahn’, Europe’s largest red light district. Nicknamed the ‘Brothel of the League’, the club represents the dockers, punks, prostitutes, anarchists, and all the rest who live and toil in the city’s working-class St Pauli enclave.

The club is widely recognised for its distinctive left-wing culture and has a large popular following as one of the country’s ‘Kult’ clubs.

St Pauli 2014

Essex Bhoys at St PauliThe History Bit

THE History Bit

Before the Eighties, St Pauli was just your regular lower-league club averaging crowds of less than 2000, and living in the shadows of their hated neighbours, HSV Hamburg.  It was in the mid-1980s that St. Pauli’s conversion from a traditional club into a ‘Kult’ club began.

With Nazis and hooligans ruling the terraces all over Germany, St Pauli was seen as an alternative.  Through the local dockyard losing workers and the district falling into dereliction, squatters, artists, anarchists, prostitutes, students, punks and other alternative types all flocked into the district to fill the void. And they started going to the football!

FC St Pauli suddenly became swamped, with the terraces of their old dilapidated Millerntor Stadium full of the disenfranchised roaring out anti-fascist and anti-capitalist chants. But unlike other teams, St Pauli embraced them reveling in its new found ‘underdog’ status. By the late 1990s they were frequently selling out their entire 20,000-capacity ground.

Skull And Crossbones

St Pauli 20014

St Pauli v Celtic 2014

The Skull and Crossbones (the Jolly Roger flag) is a symbol which had long been associated with the district of St Pauli on account of legendary pirate Klaus Störtebeker and his statue. It became the club’s unofficial emblem.

The emblem first appearing after a few squatters from the docks brought it onto the terraces. The idea stuck and now it’s very closely connected to the club and the area.

You will see the emblem pretty much everywhere in the district, from every corner and on every street. So it’s no surprise to learn that the German media like to call the club the ‘Die Freibeuter der Liga’ (‘Buccaneers of the League’).

The Team

For a team with such a huge following, their on the field exploits are nothing to write home about. With a virtually empty trophy cabinet and a team that’s regularly seen mid table in Germany’s Bundesliga 2, it’s quite amazing that they have such support at all.

St PauliA stint in the top tier in 2002, saw them finish a distant last after winning only a handful of games and the resulting relegation nearly bankrupt the club.

That relegation led to another worse demotion down into the less-lucrative Regionaliga Nord (III), where they remained for four years. These two relegations, back to back, almost killed St. Pauli.

With the club almost bankrupt, the supporters began its fund-raising activities. They printed t-shirts with the club’s crest surrounded by the word Retter (rescuer) with well over a 100,000 sold. They also organized a benefit match against perennial German champions, Bayern Munich, and staged fundraising events such as ‘Drink for St Pauli’, with local publicans donating 50 per cent from each beer sold. Their efforts to save the club worked and also furthered strengthened the bond between club and fan. The club could not survive without its special fans.

In 2007, St. Pauli were promoted back to the 2. Bundesliga and in 2010, FC St. Pauli clinched promotion to the 1.Bundesliga, made even sweeter given that 2010 was the club’s centenary. But that also didn’t last too long, and for the 2013–14 season they were again playing back in 2. Bundesliga.

A Quandary

St Pauli

One reason for their lack of on field success is that St Pauli sees itself as something more than just a football team. It has certain responsibilities to its fans and to the ethos of the club. Lucrative player contracts and huge corporate revenue streams are frowned upon, with many fans preferring to remain a small club that can be run within their control rather than a large one beholden to forces outside their neighborhood. They are very unusual in that many of their fans didn’t get too irate when they were relegated. For most St. Pauli fans only one thing is important: to remain as true to its progressive principles as possible. St. Pauli is a way of life, and just like in life, you have your ups and downs. Win, lose or draw, there will always be a St Pauli to support.

Still though it can be a challenge. This leaves the club with an obvious financial disadvantage. On the one hand staying loyal to your roots and culture while on the other hand be competitive as a professional sports club and trying to hit the heady heights of top class football. It’s a hard balance. Small reforms had to be made, if anything to save the club from going bust again. There are now VIP seats at the stadium, and the club shop sells as much expensive merchandise as any club on match days. But the soul of the club is still intact with some of the alternative fans from the Eighties now running the club and occupying senior positions on the board. The club is in safe hands.

The Millerntor

St Pauli

The home venue of FC St Pauli is the Millerntor- Stadium, in the heart of the St Pauli district. The very old style stadium has a capacity of 29,000 with the club getting higher attendances than most Bundesliga 2 teams. The stands are basic, with a concrete and unaesthetic feel. It gets as real as this, it’s not the Emirates or the new Wembley. Supporters, like in a lot of clubs in Germany, have standing room only areas, beer is allowed onto the terraces, and shouting obscenities at the ref is expected! This is a throwback to the good old days of football: beer (Astra, naturally), football and dodgy haircuts (that would be the punks!).

‘Hells Bells’ by AC/DC, greets the teams on their arrival onto the pitch and every home goal is celebrated with ‘Song 2’ by Blur.

After consultation with the fans, it was decided that the club would never sell the naming rights of their stadium. Take note Mike Ashley and his ‘SportsDirect.com@StJamesPark’.

It’s also important to stress that St. Pauli have more season ticket holders than many Bundesliga teams, proving that fans can be loyal if their wishes are respected, even when the team is not a success on the pitch.

But What About The Fans

St Pauli 2014

St Pauli V Celtic 2014

Visitors to St. Pauli are assured of having a good time, as long as they share the same ethos of the club and its supporters.

Most supporters have a politically left-wing stance and regard themselves as anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-homophobic and anti-sexist, and this has brought them into conflict with neo-Nazis and hooligans at away games, and also the boys in blue on occasion.

The fans have also been active. They organise charity events, protest on local issues, and have also set up the Alerta anti-fascist network, a collection of football supporter groups from all over Europe.The club has also taken the step to incorporate a set of Fundamental Principles (Leitlinien) to decree how the club is to be run. The Leitlinien not only reflects what happens on the pitch, but also takes into account their social and political responsibility in relation to the district and the people who live there.

One recent report estimated that the team has roughly 11 million fans throughout Germany and the wider world, making the club one of the most widely recognised Bundesliga sides out there. The club boasts roughly 600 worldwide supporters’ groups’, and that support seems to be growing all the time.

The Bars

The Jolly Roger

The Jolly Roger

The Jolly Roger

the legendary supporter’s-owned bar near the stadium.  Founded by St. Pauli Fans for St. Pauli Fans. It’s a non-profit enterprise with all monies going into supporters projects. It’s located at Budapester Straße across the road from the Millerntor stadium and a 5 minutes’ walk (or 10 depending on how many Astra’s consumed) from the Reeperbahn.

Not so sure of the opening times, but when I was there there was a little crowd waiting for it to open at 8.00 in the morning. But don’t worry the small shop beside sells the Astra Red Light which was 6.0% vol. for 2 euros (3 Euros in the JR!), and you can easily sit outside on the bench awaiting for it to open.

Really liked the bar, the staff were ultra-friendly, and the bar had a nice chilled out vibe going on. Around match time the bar is the place to be, before and after the game, and at night it can get very crowded.

St Pauli Eck

St Pauli Eck

St. Pauli Eck

Simon-von-Utrechtstr. 87

20359 Hamburg, St.Pauli

A small place, very easy to pass, but when I was there I had a great time, lots of singing, some very generous locals who bought me a few schnapps, and the landlady, who appeared to be a little gruff, but was in fact very cool, and gave me a few old style St Pauli stickers. Friendly and convivial.

Shebeen

Hein-Hoyer-Str. 78

20359 Hamburg, St.Pauli

Another top class bar, really enjoyed my few days of drinking in this establishment. The staff were really chilled, great fun, and always up for a bit of a talk, some even hanging round after their work shift. Plays some good music and the owner is very friendly and chatty. Recommended.

St Pauli Teddy

for more London based St Pauli stuff then check out our good mates at the London St Pauli Supporters Club. They have a web site here and a lively  facebook group here. Theres also supporters clubs in Yorkshire and Brighton.

THIS DRINKING LIFE is a web zine dedicated to that most beautiful of things alcohol. Be sure to drop by but be warned they have no room for misery guts over there…

BOOK REVIEW: PARADISE ROAD by STEPHEN O’DONNELL

review by Bedford Falls

Paradise Road by Stephen O'Donnell

The last couple of years have given rise to the power of football fans on the internet, and the bampot blogger in particular. Celtic fans have led the way here, having long since established a plethora of quality sites which cater for every facet of the club’s diverse support.

In the last 6 months it feels as is there has been a rush to bring out books on all things Celtic too. From highbrow quality journalists getting in on the act to self-financed and self-published efforts: as you can imagine the quality varies. However, we have to celebrate Celtic fans looking to add to our rich heritage with books which put the club at the focal point of the story.

In Stephen O’Donnell’s Paradise Road (which I keep bloody thinking of as Paradise Lost) we have a fine addition to the growing canon of literature celebrating Celtic’s rich past.

The story follows erstwhile Scottish football prospect Kevin McGarry on his journey through life – so familiar to man -, as he grows from a banter-loving teenager to the sudden realisation of being a directionless 30-something with but one constant in his life: Celtic. But through the chronologically delivered narratives we learn that Celtic has been anything but constant itself.

Anyone who started supporting Celtic in the mid-80s has evolved with the club. Its metamorphic change from a dying institution in a ramshackle stadium to a pristine business with £££s dominating the fans’ mind more than the fare on the pitch at times has been remarkable. People of this vintage will feel a particularly close affinity with O’Donnell’s central character.

The Kirkintilloch lad narrates to us stories of his ‘best years’, inevitably with Celtic’s travails always providing the canvass on which his life is drawn out. There are stories of girls dumped for football, girls met because of football and him being dumped by a girl because of football. You get the gist.

new LONDON CELTIC PUNKS stickers available from  http://30492shop.moonfruit.com/shop/4580412915/stickers/6838693

new LONDON CELTIC PUNKS stickers available from
http://30492shop.moonfruit.com/shop/4580412915/stickers/6838693

Paradise Road is to all intents and purposes a collection of witty anecdotes weaved together into a fine novel. The timeline is mid-80s to present day (almost). Through this period we see McGarry grow frustrated with the commercialism of the game. His yearning for the camaraderie of the smoke-filled bus to the match, or terracing, or smuggling booze into the game marks him out as a whimsy character always craving something that he can’t quite get. McGarry wants emancipation; he just needs to find out what it is he needs to break free from.

And thus it becomes clear that Paradise Road is a character novel based around Celtic, not the other way round. McGarry’s journey could easily be told against the backdrop of an obsession with music, for example.

What makes it relevant to us as Celtic fans is how O’Donnell skilfully explores the changing political and economic landscape that accompanied Celtic’s own rebirth following McCann’s takeover. McGarry is an observant narrator often going on tangential rambles about one thing or another. These breaks add a richness and intelligence to a novel with a fair few laughs at the crude end of the scale too.

There are also breaks from McGarry’s first person narrative. In a style very reminiscent of Irvine Welsh, O’Donnell treats us to stories as seen through the eyes of characters close his main man and he brings the central threads together in a closing chapter in the beautiful city of Prague.

Paradise Road is a fantastic read. The short, sharp chapters make it easy to devour and the affinity most Celtic fans will feel with Kevin McGarry is palpable. But this is not a book about Celtic fan, Kevin McGarry. This is a book about Kevin McGarry, Celtic fan. The difference is small but the impact is great. Well worth a read.

Buy The Book

Link to the ebook on Amazon: http://ow.ly/iXozn

Link to the paperback on Amazon: http://ow.ly/iXoYr

TRIBUTE TO GIL HERON- MICHAEL MARRA AND THE HAZEY JANES

Gil Heron 1922-2008

Gil Heron was a Jamaican professional footballer. He was the first black player to play for Celtic, and was the father of poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron. He was spotted by a scout from Celtic while the club was on tour in North America, and he signed for the club in 1951 after being invited over for a trial. He went on to score on his debut, in a League Cup tie against Morton that Celtic won 2-0. Heron only played five first-team matches in all, scoring twice. He passed away in Detroit of a heart attack on 27 November 2008.

When Duke was in the Lebanon
Groovin’ for the human race
Gil flew high in the western sky
On a mission full of style and grace
From Jamaica to the Kingston Bridge
He was inclined to roam
Drawn to the flame of the beautiful game
Here was a brother who would not stay home

Higher, raise the bar higher
He made his way across the sea
So that all men could brothers be

When Miles was on the jukebox
And Monk was on the air
Gil crossed the ocean to the other side
To play for Celtic with a noble stride
The arrow flew, he’s flying yet
His aim is true so we don’t forget
What it means when his name we hear
The hopes and dreams of every pioneer

Higher, raise the bar higher
He made his way across the sea
So that all men could brothers be

Written by Michael Marra

Michael Marra was a singer-songwriter and musician from Dundee, Scotland. Known as the Bard of Dundee, Marra was a solo performer mainly known as a songwriter, he also worked extensively in theatre, radio and television. His songwriting was rooted in Scottish life and he found an audience within and beyond the folk music scene. Sadly he passed away in October 2012 after he collaborated with fellow Dundee indie band The Hazey Janes on a six track EP called ‘Houseroom’. Michael was the father of two band members of the Hazey Janes.

Buy The EP

MusicScotland

Contacts

Michael Marra WebSite

The Hazey Janes WebSite

superb article from The Shamrock here entitled ‘The Noble Stride- Celtic And The Pioneering Herons’.

MAY 10TH NATIONAL FAMINE MEMORIAL DAY

Celtic FC

Tomorrow Celtic Football Club take to the field against Dundee United and afterwards will collect the Premier League trophy with the National Famine Memorial Day logo on their shirts.

Without a doubt the ‘famine’ transformed Ireland changing the island forever. The impact on the people and the legacy of emigration, loss and decline of the Irish language are still with us today.

Famines are generally thought of as periods where there is not enough food. The result is starvation, economic breakdown and chaos, sometimes leading to total disintegration of the social fabric.

From 1845 through to 1852, Ireland, whose poor existed on a diet almost entirely based on the potato, experienced a potato crop failure that caused unbelievable hardship and wiped from the country over one million dead and over three million forced to flee for their lives. Many never even reached their destination before the effects of the ‘famine’ overtook them. The incredible fact is though that Ireland continued to produce plenty of food during this period. However, it was all exported. Exporting food was far more profitable for our colonial ‘masters’ than making it available to the starving and dying.

If we look into this topic just a little, you have to conclude that the suffering of our ancestors was caused by something far more horrible than crop failure. Indeed, the policy response to the crop failure was so horrific, that respected historian Tim Pat Coogan terms it ‘genocide’. An deliberate attempt was made to wipe the Irish Catholic off the island of Ireland.

http://www.timpatcoogan.com/books/famine_plot.htm

So, why use the word ‘famine’? The reason is simple: The Irish government; academics and a host of other entities use that label, and as such, it refers to the horrors suffered by the Irish during the years 1844-1851. So, while famine is not correct, most know what the label refers to.

I think the greater problem we face is indifference of the Irish diaspora. There are seventy, perhaps eighty million people worldwide who trace their roots back to Ireland. The vast majority of these people have little knowledge of the horrors and ignore it. ‘Long ago and far away’. We want ALL of them to acknowledge the horrors of the 1840’s.

Pause for one minute on Commemoration Day, May 10, and spare a thought or a prayer for not just those poor souls lost at home but also those spread out across the globe.

Those that forget the past have no right to the future…

special thanks to Terrance Seán O’Dwyer for help with the article

Further Reading:

Let Ireland Remember

Irish National Famine Memorial Day

but the most extensive resource on Facebook about this period is to be found at

Irish Holocaust –Not Famine: The Push To Educate In Facts

it really is an excellent site and i cannot recommend it enough and i would urge all of you there with haste.

‘ROLL OF HONOUR’ CAMPAIGN A MASSIVE SUCCESS!

Fans Against Criminalisation

Last week (here) we reported on the campaign by Fans Against Criminalisation to get ‘The Roll Of Honour’ song by The Irish Brigade into the UK music charts. Well the campaign has now ended and it was a raging success and not only has the drive been covered by the media both at home and abroad but the single did indeed chart, showing up the state and their repressive laws!

ROLL OF HONOUR- THE BREAKDOWN
iTunes Charts – #15
Midweek Charts – #24
Irish Charts – #32
Scottish Charts – #7
Official Charts – #33
Football Match – Illegal ?
Absolutely incredible. Well done and thanks to all who done their part. The Celtic support has stood up the SNP and their attempts to criminalise us. Time to axe the act.
Fans Against Criminalisation
go to the Fans Against Criminalisation blog here to find out more on the campaign  and what they’re up to.
additional info here on the TAL Fanzine blog in the article ‘Brother of Hunger Striker Condemns Criminalisation Of Celtic Fans’

‘ROLL OF HONOUR’ DOWNLOAD CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

fac2

Fans Against Criminalisation are delighted to announce plans to release the single ‘Roll of Honour’ in association with The Irish Brigade for the duration of the week beginning on 8th of February. This single will be available for download on iTunes. We would like to thank the band for kindly allowing us to use their song to help aid our campaign against the criminalisation of football supporters and the suppression of political expression.

Download the Roll of Honour any time in the week 8 -15 February inclusive and let’s get it into the UK Top 40 Singles Charts and embarrass the hypocrites who seek to criminalise us.

This particular song is a ballad about civil resistance and a struggle for basic human rights and it has been a favourite of the Celtic support for over a decade. Shamefully, the SNP’s Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act has resulted in the song becoming a target for Police Scotland and numerous arrests have been made as a result. From its outset FAC has sought to oppose this discriminatory piece of legislation and to defend the rights of football supporter’s which have been continually eroded since the Act’s introduction.

fac1

We call on the Celtic family from all corners of the globe to support this campaign by downloading the single to help raise funds to aid the legal costs of those whose lives are being torn apart by this disgracefully illiberal law and to help further publicise the hypocrisy inherent within the government’s position.

Fans Against Criminalisation Blog  Twitter

download the single from i-tunes here

THE IRISH BRIGADE

The Irish Brigade from Co. Tyrone tell in song, story and poems the epic struggle for Irish independence. They have been playing music since the early 1980’s. The first album they had out was the Roll Of Honour, which was in memory on the 10 men who died on hunger strike in 1981. Since then they have recorded over 10 albums such as Rising Of The Moon, Our Day Will Come, Pardon Me For Smiling, and The first live album was in the Sidewalk Music Café in Dublin in 2003. They play gigs all over Ireland from Kerry up to Donegal, from Tyrone to Wexford, and from Dublin up to Belfast.
if looking on a mobile click on the blog logo at the top of the page to find out more from us…
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