Cards on the the table, I was lucky enough to be the first radio host to play a track from "Somewhere Between". The track I played was "Creation Is Laughing" one of those songs that is almost as rare as a folk song with a happy ending, a political song with a positive message. The theme of the song is that things have been bad before, but eventually good does triumph and things will get better and looking at history yep by and large that's right, just argue about the timescales.
I heard the song outside of the context of "Somewhere Between" and it has to be said that the album, as a whole, isn't quite as optimistic as that one track, but it is one that comes with equally strong songs with equally strong messages. It's also critically aware of the power of political songs as told in the opening track, "To Change The World", which recounts that whilst songs may inspire, on their own they don't change the world. That takes action.
"Somewhere Between" is a undoubtedly a political album, sometimes the politics off the individual, but more often the politics of and against society. If there is a finer attack on the attack on disability benefit than "Doing Well" I've yet to hear it. The final verse that suggests a better target than the disabled would be the city firms and multinational tax avoiders drips with acidic cynicism. Similarly the plight of people, such as the miners who sacrificed their heath for the nation and their subsequent treatment also ranks highly.
This is an album that really casts Steve Pledger as a genuine protest singer, up there with the likes of Billy Bragg, Phil Ochs and Ewan MacColl. This is songwriting off the first order well presented and drawing in references from several hundred years of protest, but as per "Creation Is Laughing" it also draws on several hundred years of social changes and upheavals, including personal ones.
"Somewhere Between" is an album that is written and performed with passion. It's a rallying cry against injustice, but one that acknowledges that to effect change you need to do more than rally, you also have to act. It's also a lesson about relationships, personal and social, there is such a thing as society. "Somewhere Between" is Steve Pledger's tour-de-force, get yourself a copy.
|Birthh: Born In The Woods||Kaela Rowan: The Fruited Thorn|
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