Music


From the archives: Power to the people – John Lennon and Yoko Ono interview

30 October 2014 Lenin or Lennon? Red Pepper reprints John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s interview with Robin Blackburn and Tariq Ali (published in issue 21, February 1996)

Grace Petrie: Singing for change

3 January 2014 Grace Petrie talks to Elly Badcock about apathy, love and why she’s not a ‘protest singer’

The Knife shake it to the left

4 July 2013 The haunting and abrasive new album from The Knife challenges common assumptions about political music, says James Taylor

Singing our stories

28 March 2013 Socialist singer-songwriter Dave Boardman reviews Union Made, the new album by radical folk supergroup Union of Folk

The Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan: an alternative vision of hip hop

22 March 2013 Kaspar Loftin says a caravan across Africa is a revitalisation of the genre’s original political power

Chumbawamba: One last time

27 October 2012 Chumbawamba, the anarchist band that topped the charts and tipped an ice bucket over John Prescott, have decided to call it a day. Founder member Boff Whalley explains why

Bring on your wrecking ball: the politics of Bruce Springsteen

28 September 2012 Huw Beynon and Steve Davies consider the significance of an artist whose new album targets the bankers’ crisis

Shedcasting in Surbiton

26 September 2012 Michael Calderbank visits the suburban garden of radio broadcaster and DJ Mark Coles, an unlikely location for an internet-based radio show

Fence Records: ‘We’re not trendy, we’re not competing, we just do our thing’

6 June 2012 Johnny Lynch (aka The Pictish Trail) tells Emma Hughes that artist-run record label Fence is staying true to its roots

Venezuela’s hip-hop revolutionaries

30 March 2012 Jody McIntyre and Pablo Navarrete report on Venezuela’s Hip Hop Revolución movement

Beyond bling-bling: rap in Cuba

1 December 2011 Cuba’s isolation has seen hip hop develop in a different direction, discovers Sujatha Fernandes

Gil Scott-Heron: Speakin’ for a whole generation

20 August 2011 Steve Pretty looks at the musical and political life of the poet

Illegal Art: Recreating records

4 February 2011 Red Pepper talks to Illegal Art founder Philo T Farnsworth

Craft work

25 July 2010 Music producer Matthew Herbert's inventive methods are informed by a critical perspective on the wider politics of production and consumption under contemporary capitalism, finds Brendan Montague

Rhyme and reason

16 June 2010 Pablo Navarrete meets the British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey, a rising star whose growing popularity is tapping into a mood of rebellion

One night in the north

16 April 2010 John Robb celebrates the 20th anniversary of an event that captured the cultural and political moment, and a band whose anthemic, euphoric music for a brief time perfectly matched the sense of possibility and change

Anything but background music

31 January 2010 It's often said that flamenco is not political because it dwells exclusively on the individual. That seems to imply a narrow definition of both the political and the personal, writes Mike Marqusee

Singing to a different tune

23 August 2009 Pop stars are swapping guitars for banners to take the power back from the record companies, writes Paul Campbell

It was 40 years ago today, John and Yoko taught the world to play

22 May 2009 John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 'Bed-In' at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969 was only a part of their broad-ranging commitment to peace campaigning. Colin Robinson looks back at one of the most famous - and media-savvy - protests of all time

Something special

5 February 2009 Laurie Penny speaks to Mary Wilson, the longest-standing member of Motown's most successful group, the Supremes

Radical Motown

5 February 2009 The pioneering black music label, Tamla Motown, marks its 50th anniversary in 2009. Fiona Osler assesses its impact

Led Zeppelin needs to come back in black

12 January 2009 Mark LeVine says at their core Led Zeppelin were a black band and need to look outside the 'white rock 'n' roll box' if they change their mind about not reforming

Manu Chao, the neighbourhood singer

15 August 2008 Manu Chao could be the most famous singer that many English speakers have never heard of. Yet he is to the alter-globalisation movement what Bob Dylan was to peace and civil rights in the 1960s. Oscar Reyes caught up with him by a campfire at Glastonbury, where he created a little 'neighbourhood of hope'

Making music matter

23 June 2008 The organisers claimed it as a huge success. But the BNP continued its advance in local elections and won a seat on the London Assembly a few days later anyway. So what did the Love Music Hate Racism carnival in east London in April achieve, and what is the importance of such events for the left in the future? Lena De Casparis and Alex Nunns report

Babes without spice

14 December 2007 Laurie Penny explains what it means to have hopes dashed twice, first by the Spice Girls and second by Blair's Babes

Who takes the rap?

1 January 1998 Hip-hop star Chuck D says black artists must fight for control of their own music and the money it earns. Donald Harding talked to him