I’m Away at WOMAD for Six Days: Why Not Check Out My CD, ‘Love and War’ by The Four Fathers?


Children on the WOMAD sign at the 2012 festival in Wiltshire (Photo: Andy Worthington).My friends,

Every year, on the last weekend in July, I travel to Charlton Park in Wiltshire with my family and friends for the WOMAD world music festival, where my wife runs children’s workshops, where the sun nearly always shines, and there is great music from all around the world — and there is always some great band from west Africa, especially Mali, that I love. I know a few of the bands playing this year — Tinariwen, for example, and the Mahotella Queens — but not many. One of WOMAD’s great pleasures is discovering musicians that I didn’t know previously.

WOMAD also provides an opportunity for me to sing and play guitar at our camp, in one of the crew camping areas — with two other members of my band The Four Fathers, Richard and Louis. Traditionally, we’ve played a lot of covers — a lot of Bob Dylan and the Pogues, for example, but since last year I’ve written a number of songs that are featured on The Four Fathers’ debut album, ‘Love and War’, available here on CD for just £7/$11 plus P&P — and we’ll no doubt be playing unplugged versions of them this year. They include ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’, which is featured in the campaign video for We Stand With Shaker, the campaign calling for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, which I established with the activist Joanne MacInnes last November.

The video is below:

Other songs are ‘Tory Bullshit Blues’, which I made available via SoundCloud just before the General Election in May, the love song ‘Sweet Love and Ever After’, and ‘Fighting Injustice’, a storming roots reggae number that is particular apt for life under the new Tory government. Another new song of mine is ’81 Million Dollars’, about the Bush administration’s torture program, $81m being the amount that the architects of the program, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, were paid by the US government to develop the cruel, pointless and illegal covert program for which no one has yet been held accountable.

Anyway, do check out the album if it’s of interest and if you order a copy I’ll send it out as soon as I get back next week. In the meantime, I hope the sun will shine, and that you will have a great weekend. I know I will.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album, ‘Love and War,’ was released in July 2015). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, calling for the immediate release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

17 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    My friends, I’m about to head off to Charlton Park in Wiltshire for WOMAD, the world music festival at which my family and friends work every year on children’s workshops. Looking forward to relaxing in the sun, seeing the mighty Tinariwen and playing unplugged in the camp with two other members of my band The Four Fathers. Why not buy our CD while I’m away? http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/love-and-war-by-the-four-fathers/

  2. damo says...

    Have fun Andy,see everything,listen to everything,be everything….dxx

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Damo. The weather was difficult on Friday – torrential rain all day – and most of Sunday, but we didn’t let it get us down. Great bands, great company, great vibes. A crash course in rethinking life, priorities and opportunities. It’s nice to be home, but I’d like to be out in another field with friends and musical instruments!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Monique D’hoohge wrote:

    wow, tinariwen are awesome… fluorescent green with envy

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Tashi Farmilo-Marouf wrote:

    Tinariwen! Lucky duck! Way to make me jealous! Have fun. Channel my spirit when you’re listening to them ~~~

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, Monique and Tashi – Tinariwen are a band I’ve loved for many years. I used to have a T-shirt, which I bought at a gig at the Barbican, and which I wore until it literally fell to pieces. They played on the hideously rainy Friday, so it was impossible to get close to the stage in the huge tent in which they were playing, because almost the entire festival was there! Favourites this year (all unknown to me previously) were: Pascuala Llabaca, an enchanting singer-songwriter from Chile; Tiken Jah Fakoly, a political roots reggae singer from the Ivory Coast, who lives in exile in Mali because of his political activism; and the Atomic Bomb Band playing the music of the reclusive Nigerian legend – from the 70s and 80s – William Onyeabor. More on all this soon.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    MaryAnne Coyle wrote:

    Enjoy and safe travels

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Des Kay wrote:

    Have a great festie. Promising news about Guantanamo.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, MaryAnne and Des. Good to hear from you both! I’ll be catching up on a missed week of news about Guantanamo very soon.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Michael S. Kearns wrote:

    Two thumbs up Andy, I enjoyed your CD, and yes, especially the final song: 81 Million Dollars!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Great news, Michael​. It means a lot to me that you like ’81 Million Dollars’, my song about the Bush administration’s torture program. And may I recommend your book here: http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Michael-Kearns-ebook/dp/B01259J2ZC/

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Todd Pierce wrote:

    I am ordering some extra copies of your CD immediately and hope others do as well. An antiwar group I am involved with has periodic fundraising auctions which I will donate a couple to as well as some friends. Unfortunately, music and art have been so self-neutered or self-censored that one no longer hears outrage against the perpetual warfare now carried out by the U.S. and Israel with all the war crimes they are committing as tactics to terrorize civilian populations that your own excellent work must be especially appreciated. You’re right there with Roger Waters in raising consciousness of the crimes we are committing with our wars of aggression which are made even worse with the sanctimonious motives we claim for them.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Todd! CDs will be in the post asap. It is sadly true that politics and music have generally become distant relations, unlike in the heyday of rock and when there was a thriving counter-culture. Since then, of course, the corporations took over, advertisers got hold of everything cool and then neutered it, and the artists themselves have generally taken on board what they’ve been told – that politics has no place in music. I’m certainly trying to make sure that doesn’t apply to The Four Fathers!

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Rachel Taylor-Beales wrote:

    it’s a great CD (my daughter and I have been dancing to Tory Bullshit Blues!) well done all involved and hope you had a great time at Womad!

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    That’s really great to hear, Rachel. Thanks! WOMAD was great, as ever. Even two out of three days of rain couldn’t kill the spirit or dampen the enthusiasm of the many great performers! And on Sunday, for the children’s procession, which takes place around 6pm, there was a miraculous break in the rain that lasted just long enough for all the kids, accompanying adults, drummers and the big workshop figures (theme: myths and legends) to process to the main arena and back to the kids’ area without everything turning to mush! Photos to follow soon.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Yvonne Worthington wrote:

    We went to the first WOMAD in Reading and then was a regular for 20 years. Not been to the new site for WOMAD but have been for another festival. It is a brilliant site.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    And we’ve been going since 2002, Yvonne​. It would have been great to have been there together! Have you ever been to any of the Spanish WOMADs? Dot has done children’s workshops at WOMAD in Madrid and Caceres in the past, and loved them both.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

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