Sun. Oct. 16: Love and Politics – New London Gig for Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers


The flier for The Four Fathers' gig at the Arts Cafe in Manor Park, Lewisham on October 16, 2016 (poster by Bren Horstead).Check out our music on Bandcamp.

This Sunday, October 16, my band The Four Fathers will be playing our first gig since summer, when we had a run of gigs in south east London — and a spot at Molly’s Bar at the WOMAD world music festival in Wiltshire.

We’re playing at the Arts Cafe, in Manor Park, in Lewisham, London SE13, a community cafe run by Fred Schmid (a jazz saxophonist) and his partner Banu, following up on a gig there in July. The Facebook page is here. It’s a wonderful space, beside the River Quaggy, which burbles past on its way to the centre of Lewisham, where it meets the Ravensbourne and feeds into the Thames at Deptford.

No one has definitively defined our sound yet, but we think it would be fair to describe it as a mix of pastoral rock and punky roots reggae. Certainly, no one who knows my work would be surprised that, as the lead singer and main songwriter, I bring my indignation about injustice from my work as a journalist and human rights activist into my music.

Many of our songs are pointedly political — about Guantánamo, which I’ve been writing about and campaigning to close for over ten years, about the horrors of torture and the importance of habeas corpus, and about other injustices that I find impossible to ignore as a politically engaged, left of centre commentator and activist, committed to the common good and appalled by the Tories’ cynical efforts to destroy the state provision of services, to privatise everything, and to remove the safety nets that, for generations, have attempted to ensure that abject, absolute, grinding poverty is not accepted or acceptable.

So if you come on Sunday you’ll see and hear us playing my crowd pleasing anthem ‘Fighting Injustice’, about the need to fight rampant privatisation and greed, and some powerful new political songs, including ‘London’, about the soul-destroying effects of greed and gentrification from the 1980s to the present day, ‘Equal Rights and Justice For All’, which deals with the importance of habeas corpus, and ‘Close Guantánamo’, a new song about Guantánamo calling for the prison to be closed before President Obama leaves office in just three months’ time, and for him to fulfill the promise to close the prison that he made on his second day in office nearly eight years ago. ‘Close Guantánamo’ will soon be featured in a video promoting the campaign of the same name, which I co-founded in 2012 — and, coincidentally, I recently made an exclusive video with former prisoner Shaker Aamer (the subject of another Guantánamo-themed song, ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’) as part of the ‘Countdown to Close Guantánamo’ initiative that we’ve been running all year, in which Shaker urged President Obama to close the prison before he leaves office.

We’ll also be playing guitarist Richard Clare’s psychedelic-tinged song, ‘When He Is Sane,’ about mental illness — and some songs dealing with love, friendship and loss: ‘Dreamers’, written for a friend’s 50th birthday this year, and ‘River Run Dry,’ a song about the end of a relationship, which I wrote 30 years ago. We’ll also play some covers — our folky, groovy take on Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ and two Bob Dylan songs, ‘Masters of War’ and ‘Forever Young.’

The gig is free, although we will be passing a hat around for much appreciated donations, and we’ll also have copies of our first album, ‘Love and War’, available on CD. Over the last few months we’ve been recording our second album, which we hope to release in the new year.

So if you’re around, we hope to see you, and in the meantime — or if you’re busy, or if you’re many, many miles away — do check out our music on Bandcamp, where you can also buy our album on download, and our ‘Fighting Injustice’ EP.

And if anyone’s interested in representing us, or in releasing our music, do get in touch. We think we’re worth it!

Similarly, do get in touch if you can offer us any gigs to play, or if you’re involved in political events, and want a band whose members understand that protest music is a key part of what music is and should be, and not something to be discouraged or ignored.

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’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), 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.

6 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, promoting my band The Four Fathers’ gig this Sunday at the Arts Cafe in Lewisham, south east London. It’s a lovely community cafe, it’s our first gig for three months, and we’ll be playing a mix of political songs and love songs – mostly originals, like my roots reggae anthem ‘Fighting Injustice’, and new songs ‘London’ (railing against 30 years of greed and gentrification) and ‘Equal Rights and Justice for All’ (about habeas corpus), but also a few Bob Dylan covers and our folk-rock take on ‘I Will Survive’! Check out our music here:

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Please also follow us on Twitter:

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Check us out supporting the Countdown to Close Guantanamo here:

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    The gig was great, and here’s a little clip of us playing the first few bars of my song ‘London’, about how greed and materialism have been eating away at the capital’s spirit over the last 30 years. First verse (the 80s): “London, you were like a lover to me / Drunk and disorderly, but full of honesty / In your wild pubs and squats, we broke all the rules / We decided that playing it safe was a game just for fools / And though we lost many along the way to heroin and AIDS / It was better to have loved and lost than to have let our passions fade away”

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    And here’s a photo from yesterday:

  6. Andy Worthington says...

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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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The Battle of the Beanfield

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Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


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