New Videos by The Four Fathers: ‘Rebel Soldier’, ‘Masters of War’ and ‘Grenfell’ Recorded Live


Screenshot from the video of The Four Fathers playing 'Masters of War' at a street party in June 2018.It’s been some time since I’ve posted an update about the activities of my band The Four Fathers, so I’m hoping to amend that by posting some recent videos — of ‘Rebel Soldier’ and ’Masters of War’, recorded at a street party in Brockley, in south east London, of ‘Grenfell’, recorded at a summer solstice party in the Old Tidemill Garden in Deptford, and of another song from that party, ‘Kicking the Poor’, used as a housing campaign song in Lewisham, where I live.

Rebel Soldier’, a driving reggae number, is an old folk song, which I gave a new tune and a reggae groove more years ago than I care to remember, while living in Brixton after I left university. It’s been a live favourite since The Four Fathers first started four years ago, and we generally open our set with it. The studio recording, from our first album, ‘Love and War’, is here, and the live video is also on Facebook here.

Masters of War’ was written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1963, and, sadly, its sentiments remain just as relevant today as they were back then. It’s another live favourite, and another song we’ve been playing regularly since we first got together in 2014. The studio recording isn’t available online, but it is on the CD of ‘Love and War’, which you can buy here. Our second album, How Much Is A Life Worth? is also available on CD or to download, and you can also individually download any of our songs. Prices start at just 60p.

I wrote ’Grenfell’ after the entirely preventable fire last June in which 72 people died, a reggae lament remembering those who died, and calling for those responsible for the fire to be held accountable. A video of us playing it, with beatboxer The Wiz-RD, was recorded by a German TV crew last autumn, and has had nearly 2,500 views on YouTube and Facebook. This version (also on Facebook here) was recorded live at a summer solstice party in Old Tidemill Garden in Deptford, a beautiful community space that Lewisham Council wants to destroy, along with the 16 perfectly sound council flats of Reginald House next door, as part of its plans for the redevelopment of the old Tidemill school. I’m part of the campaign to save the garden and the flats from destruction, and what we’re trying to do is to persuade the council to do is to go back to the drawing board, and to come up with new plan that spares Reginald House and the garden, a perfectly feasible proposal that only requires their willingness to do it.

(For more information about Lewisham Council’s assault on social housing, see the No Social Cleansing in Lewisham campaign I set up last November, and also check out my archive of articles about the housing crisis, and ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, the new documentary film by Nikita Woolfe, which I narrate).

I’m also including below ‘Kicking the Poor’, another video from the summer solstice party in which The Four Fathers were joined by the Rebel Choir, led by Rebecca Wade Morris, who organised the music for the solstice party, Harriet Vickers of the Commie Faggots, who also played a set, accordionist Flaky Jake and double bassist Viktor Bass. Other acts who appeared on the night were spoken word artist Potent Whisper and all-women ukulele group Ukadelix. I wrote ’Kicking the Poor’, which has become the Save Reginald Save Tidemill campaign song, as an adaptation of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, and it takes specific aim at Lewisham Council’s social cleansing plans.

I’ve also just stumbled on a video of the entire night’s music at the Commie Faggots’ monthly residence at the Royal Sovereign, in Clapton, London E5 back in May, when the great singer-songwriter Babar Luck also played. Our set begins at around 1:07, and features ‘Rebel Soldier’, ‘Riot’, ‘London’, ‘How Much Is A Life Worth?’, ‘She’s Back’, ’Grenfell’, our anti-Brexit anthem ‘I Want My Country Back (From The People Who Wanted Their Country Back)’ and ‘Fighting Injustice.’

I hope you enjoy the videos, and will share them if you do. On Monday we were in a recording studio for the first time in about a year and a half to record ‘Grenfell’ and ‘I Want My Country Back (From The People Who Wanted Their Country Back)’ with the legendary Charlie Hart (Ian Dury’s Kilburn and the High Roads, Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance). We’ll be doing overdubs and mixes next month, and will keep you posted about release dates.

In the meantime, do get in touch if you want us to play a gig, or want to help us out in any way, or if you just want to be on our mailing list.

And don’t forget that, as well as being on Bandcamp and YouTube, we’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

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 music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (click on the following for Amazon in 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), and for his photo project ‘The State of London’ he publishes a photo a day from six years of bike rides around the 120 postcodes of the capital.

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of a new documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London.

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, The Complete Guantánamo Files, 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.

11 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, promoting a batch of recent live videos of my band The Four Fathers playing at a street party in Brockley and at a summer solstice party in Old Tidemill Garden in Deptford, the beautiful community garden that Lewisham Council wants to destroy. The videos are of ‘Rebel Soldier’, a reggae version of an old folk song, our cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’, ‘Grenfell’, our lament for those who lost their lives in last June’s entirely preventable fire in west London, calling for those responsible to be held accountable, and ‘Kicking the Poor’, which I adapted from Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ for use as a campaign song for the Save Reginald Save Tidemill campaign.
    Check out our studio recordings here:

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    After I posted the ‘Masters of War’ video on Facebook, Brian Wilkes wrote:

    Just listened to this really loud whilst working in my garden. It felt like you guys were right here with me. Not sure if my neighbours are as happy as I am! It was great to have a little jam with you the other night Andy! Unfortunately, the worldwide war machine has had fifty odd years since Dylan wrote this to perfect their tactics and control! We will fight dem back!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Spot-on, Brian! Solidarity, my friend – and looking forward to the next jam! Also remember my invite for you to take part in the next No Social Cleansing in Lewisham gig at the Bird’s Nest in Deptford on Sunday September 16!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Jan Strain wrote:

    OK, Boss…. I really need to get to London!

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Yeah, Jan!!!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Nice one, Andy

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Ann! Great to hear from you! Hope we can get to play for you one of these days!

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Jan Strain wrote:

    Anyone needing a good review of The Four Father’s CD… Right here! I got the 1st one shipped right after press; Got the 2nd one shipped right after press…. They are both great! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jan!!!

  10. Tom says...

    Nice job Andy.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Tom. Good to hear from you.

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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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