SMED AND THE HOT TROT
SMASH THE SYSTEM
COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA rtf file for download
During the last 6 months of the Sedgemorons, guitarist Brian
Smedley had been performing political folk music with singer
Lianne Bruce to raise money for various socialist causes.
As the Sedgemorons faded he formed his own band-an uneasy
mixture of serious political songs and self deprecating
The purpose of the band was to raise money for campaigns
against International Capitalism and to encourage a less
po-faced alternative to the Red Wedge Campaign group of
RED SMED pictured at the JOE STRUMMER memorial concert with
2 glamorous young punk models to make him appear hip and
trendy. Unfortunately it just made him look old.}
Such songs as Leon Trotsky-a man with a Beard and
Glasses ,Brothers and Sisters, support the Sandinistas
and The Day we Met the Fascists in Bridgwater alongside
Cliff Richard re-writes (In Dancing Shoes the line goes
do you remember Salvador Allende-People said he was
round the bend he, wanted the Chilean people, to live in
a country that was reasonable-and so on).
The band regularly supported Attilla the Stockbroker-who
became a devotee and covered Trotsky in his own set.
The Hot Trots ended up raising several thousand
pounds over the years for such causes as Nicaragua, Anti
Apartheid, CND, Justice for Mineworkers,and various
workers on strike.
By the time of their 1987 cassette album Songs
for Swinging Communists the line up included Smedley
(lead vocals/guitar/accordion), Dave Hanna (bass/vocals),
Andy Napthine (bouzouki), Kevin Freeman (drums) & Jenny
Booth (backing vocals). Though the main stay of the line
up remained the same additional musicians dropped in and
out-at one disastrous gig for some anarchistic type cause
held at Unity House the bass was played by 2 note wonder
Adrian West Quay records Fraser with drums by Gareth First
time Ive played the drums Beasley.
Highlights of the groups rather predictable career
included being booked to play a gig at Cheltenham College
by Martin Not Daft Peters on the wrong night-and instead
ending up playing songs about overthrowing capitalism to
the Christian Society-who politely clapped., and being
blown off stage at the Western Star Domino Club in Bristol
by a 30 piece South African Choir who knew how to sing.
At a gig at Bristol Poly the band lost their bodhran.
Which was actually good news as no-one knew how to play
Of the groups nearer the knuckle material was Loughgall
a poem by Hanna about Irish politics-which was the only
low spot in an otherwise excellent review in An Phoblacht.
The band was troubled by long time activist Hannas
persistent doubts about the dubious nature of the material
coupled with his own uneasiness as a musician (in the Stu
Sutcliffe mould)-at a Taunton Miners Benefit he tried to
flee the building minutes before the set in a fit of pre-gig
nerves and dissapearing credibility. Although persuaded
to go on for several more months he failed to learn any
more notes or to take politics any less seriously.
By 1990 with the demise of Thatcher the political
upturn looked rosy and the band looked elsewhere.
the Political front they were wrong, but music lovers everywhere
breathed a sigh of relief.
The bad news for capitalists and people with perffect pitch
everywhere is that the Hot Trot Smash the system Boogie
band reformed for a one off gig at the Bridgwater Town
hall supporting Atilla the Stockbroker and ended up recording
2 CDs of their outrageous Revolutionary songs (Parretgrad UK
The Washing Up' ). The
new-line up is Brian Smedley-guitar/accordion/vocals, Matt Bartlett
(the Visitors)-bass, Elaine di Campo (Funbunnies) vocals,
Dave Newton (aka Dangerous Brothers
Jim Rude) on mandolin, Jo Cox on flute , Heidi Powell
(vocals) and Kevin
Freeman on drums
The CDs featuring 26 original tracks are avilable for
a fiver each-so give us an e mail
.(300sk in Slovakia 250kc in Czecho)
For more info on the band try www.midnightmango.co.uk
the 'Red Smed' page there