RED SMED AND THE HOT TROT SMASH THE SYSTEM BOOGIE BAND

SECRET COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA rtf file for download (230Kb)

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 satire.

   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 Leftist musicians.

{Above 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 I’ve 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 one.

   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 Hanna’s 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.

On the Political front they were wrong, but music lovers everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.

  STOP PRESS;  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 and 'Do 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

 and read the 'Red Smed' page there