Sonic Breakfast’s Act Of The Year – 2020

It’s been the strangest of years – of that there is no doubt. Who knows how 2020 will ultimately be recorded in the history books but few would bet against it being seen as the year that it all changed. Very few of us are going back to what we once had. 

At the beginning of the year, Sonic Breakfast had completed the transition from a blog that wrote about acts I liked to a blog that wrote about gigs I liked. So happy was I with the change that I considered retiring the whole blog when the initial lockdown came. A writers block came over me and I wrote very little until August. By then, I’d made my way to Spain. The space and warmth chilled my lethargy and I tentatively began dipping my toe in the ‘band water’ again. Turns out I’ve enjoyed the routine it’s provided – finding new art to write about in 2020 has been a joy and there’s so much of it around. 

I’m still livid about what’s happening back home. Brexit is so clearly the stuff of nonsense. And to do something as negatively game-changing whilst a mutating pandemic rages is nothing short of supreme idiocy. But there are a few who will benefit and so they make up lies in the state-controlled media to encourage others to believe. Mostly the lies stick by attaching blame for what’s been going wrong on others; those dirty immigrants or those foul foreigners. It makes me sick.

They say that good art can come from such dire circumstance. And whilst I’m not sensing a mass movement of revolutionaries quite yet, there has been some positive shoots. Bladderwrack is a no-brainer for Sonic Breakfast’s act of 2020 as they’ve been on the money with a series of singles, many (but not all) taken from their raging album, Good Mourning Britain. That album, recorded in a session of one-hour, sets the tone for what’s to come.

Sonic Breakfast first wrote about Bladderwrack a little over a month ago when they released their single ‘Gammon’. Readers can top up on my anger by revisiting that post (here). As 2020 draws to a close, Bladderwrack have been at it again with their Christmas release, Please Sir, We Want Some More. The Dickensian Punks draw upon the spirit of Oliver Twist to highlight the plight of many who are starving and dying whilst others benefit from the systems and apps they’ve (not) created. 

It’s a brilliant rant, not for the faint-hearted, as it shows in mocking satire what Britain has become. Bladderwrack are worthy winners of Sonic Breakfast’s act of 2020. The medals are in the post. 

 

Bladderwrack – Gammon

We need to talk about Brexit. I’m not going to mince my words here so if you have any sympathy for the clusterfuck that is the UK’s leaving of the European Union, you’d best stop reading now. Yes, that’s it, bounce off on your trotters. You are not welcome here. 

(Oh, that felt good). 

Insanely, you still bump into some supporters of Brexit here in Spain. There is just over a month to go until the transition period is over and we have left. Blind as bats, these advocates still drive cars with British number plates. They tell me that it’s not going to be so bad when it all comes into force. “the Spanish can’t live without me”, says the  Brit at the bar who seems to have no discernible purpose at all.

Can you tell that I’m angry? Just in case you can’t I’ll reinforce it by saying that I’m fucking angry. Over and over again until it hurts. Brexit messes up my ability to be here in Spain for any real length of time. It messes up my son’s ability to work here for any real length of time. For fucks sake, the basic foods are going to be in short supply, of shit quality and more expensive back home. “Ah, you’re just scaremongering – no pain, no gain”, says the man at the bar, proud of his invention in making up a little rhyme to emphasise his fuckwittery. 

Nobody has ever been able to give me one good reason  for Brexit.I feel that I have much more in common with the people here than I do with the arduous oiks back home who grunt at me monosyllabically when I suggest this is going to be a disaster of the highest order.

And today’s tune from Bladderwrack is on my side. It’s a perfect accompaniment to letting off steam. This two piece from Penge have delivered a gnarly piece of punk taking aim at the ‘Gammon’ across the British Isles. In a press release that made me laugh out loud, they mention that the notion of ‘Gammon’ has been around since the time of Dickens before calling on the Urban Dictionary for a definition. 

“A term used to describe a particular type of Brexit-supporting, Europhobic voter whose meat-faced complexion suggests they are perilously close to a stroke”, they say and you can’t say fairer than that.

Yes, it’s not placatory; it’s not unifying and it would probably help if we all just sat around a giant table and ironed out our differences. But, for now let me delight in a song that opens with the line –

I am on holiday, The Costa Del Sol, It used to be nice here, Until the Spanish took control.

promise to post pop music tomorrow.