There has long been a connection between the white working class youth of these fractured isles and music of black origin. This hypnotic ‘jungle’ music, this seductive ‘voodoo’ music, this ‘threat to the morals of youth’; is music of unity, music of anger, music of freedom music of truth. In short this ‘soul’ music strikes a chord with those disaffected youth whose souls are equally inflamed by a need for truth, freedom and a desire for equality in a system designed to keep them in their ‘rightful’ place.
The stepping stones from The Beatles love of American Girl Soul groups to the Blues and R&B swagger of The Stones and The Who through to the battle-cry Reggae and Ska flavours of The Clash, The Ruts and of course The Specials lead a righteous path to our new Soul champions; The Spitfires.
Their latest single and current live favourite MOVE ON starts with that classic off kilter reggae lurch drumbeat and staggering bass knife that stumbles and reels like a pissed-up squaddie amid reverb and dub-fx before being anchored on the beat by the rhythm chop of lead singer Billy Sullivan’s brittle guitar.
The Spitfires are no strangers to this frontline music, their Suburban Cries Dub is a thing of beauty and current live support is heavy on the reggae riddim. MOVE ON treads a similar path lyrically to their successful single from last year; Stand Down and the challenge and message remains for us to rail against those that would have us down. As ever though there remains the pop sensibility that graced the Thousand Times LP on the bridge section and the horns are to the forefront throughout through to the darker cacophonous ending. Truly this is Rebel Music.