Did you know Bedfordshire has a punk history? Bedfordshire’s alternative post-punk scene flourished in the 70s and 80s as a reaction to the various social and political shifts of the time: high unemployment, cuts to public funding and a Conservative government… does this sound familiar to you? Issues such as these fuelled the ‘Punk’ spirit and ‘D.I.Y ethic’ which was embraced by the local bands, venues and political activists of the time.
An example of this raw, creative, politicised energy was the Dump it on Parliament: 1986 Luton Compilation cassette part of Bedfordshire Against Nuclear Dumping (B.A.N.D.). In true punk spirit, local young alternative musicians came together against a proposed nuclear waste dump in Bedford. Bands contributed specially written songs protesting against the Governments nuclear agency – Nirex. You can read more and listen to tracks from the compilation here:
We want to revisit and celebrate this piece of alternative local history, to start a conversation between exciting new bands and original band members from Bedford’s post punk scene. We are working with Steve Spon from legendary post punk/gothic band UK Decay, one of the area’s most influential post-punk bands to produce a new Dump It on Parliament Revisited compilation.
We are looking for exciting Bedfordshire bands to participate. Does this sound like you? If so, we would love you to be part of the compilation and related events and workshops. We would like to include one of your current songs that captures a similar politicised, countercultural feel of the area’s historic post-punk output. We would also want you to record a cover version of an original track of your choice from Dump it on Parliament and through 5 workshops on Wednesdays in October/November with musicians Roshi Nasehi (Roshi Feat. Pars Radio, David Thomas, Suns Of Arqa) Graham Dowdall (Gagarin, Ludus, John McKay, Pere Ubu) and Steve Spon (UK Decay) write one new track, exploring what YOU would want to dump on parliament today.
We will be printing a limited addition vinyl/cassette of the compilation, recorded live at a gig at the Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre on the 27th November. We will play a warm up gig at Houghton Regis Library and will also be producing a DIY inspired film of the event which will be shown at Grove Theatre Dunstable. Other connected activities will include new fanzines, fashion, posters, banners and cut-up appropriated videos being produced, all of which were part of post-punk culture back in the day. The project will be widely publicised through different events and media and we will also be collaborating with BBC Three Counties.
As Rob Callaghan from original compilation contributors The Twist put it, “parliament deserves to be dumped on again and again.” Do you agree? If so, and you’ve a musical way of saying it, let us know!
The project is commission by Bedford Creative Arts: