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Never Mind the Politics: Daytime Programme

Never Mind the Politics: Daytime Programme

Talks, performances and music making for all the family

28 March 2015

English Disco Lovers (2)

Time 11:00 - 16:30

Duration 5 hours 30 minutes

Cost In order to keep our events programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation. Suggested donation £3.

From Peterloo to Billy Bragg music has been an essential element of protest throughout the ages.  Enjoy an extravaganza of musical mayhem with talks, performances and music making exploring the past, present and future of protest music.

Our festival kicks off with a action-packed daytime programme for all the family.  Discover a musical history of Chartism, create your own Skiffle music and find out how groups such as the English Disco Lovers and Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus have used music to protest creatively.  You can even get your hands on our objects as you delve into our protest music collections (singing from our Socialist Songbooks is welcome!).

Festival programme

Singing for Freedom Chartist Hymns and Songs11.00am – 12.30pm, Singing for Freedom: Chartist Hymns and Songs (Mini Theatre)

In this workshop, Dr Mike Sanders and Garth Hewitt combine to present a potted history of Chartism in words and music.  Through a particular focus on the National Chartist Hymn Book (a collection of hymns compiled in Manchester) we will explore the political uses of song within the Chartist movement.


English Disco Lovers12.00pm – 12.45pm, English Disco Lovers (Coal Store)

English Disco Lovers (EDL) founder Alex Jones will be talking about the wide range of musical influences that have informed the social movement. Disco tunes like Chic’s I Want Your Love are fundamental to this EDL’s message, but Alex will attempt to highlight the roles played by other forms of protest music, such as jazz, as he discusses the history and etymology of disco.


Saltire1.00pm – 1.45pm, The Scottish Referendum: Giving Voice in Song (Coal Store)

Unfortunately this talk has been cancelled due to illness

Like most political campaigns and social justice activism, the Scottish Referendum of September 2014 stimulated the production of many songs.  This talk looks at, and listens to, some of those new songs, together with songs from the history of the Scottish struggle for independence.  Many of the songs have strong synergies with themes of the radical left… a solidarity extending across borders!


Skiffle Workshop1.30pm – 2.30pm, Skiffle Workshop (Mini Theatre)

Come along and explore social and community history through the use of Skiffle music.  Discover the roots of British rock and roll and create your own music in this interactive workshop.

Family Friendly


Safe to Sing1.45pm – 2.30pm, Safe to Sing (Coal Store)

Kath Fox and Loz Kaye from Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus (MLGC) will be speaking about their Safe to Sing campaign which sought to create a musical protest in response to a brutal homophobic attack which started on the Metrolink in November 2014.  As part of the event MLGC will sing three songs from the protest.

Family Friendly


Delve and Discover protest music collections2.30pm – 4.30pm, Delve and Discover protest music collections (Archive)

Explore our object and archive collections and discover some hidden protest music gems!

Family Friendly


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Booking Requirements: No booking required. First come, first served.

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