Welcome to the latest edition of The Gallows Rant, the sporadic newsletter first started by the late Alistair Hulett and now dedicated to ongoing news about his music from the Alistair Hulett Memorial Trust (UK) and the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund (Aus).
The 2013 Tribute concert will take place again at Celtic Connections at St Andrews in the Square on Burns Night, the 25th of January. The concert will celebrate Red Clydeside, the totemic time of ascendant socialist struggle nearly a century ago, including workers' leader John MacLean's twice-foiled imprisonment and the largest ever deployment of British troops on British soil, after 100,000 protestors raised the red flag in George Square, lives through Alistair’s CD Red Clydeside.
The winning entry of the Alistair Hulett Memorial Trust Song Competition is Penny Stone for her song Breaking the Silence. We would like to thank all those who entered the competition. The judges all agreed that this was a very difficult task as all the entries were of an exceptional standard. We would like to thank the judges Karine Polwart, Roy Bailey and Peggy Seeger for their expert opinions and for the amount of time they spent judging the competition. Once again many thanks to all who entered.
2011 saw the launch of the annual Song of Social Justice Award and the Social Justice Festival, an initiative in partnership with the Scottish Trades Council, details below. The winners of both initiatives can be seen at the Alistair Hulett Tribute Concert on the 28th January.
Alistair's song, "Mrs Barbour's Army", sung by Julie Anne McCambridge will feature in a film called, 'In Red Skirts on Clydeside' to be screened on the 8th of March at the Glasgow Film Theatre. The film recalls the year 1915, a year into the First World War, when landlords in Glasgow put up tenement rents. Women in Govan responded with a rent strike. In Red Skirts on Clydeside, the directors Jenny Woodley and Christine Bellamy chart the careers of Jean Ferguson, Mary Barbour and Helen Crawford Agnes Dollan through their involvement in the strike.
A tribute CD of Alistair’s songs recorded by other artists will be launched at Celtic Connections at the Alistair Hulett Tribute Concert on January 28th 2011,‘traditions of resistance through struggle and song’. The CD includes covers from Sigaro from Banda Bassotti, June Tabor, Niamh Parsons, Handsome Young Strangers, Irish Rovers, Roy Bailey, James Fagan and Nancy Kerr, Rory McLoed amongst others.
Alistair's version of The Internationale as recorded on 'Dance of The Underclass' will be used on an exciting new website based on the Paris Commune of 1871. The Internationale was originally written in that same year by Eugene Pottier in the aftermath of the Commune. Alistair’s version with more than 86,500 hits, can be viewed on YouTube. The Paris Commune site will contain a section on Pottier and specifically The Internationale.
Sat here as I am, virtually on the cusp of a brand new Antipodean adventure, it’s probably well past time to get another Gallows Rant written and posted out. The motivation is mainly to say ‘sayonara’ to all my northern hemisphere chums (no particular reason for saying it Japanese, but then why not?) and a warm and cheery g’day (Strine) to all those pals I look forward to meeting up with soon Down Under. And to let those folk know how to find me.
Welcome to another Gallows Rant, and sadly once again, it feels mandatory to begin by offering up some condolences and concern. After such a fine time recently touring round Australia with my musical comrade and pal, David Rovics, I’ve been watching with alarm as parts of that country where we so recently enjoyed wonderful warmth and hospitality are being televised in flames and no sign yet of much respite. To all in our folk music community, who’ve been affected by this tragic wave of bushfires, please add mine to the many other expressions of sympathy that have been flowing out from all parts of the world over the past few weeks.
Just one last Gallows Rant and quick news update before Me Onma Lonesome and my good chums in The Malkies and David Rovics (USA) launch our frail and tiny crafts onto the stormy waters of Showbiz together once more. It’s a howling blizzard of gigs we have ahead of us, me hearties, and there’s no let up till we hit 2009. This is a situation I’d surely love to be much more accustomed to than I am!