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A low-slung, minor key, roots reggae anthem warning about what happens when, as in the current "age of austerity", cynically introduced by the Tories in 2010, the poor and the young are relentlessly squeezed, exploited and disenfranchised by a government that evidently cares only about the rich. A particular point of reference is the unrest in August 2011, when riots broke out across the country over a four-day period, in response to tensions with the police and the effects of the austerity programme.
The photo is by Eric Hossinger (hozinja) on Flickr, and is reproduced via a Creative Commons agreement. It was taken on December 4, 2010 during a UK Uncut protest outside Topshop in Oxford Street about tax avoidance by the company's boss, Sir Philip Green: www.flickr.com/photos/hozinja/5248122650/
For some background to the history of insurrection in the UK, see lead singer Andy Worthington's article about the release of the song: www.andyworthington.co.uk/2017/05/08/andy-worthingtons-band-the-four-fathers-release-riot-new-online-single-tackling-austerity-and-inequality/

See here for a live video recorded at Vinyl Deptford on April 28, 2017: youtu.be/_IUvElwP_gQ

Please also see our video of 'Stand Down Theresa', a version of The Beat's classic protest song, 'Stand Down Margaret', with new lyrics by Andy, released just before the General Election on June 8, 2017: youtu.be/mpVb06VXkOM


A London-based music promoter has said of 'Riot', "So cool you're actually saying something - anything - in this stupid country."


Riot (Andy Worthington)

The establishment want us to believe everything is fine
But they're brutal and intolerant if they think we step out of line
In 2011 when there was unrest in the streets
They hunted down those who stole a bottle of water while the bankers all walked free
They stole billions, they crashed the system and lost money for millions
But they never paid nothing and it's the stench of this hypocrisy


That means that there must be a
Riot Riot Riot
Till you treat us all with decency

The establishment want to destroy the welfare state
Except for their friends in the property racket who are all on the take
They ignore the corporate subsidies that cost a hundred billion a year
While making young people work for nothing as interns or through workfare
We have to turn the tables on finding the disabled fit for work when they're not able
Because the death toll is rising and it's anger at this cruelty

Chorus (repeat)

The establishment are only interested in the transfer of wealth
From the young and poor to the old and rich at the cost of the nation's health
They use our money on the services they want to privatise
Then their cronies take all the profits while we're left high and dry
And this insane house price inflation that's causing so much debt and so much consternation
Is just the greed of the rich whose appalling sense of entitlement

Chorus (repeat)


Andy Worthington (lead vocals, guitar)
Richard Clare (guitar, backing vocals)
Bren Horstead (drums and percussion)
Andrew Fifield (flute and harmonica)
Louis Sills-Clare (bass)


released May 8, 2017
Written by Andy Worthington.
Recorded at Perry Vale Studios with Pat Collier, July 2016.


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The Four Fathers London, UK

Militant, melodic rock & roots reggae band, based in SE London, mostly playing original protest music. Journalist and activist Andy Worthington (lead vocals, electro-acoustic guitar), Richard Clare (electric guitar, vocals), Bren Horstead (drums, percussion), Andrew Fifield (flute, harmonica), Paul Rooke (bass). ... more

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