TOPICAL SATIRE live home recordings; 2019-present
Since Sept 2019 I’ve been bashing out musical satire at home, often Brexit related and often quite jolly (considering the subject matter).
Thanks to a long career of playing for dance training, I specialise in mangling and mashing-up famous tunes from any source I can get my hands on: Chopin, Strauss, Rossini, Beethoven, Radiohead, ABBA, Britney Spears, Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra have all made it into the mix so far, along with a few festive favourites, a diversion into calypso and, um, Yakety Sax. Well, you get the idea.
Sometimes I've used other people's words for lyrics, including some direct lifts from the podcast formerly known as Remainiacs (since rebranded as Oh God, What Now?) not to mention the succinct mystery civil service tweeter of summer 2020. But more often than not I've just put my own pen to paper.
It’s all a bit rough n readily recorded with my phone gaffa-taped to the end of the piano, but that keeps the set-up quick and easy when inspiration strikes. Hence it has to be filmed vertically, but in any case I don't have space for a suitable side-on horizontal view in my fairly small music room.
(Sorry about that. Other satirical pianists with bigger budgets or electric keyboards are possibly also available. I like the close-up on the keys anyway.)
Tbh, I never realised making these songs would prove quite so rewarding and cathartic, and so despite not intending to make an ongoing series that is exactly what I am now doing. Music may not have the power to change the world directly, but it can damn well make it more bearable. And there’s something to be said for conveying heavy messages with a light touch and a grin, not to mention a well-placed key change.
While populism still threatens liberal values, democratic functioning and international cooperation, while the deceitful execution of Brexit still continues to do immense damage, and while the charlatans and wannabe authoritarians responsible are still in positions of power and influence, I will continue to play my small part with some carefully crafted, if slightly cheesy, musical resistance.