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Stars line up for our 50th anniversary

IN TWO weeks’ time we’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Morning Star with a fantastic night out at the legendary 100 Club in London.

But surely our paper is older? Yes, in 1980 we did celebrate our paper’s first 50 years but that event marked the combined history of the Daily Worker which became the Morning Star on April 25, 1966.

1980’s Beating the Blues festival, a year into the reign of Thatcher and the start of her austerity drive, raised working-class consciousness against the attacks taking place from a viciously neoliberal Tory Party.

There was a great line-up with John Peel introducing The Slits, John Cooper Clarke, The Raincoats, The Pop Group, Au Pairs, Dick Gaughan, Leon Rosselson and Humphrey Lyttleton, to name just a few.

Not quite history repeating itself, but at the 100 Club we’ll be celebrating that very first Morning Star edition in 1966, a year when Labour’s Harold Wilson won an election, England won the World Cup, the Black Panthers formed, anti-US Vietnam war protests broke out around the world and the Soviet Union’s Luna 9 touched down on the Moon. Let’s hope this year proves just as memorable.

On the 100 Club stage, there’ll be some of the most commited and talented left artists in this country. They’re the cream of a new generation of DIY progressive socialist acts who laugh in the face of the idea that protest songs are dead or that modern music is all controlled by a bland sausage machine of corporate conglomerate mediocrity.

These are artists who don’t just sing a song but believe in the message that they deliver and are committed activists as well. They definitely walk the walk, as well as sing the songs — and read this paper.

The magnificent Joe Solo recently put his whole back catalogue of work — 27 albums — on the web to download for free. All that he asks is you make a donation towards the homeless.

Grace Petrie who in our ideal world would be the Morning Star’s house band is a funny, intelligent feminist singer songwriter who has the killer hooks to back up the lyrics.

Thee Faction are socialist r’n’b at its sublime best and were the first band to promote a gig which raised £9,000 for Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign.

Attila the Stockbroker has been putting in a shift for anti-fascism, socialism and good causes for nearly 40 years. A writer for the paper, he will be the compere and perform on the night.

He wants to twin with Barnsley and why not? Forget its MPs and check out the music scene of the “tarn,” not least of which is represented by The Hurriers. Unashamedly “a socialist band like every town should have,” they blend the Jam and the Clash into a sound for the 21st century and produced a glorious album last year with From Acorns, Mighty Oaks.

Comrade X is the self-proclaimed “thinking woman’s yobbo,” a lifelong antifa activist and socialist agitator he will mix up Strummer and Woody Guthrie to start off proceedings.

With the paper’s editor Ben Chacko and many of the staff present it promises to be an awesome night, celebrating our papers history as well as launching our new 34-artist CD Don’t Be Left Without Us. Don’t be late, doors open 7pm.

  • The Morning Star’s 50th anniversary party is at the 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London W1. Tickets are £12 and can be bought online from wegottickets.com/event/350672

Review by Bob Oram

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