FM Recommends: CABLE STREET COLLECTIVE New Single SPEAKING IN TONGUES

By MB

We first featured London 7-piece, Cable Street Collective back in 2018 when they released an excellent EP Where Now From Here. Read our Introducing piece here. Showed lots of promise, but without any further releases, we’d kind of forgotten about them tbh… however it’s great to see they’re back with a brand-new single, Speaking In Tongues, available from 30th October. 


To give them credit they have been busy on the live circuit, having lots of success on the UK festival scene (remember that?!) They’ve performed across festivals like Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, Bestival and Boomtown. We can imagine these guys rocking a festival crowd, and hopefully one day we’ll be able to see them live again. Until then enjoy Speaking In Tongues, which includes a special guest appearance from Gregg Kofi Brown, from the legendary Afro-rock band Osibisa. Gregg co-wrote the track, plays guitar and contributes backing vocals.

Here’s the band on the track: “Lyrically, it’s about what happens when relationships and trust- both personal and political – break down. Gregg suggested the chorus line, using speaking in tongues as a metaphor for talking at cross purposes. It conjured up images of individuals with entrenched, religiously-held views shouting at each other. That felt like a pretty good way to describe not just a break-up, but also the way the UK’s been led in recent years.”

And explaining the 8-Bit style platform game video: “The track was written towards the end of last year, when it felt like the UK was descending into a full-blown culture war over Brexit. The lyrics are laced with references to the English Civil War, another period in the country’s history where you had these massively polarising debates about parliamentary sovereignty, and the exercise of power by unaccountable leaders.There’s this current of British history that’s really revolutionary, including the ideas of civil war factions like the levellers (and of course, much later, the Battle of Cable Street) that never really gets the attention it deserves. (All too often, British history gets appropriated by people on the right, who want to use it to defend the record of the empire, or push nasty, anti-immigrant rhetoric). So we were kind of referencing that with the lyrics. If anything, that culture war, those fights over history and identity, feel like they’ve become even more entrenched in the time between writing the song, and sitting down to make the video. The outrage that was sparked when a statue of a literal slave-trader was taken down in Bristol was mind-blowing. And then, looking across the Atlantic, it’s hard to ignore the parallels with what’s going on there.
So that’s where we got the idea for our three ‘end of level bosses’ who are (obviously) Edward Colston, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. We liked the idea of doing it as an 8-Bit platform game, with us throwing pineapples, because it felt like another good way of poking fun at these puffed-up ego-maniacs.”

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