Why the Spice Girls won't be invited to perform at Labour's pop concerts - Jonathan Walker

Why the Spice Girls won’t be invited to perform at Labour’s pop concerts – Jonathan Walker

Labour came in for some flack when it organised a one-day pop festival in June.

Critics rejoiced when tickets for the Labour Live event, in White Hart Lane Park, North London, were slow to sell.

But thousands of people turned up on the day.

And they not only enjoyed the music, but took part in some serious political debate.

It remains to be seen whether Labour plans to run a second music festival.

However, one thing’s for sure. If it does take place then the Spice Girls won’t be invited to perform.

Baby, Ginger, Scary and Sporty are going back on tour, although Posh Spice has decided to stay at home.

And Labour Chair Ian Lavery has made it clear they won’t be welcome at the festival affectionately known as JezFest – because they might be Tories.



Labour chair Ian Lavery

It was back in 1996 that the Spice Girls expressed their admiration of Margaret Thatcher, but left-wingers haven’t forgotten it.

Also on the ban list is former Oasis star Noel Gallagher, who last year proclaimed: “F**k Jeremy Corbyn. He’s a Communist.”

Like the Spice Girls, he came under fire from the author of a Twitter account called Rachel_Swindon, who sent Mr Lavery a message saying: “Should LabourLive 2 happen (ideally in the Midlands this time), please don’t book the Spice Girls, even if they offer to pay you.

“Add Noel ‘Toryboy Capitalist Gobshite’ Gallagher to the same list. All the best x.”

Mr Lavery responded: “Thanks for the message R!. NO Spice Girls and NO Noel G!!. Never ever ever ever!!!”



Ian Lavery’s Tweet about the Spice Girls and Noel Gallagher

For good measure he also added an emoji of a face screaming in fear.

There’s nothing new about politics and pop music crossing paths.

And while there’s a tradition of radical left-wing politics in the music industry, there have also been a few right-wingers.

Here are some notable examples of pop stars dipping their toes into politics:

Clean Bandit



Clean Bandit performing at the V Festival in Hylands Park, Chelmsford.

The electronic music act, known for hits such as Rather Be and Rockabye, topped the bill at LabourLive. They were a late addition to the line-up, and gave the event some added star power that may have helped ticket sales.

The Magic Numbers



The Magic Numbers.

This London-based pop rock band were due to headline JezFest until Clean Bandit signed up. They’ve enjoyed success with albums such as The Magic Numbers and Those the Brokes.

In 2010 they walked off Top of the Pops after host Richard Bacon apparently insulted their physiques, calling them “a big fat melting pot of talent”.

The Spice Girls



Spice Girls
Spice Girls

Their mantra is “Girl Power”, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock that the Spice Girls have some sympathy with Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

But surely nobody expected the level of devotion they showed to Maggie when interviewed by right-wing magazine The Spectator, in 1996.

Ginger Spice Gerri Halliwell declared: “We Spice Girls are true Thatcherites. Thatcher was the first Spice Girl, the pioneer of our ideology — Girl Power.”

Cheryl



Girls Aloud star Cheryl

Cheryl, born and raised in Newcastle, also made her name in a girl band, Girls Aloud. But she takes a very different approach to the Spice Girls.

She said in 2015: “We’ve always been Labour in our family, it just feels wrong not to be. Better the devil you know.”

Noel Gallagher



Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher

In 1997 former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher attended a high-profile party in 10 Downing Street hosted by Tony Blair, and was pictured deep in conversation with the then-Prime Minister.

It was the highlight of the “Cool Britannia” movement, a remarkably successful effort by Labour spin doctors to associate the UK’s youngish Prime Minister with a new wave of British bands led by the likes of Oasis and Blur.

But Mr Gallagher is no fan of the current Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn – and claimed he would reform Oasis in order to stop “that lunatic running the country” (it’s not clear how reforming Oasis would achieve this).

Mr Gallagher also said: “F**k Jeremy Corbyn. He’s a Communist”.

But he isn’t particularly nice about Conservatives either. He said earlier this year: “Politicians? They’re f**king idiots.”

Chumbawamba



John Prescott was soaked with water by a member of the band Chumbawamba, at the Brit awards ceremony in 1998

Anarchist punk band Chumbawamba probably deserve more credit than anyone for killing off Cool Britannia, after they dunked a bucket of cold water over Labour Deputy Leader John Prescott at a televised awards ceremony in 1998.

Drummer Danbert Nobacon was held by police – though swiftly released – after running over to the table where Lord Prescott sat with record company executives and throwing a bucket of ice cold water over him.

Earlier, the band had sung about New Labour betraying the miners, which demonstrates that if there’s one thing a certain type of left-winger hates more than a Tory government it’s a Labour government.

Morrissey



Morrissey performs at the Metro Arena in Newcastle.
Morrissey performs at the Metro Arena in Newcastle.

Morrissey kept his political views to himself as singer with The Smiths in the 1980s, when the indie band was hugely influential and popular.

But with his ambiguous sexuality and proud Northern roots, fans may have assumed he was vaguely on the left.

It came as a bit of a shock when he emerged as a fan of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage – and then backed the anti-Islam “For Britain” party.

Morrissey said his support was a result of their stance on animal welfare, but this seems largely to have meant their opposition to Halal meat.

Gary Barlow



Gary Barlow

Take Take songwriter Gary Barlow emerged as a Tory supporter when he joined David Cameron on the campaign in the 2010 general election.

Paul Weller



Paul Weller
Paul Weller

Less keen on Mr Cameron was Jam singer Paul Weller, who was bemused when the former Tory Prime Minister revealed one of his favourite songs was the Jam’s Eton Rifles.

The song apparently recounts a battle between marchers protesting against unemployment, and pupils from Eton who had been jeering them.

Mr Cameron is a former Eton pupil himself.

In 2015, Mr Weller said: “I just think, ‘Which bit didn’t you get?’.”

Tony Hadley



Tony Hadley, who will be appearing at Henley Music Festival
Tony Hadley, who will be appearing at Henley Music Festival

Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley is a Conservative who spoke at the Tory conference in 2007.

According to reports from the time he warned: “The fabric of society is torn,”

Robert Smith from The Cure



Robert Smith of The Cure

Smash Hits ran a feature in 1987 asking stars how they were voting and it makes for fascinating reading today.

Most of the respondents backed Labour but Robert Smith declared his support for the SDP, a breakaway party from Labour that eventually merged with the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats.

“It’s a dreadful thing but I like [SDP leader] Dr David Owen,” he said.

George Michael was torn between the SDP and Labour, while Boy George backed the Ecology Party, a forerunner of today’s Green Party.

Billy Bragg



Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg

Folk-singer Billy Bragg was a leading figure in Red Wedge, a group of artists that backed Labour in the 1980s.

It organised pro-Labour concerts featuring Mr Bragg alongside artists such Paul Weller’s band The Style Council, The Communards, Madness and even The Smiths, suggesting Morrissey had yet to develop his far-right tendencies.

Mr Bragg is once again a vocal Labour supporter, making the case for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter.

Latest Tweets

    Please check your internet connection.