Oxford brothers Bennett of The Dreaming Spires are both politically active, so much so that Robin stood as a Green council Candidate and they recently appeared on the Andrew Marr Show.
Little wonder then that their new single ‘All Kinds of People’ out 10th of July, ripples with a social consciousness and wistful Americana-folk grandeur in the tradition of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Simon and Garfunkel and Jackson Browne. Its epically wistful chorus of joint harmonies and spiralling guitars huddles around your ears, possessing a hope can overcome fear theme and an epic, beguiling sound for the heart and head. It’s lifted from their album, Searching For The Supertruth is available now on Clubhouse Records. Robin Bennett explained to us its genesis as a song:
“The song wasn’t conceived as a ‘political’ song – it’s as much inspired by reading science books – but circumstances have made it so; it ended up being the song we performed on last week’s Andrew Marr show in front of Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, and Liz Kendall, the Labour leadership candidate. Lines like “there are all kinds of people more comfortable with lies” and “all kinds of people preying upon the weak” certainly took on an extra edge. One of the reasons I like the song is that it is personal as well as political and doesn’t demand a certain viewpoint, it’s certainly not a party-political song; there are in inherent dangers in any large group trying to dictate to others, but there are also times when you have to answer ‘the call’, whatever that may be.
I’ve read a lot of complaints about the neutrality, even apathy, of present-day bands and musicians, when compared with those of the 60s or the punk era. It’s hard to disagree. I felt I had to get involved in the recent election – I stood as a Green council candidate, which was an interesting experience, even if the end result was disappointing for many. It was encouraging to see more people in England realise that politics is personal too, and reflects the values we have in our own lives, with many turning away from traditional Big Two parties and openly discussing the election more than I remember in the past. The Scottish, Irish and Welsh have long been ahead of us in that regard. Our friends at Union Music Store are releasing a compilation on July 10th in response to the election, called “Land of Hope and Fury”, which includes the likes of Chris T-T, Emily Barker and Mark Chadwick (of The Levellers), reflecting the fact that many of us in the music community are realising it’s time to get off the fence. All proceeds from the compilation go to the campaining group 38 Degrees.
It was a strange experience meeting both a leading Conservative and the leading centrist Labour candidate, appealing to ‘aspirational’ voters – essentially, both appealing to the idea that some of us ‘deserve’ to do better than those around us. Perhaps that is the message that wins elections, but I’m not sure it’s the principle we want to live our lives by, and if our politics is struggling to reflect that, I hope we can do a bit to communicate it in music. The financial ‘value’ of music has never been lower, but I can’t help thinking it’s more important than ever to our human spirit.”
The Dreaming Spires are performing tonight at the Water Rats in London, tickets available on the door..