In little under two years since their formation, Barnsley band The Hurriers have blazed a trail across the UK’s festivals and fundraisers. Fast gaining a reputation as the ‘go-to’ political band of the moment.
The Hurriers now release their debut long player ‘From Acorn Mighty Oaks’ working with Sheffield producer Alan Smyth (Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Richard Hawley).
The South Yorkshire five-piece comprises Tony Wright-Vocals, Jamie Walman-Bass/vocals, Sam Horton-Guitar, Jim Proud-Guitar and Zak Wright-Drums.
The band called themselves “A proper socialist punk band” and since their formation in 2013 they’ve made a pretty deep impact. Billy Bragg invited them to play Glastonbury, they’ve played festivals with New Model Army and secured support slots with The Sleaford Mods, including at Sheffield’s O2 Academy.
It seems appropriate that a band steeped in the long history of working class struggle should also be a band that crosses generational lines (singer Tony and drummer Zak are father and son). Having some younger blood in the band seems to ignite The Hurriers and infuse them with an energy and pace that belies their combined ages. This is an incendiary band with guitars, SKA rhythms, harmonies and singalongs. You can hear echoes of bands like The Clash,The Redskins, The Jam, Gang Of Four and The Specials.
And their manifesto? Nothing short of “contributing to the overthrow of the corrupt capitalist system through the power of song”. And what songs they are!
About the album
On ‘From Acorns Mighty Oaks’ The Hurriers have drawn deep into the musical well of the late 20th century and come up with a record to soundtrack a 21st century fightback against austerity and its’s architects.
Here are some songs with something to say about issues like the NHS privatisation (Faith to Fight), Parliamentary hypocrisy (Happy Families) and the dangers of the Far Right (Britain Last). But don’t be fooled into thinking this is simply an album of issue-based sloganeering, there is real depth and beauty here.
One of the stand out tracks is Spectemur Agendo-Latin for ‘Judge us by our acts’. Latin is the preserve of the establishment elite and its use here is a master stroke, coming as it does from the motto of their hometown Barnsley. Here the Latin phrase becomes a tribute to the grit, determination and values of a South Yorkshire town full of people Mrs Thatcher called “The enemy within”.
The Miner’s strike is remembered on ‘Truth and Justice’ as they sing about South Yorkshire Police’s rol in the Battle of Orgreave where ‘blood was spilled and skulls were smashed’. The modern day effects of those pit closures are hinted at in ‘Beat And Then Some’ a poignant story of an ordinary family trapped in a spiral of debt and payday loans.
This is a record for anyone who still has some fight in them. ‘Acorns’ which describes the battle grounds of ‘Upstairs rooms in desolate pubs‘ and ‘Rainy Saturday town stalls’ will resonate with campaigners. Songs like ‘Enjoy The Storm’ and ‘Big Ideas And Promises’ are rallying cries to the faithful to keep ‘Kick Kicking at that door‘.
On this album The Hurriers have set out what’s at stake and then they lead the battle cry. This is what protest singers have done down the ages and the hurriers are bringing that tradition into the 21st century.