Sound of Our Revolution | February 2022: Anti-War

Well, this is certainly a timeline we’re living in.

It’s not like the situation between Russia and the rest of Europe has ever been particularly stable – but starting 2022 with explicit threats and preparations to invade Ukraine is not exactly great news for anyone.

While it is tempting to just say “War, huh, what is it good for, absolutely nothing, say it again” and be done with it (and I am about the biggest Pacifist I know) it feels like that is a gross oversimplification and liberal way of looking at things.

For one, it doesn’t really acknowledge that war is often forced upon nations – and implying that both sides are in the wrong for fighting ignores instances where a country is being invaded and attacked and defending itself.

One could argue that there are cases where that is the right thing to do, and as someone who’s basically the polar opposite of anyone who’d be in the military, I’m not going to pretend all instances of war could’ve been avoided if we’d all just tried a bit harder to be diplomatic. Fascism is rarely defeated by diplomacy. Saying that, Fascism is rarely defeated by Anti-Fascists – more often than not it’s a different subgenre of fascist who disagrees with a particular Nation’s approach to their fascism.

I’m not going to pretend to understand all the nuances and motivations behind the inevitable Russia/Ukraine conflict. I am by no means even remotely educated in this topic, let alone an expert.

But one thing that is clear when it comes to War and Diplomacy is that corrupt governments absolutely love it. It is a huge source of profit for many top companies and political beneficiaries, it can be played as good PR and used as a divide and rule tactic. And it’s a terrific distraction from any other problems a nation may be having. Not to mention it’s a great way to strip countries of their natural resources to benefit their home country.

I’m not about to claim that wars are manufactured purely to benefit the 1%. But it is an undeniable fact that the 1% benefit the most from conflict and are affected by it the least.

And that is the theme I was aiming for this month. Not “War bad, let’s all get along” but “Governments’ routinely abusing their citizens and manipulating their Armed forces to shed and spill countless drops of blood is fucked up actually, and maybe we can acknowledge that and the horrific acts that take place whilst also not solely blaming the working classes who’ve fallen victim to decades of governmental propaganda out of a misguided sense of patriotism on behalf of an elite class who couldn’t give a shit if they died.”

But that’s a mouthful, so “Anti-War” is the broad theme. Just know that I’m approaching this with a more nuanced angle, that detests war but also doesn’t blame individual soldiers for the activities they’re being forced to do more than the powers that use them.


War Pigs – Black Sabbath

“Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah
Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait till their judgement day comes, yeah!”

To the surprise of no one we are kicking off the list with probably THE most iconic anti-war song of all time (apart from the previously mentioned War, huh, what is it good for, absolutely nothing, say it again). This was by no means the first Anti-War song, but it is the one that anyone who likes Hard Rock music will think of before any other.

Black Sabbath’s War Pigs was meant to be the leading single and indeed title of their second album, before they wrote and release Paranoid which became their defining hit – and was a lot more accessible to a mainstream audience.

But War Pigs, is still a phenomenal track. Seven minutes of pure Metal, few but blunt lyrics, making the eternal point of the poor being made to fight the convenience wars of politicians who would never get their hands dirty, accompanied with a simple yet heavy riff that is so epic it actually brings Boomers back to life.

The song is over 50 years old now, but the message rang true at the time, and still rings true today. Next song.

Disposable Heroes – Metallica

“Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty-one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say
Finished here, greetings death
He’s yours to take away”

Ooh boy, yet another 7+ minute song to follow – this is a pattern with 70s and early 80s protest songs.

It can be hard to remember that there was a time when Metallica were a highly respected and regarded forerunner of what was at the time a fairly underground and extreme metal scene.

Today, Master of Puppets has a legendary status which many consider to be the greatest thrash album of all time. I disagree. I don’t even think it’s the best Metallica album of all time, but there’s no denying its influence.

Disposable Heroes isn’t a song I found myself revisiting a lot. But when researching for this list I figured I’d give it another go, having not really appreciated the theme of it beyond a slightly edgy 80s Metal song, and ooh boy this song doesn’t hold back. Possibly one of them fastest to date, and this onslaught lasts for nearly 10 minutes.

Lyrically the song is unambiguous, detailing the plight of the soldiers who are treated as nothing more than resources to throw at an enemy until either they run out or win. The song shifts perspective from the internal monologue of the soldier in the midst of a battleground, a third person description of the same scene, and the Commander/Elite commanding the soldier to head back to the front lines, abusing them in the process.

Metallica may be a bit of a cringe joke these last 20 years, but this song still holds up. It has a darkness to it that many of its contemporaries at the time on the same theme did not. Riffs wise, it’s not the most memorable of their work – but its fast pace and kind of jumpy riffs do well to recreate the anxiety and dread of the atmosphere commonly associated with war zones. There is a reason Doom was heavily ‘inspired’ by this genre, band and album for its soundtrack to its intense horror shooter.

Die for the Government – Anti-Flag

“You’ve gotta die, gotta die, gotta die for your government?
Die for your country?
That’s shit!”

Jumping forward a bit now to the 90s, Die for the Government is from Anti-Flag’s very first album and delivers what you’d expect from that title. There are more lyrics to the song, but the intros and choruses are just a repeat of this refrain: Die for your government? Die for your country? That’s shit!

Can’t really argue with that. It’s pretty fucking shit. Dying is shit. Your government is also shit, and so is your country. They love to abuse the shit out of you then call you a hero when you’re dead. Absolute shit.

Protect the Land – System of a Down

“The enemy of man is his own decay
If they’re evil now, then evil they will stay
If they will try to push you far away
Would you stay and take a stand?”

Ooh boy, this was a tough one. So, System of A Down have a huge back catalogue of songs about War, both waged by American administrations, and impacting their homeland of Armenia.

Some of you may have noticed that despite being one of my favourite bands of all time, I’ve been generally less willing to put them on these playlists recently – partly due to John Dolmayan’s weird Q-Anon phase – and also Serj Tankian’s more recent foray into NFTs.

But when we’re talking about Anti-War songs from the point of view of a country being invaded and oppressed by a corrupt power, Armenia’s biggest alternative band are a shoo-in.

SOAD shocked everyone in 2020 by dropping their first 2 new songs in 15 years as a fundraiser for the Aid for Artsakh Campaign. The governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey stepped up the genocidal efforts on the people in Armenia as an attempt to claim the land as their own. The Armenian genocide has been going in for over 30 years, but really stepped up around this time.

The band have obviously always been outspoken on this, especially as it’s a conflict that we in the west don’t really hear anything about. This song was originally actually written for Daron Malakian’s other band, Scars on Broadway. But he decided to release it with the original SOAD band early when it became apparent it was needed and would for sure draw much more attention than if it had been released under a different name.

This song is what I was referring to when I said I wanted to approach this difficult topic with some nuance. There are ways of reading this song as glorification of the military defenders of the nation, which many anti-war activists might be uncomfortable with.

But here’s the thing – Anti-War doesn’t necessarily mean condemning those who fight. When faced with a combined and corrupt force, it is hardly fair to condemn the people of Armenia and those who fight when they are the only thing standing between their existence and these people who will wipe them out if it gives them more geopolitical power. You can be against a war happening, but critically analyse the balance of power and, for want of a better word, “Who started it” and rather than trying to act like the mediator, hearing out both sides and coming to a compromise that harms the oppressed.

You can realize that actually, conflicts like this have very clear villains. While, in an ideal world, they’d stop doing one of them there genocides they’re so fond of in favour of a diplomatic and respectful solution for the people of Armenia, that is just not going to happen.

While I wouldn’t blame anyone for being upset that this song can be interpreted as recruitment propaganda to the Armenian defence forces, you should take the context of the situation into account and realize that this isn’t a government sending its poorest to fight an unjust war abroad – this is a nation defending itself against those external governments.

War still sucks, but we don’t need to blame the victims for defending themselves.

But yeah, solid song, and exciting to hear new System of a Down music for the first time since 2005. Probably won’t ever happen again, but it’s a nice addition to their catalogue for sure.

Born Free – M.I.A.

“Yeah, manmade powers
Stood like a tower, higher and hi ya, hello
And the higher you go, you feel lower, oh
I was close to the ant
Staying undercover, staying undercover
With a nose to the ground, I found my sound”

Another artist with origins in a war-torn country, M.I.A. has Sri Lankan heritage, living there for some of her childhood but moving to England during the Sri Lankan civil war. This is another war that isn’t really talked about in the west – but more than that, actively ignored.

Before this song’s release, M.I.A. repeatedly tried to bring attention to the plight of Sri Lankan people to the west, but all anyone ever wanted to talk to her about was her music and celebrity status. “Stick to Music, stop talking about politics” is something that most musicians have to deal with, but especially when it comes to women, and even more so women of colour.

I’ve made it no secret that I think this attitude to music is toxic, as music has been a tool for political upheaval and revolution for longer than our lifetimes. Most modern music stems to a greater or lesser extent from Blues – literally slave music. Telling a Tamil, female rapper to stick to music and stop talking politics is so insulting, that I’m impressed she’s never punched anyone for it.

Born Free was an explicit and very clever way to force people to listen, releasing as a single and creating one of the most impactful music videos at the time.

M.I.A. used actors to recreate some of the horrific sights she’d experienced in Sri Lanka and in footage that was circulating on the internet, but used White, red-headed people instead. This was a genius move that not only makes white people care about something by depicting themselves in situations of torture, abuse and cold murder, but it also left a very striking and memorable image that quickly went viral before YouTube removed the video.

It is now back up and age restricted, but M.I.A. used this opportunity to call out her video being taken down despite it being all fabricated, but real-life footage of the same stuff happening in Sri Lanka and being broadcast had no such complaints.

You do kind of need the video to fully appreciate the song. The song itself is less explicitly anti-war and more anti expectations on her not to talk about these things that matter to her and people should care about – talking about the privilege of being “Born Free” in an environment comparatively safe, and refusing to acknowledge the plights of other nations – going so far as to make war torn nations prime holiday destinations. She doesn’t want to go on TV to talk about her money and success, she knows what she wants to talk about, but no one will let her – so she’ll find a way to do it through her art that the media can’t ignore. Whip up controversy and use that to deliver the message.

M.I.A. is a treasure, and I honestly believe one of the greatest artists of her generation. She has a skill to say so much using so few words, and we need more people like her in today’s world.

Zombie – The Cranberries

“It’s the same old theme, since 1916
In your head, in your head, they’re still fightin’
With their tanks and their bombs and their bombs and their guns
In your head, in your head, they are dyin’”

I tried to mostly pick artists who have connections and experiences to countries that have dealt with war first-hand more recently – and I absolutely couldn’t leave off this track. You’ll all know this song. Most of you will know it’s about the war in Northern Ireland, and widely applicable to conflict in general too.

Zombie is probably one of the best-known Alternative Rock songs of the 90s. In its slow grungy riffs and the late, great Dolores O’Riordan’s distinctive melancholic melodic voice conveys the despairing situation in Northern Ireland at the time, which was a consistent conflict spanning for nearly 100 years.

It seems fitting to include a song about how bleak these times really were for the region, especially as Brexit has already invalidated several aspects of the Good Friday agreement, and we are dangerously close to reigniting the troubles that plagued both England and Ireland for so long.

You all know why this song is great. I don’t need to tell you more, but if you hadn’t considered the meaning and context of the song before now and just thought it was a cool Alt-Rock song, I’d implore you to take a deeper listen.

Not only is it a perfectly crafted song – it’s saying a lot in its few words.

Shellfire Defence – Sodom

“Long vanished is the age of blows with a club
Wholesale murder guarantee
Soldiers within the meaning of law
Decimate the dregs of society
Where’s man’s dignity and human nature?
Disarmament and combination
Fit in with the needs of present
Peace not revelation”

There’s a lot of anti-war and anti-militaristic songs to come out of Germany. I wonder why?

A lot of people listen to German metal and assume because of the accent, language, and general vibe of the music that it’s very pro-military, but this couldn’t be further than the truth.

Germany has a long history with war, and probably understand the dangers and consequences of fascism more than most other European nations.

Sodom do write a lot of songs with military imagery, but it is always from a place of “This shit is horrible and terrifying, we need to stop”. Shellfire Defence has a particularly striking verse that brings attention to just how much war has changed with 20th century technologies. Solving things with violence is never the ideal solution – but there is a huge difference between fighting your opponent with a stick of sharp metal on an even level, in which political leaders, even when not on the front lines were by no means safe from the conflict – and all the gruesome, and destructive heavy artillery tools we have today to fight and kill with.

Even small battles can have death tolls matching some of the longest and most brutal wars of the past within days. Even if War is a viable solution to political problems – it’s not like this.

We will wipe out our species and the planet all over nothing – and it will all be short tempered and careless politicians at fault. We need to disarm.

Mutiny In the Common Soldiery – The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing

“I’ve got more in common with the Bugger on my Bayonet,
Than the Toff, who’s telling me to stick it in his guts”

This little ballad from everyone’s favourite Victorian Punks is a story of a soldier being put to war and realizing that his real enemy is not who he’s been sent to fight, but the ones sending him to fight.

Starting with a short but sweet recollection of the hypocrisies of the church, condemning stealing and killing – and then immediately asking them to go to war and pillage in the name of God once it became politically desirable to do so – and ending with a revelation that no matter who you fight for, soldiers have more in common with each other than with those in power of their country.

A more succinct tale of class solidarity over political warmongering I have not heard, a must listen, underrated gem.

White People for Peace – Against Me!

“Protest songs in response to military aggression
Protest songs to try and stop the soldier’s gun
But the battle raged on”

This was quite a last-minute addition to the list, and I unfortunately had to cut many worth contenders to fit it.

But White People for Peace is a perfect penultimate song – not only as an anti-war song, but as a self-aware admission that it’s all well and good us white people speaking out against war in song (and indeed, we absolutely should) but ultimately it achieves nothing, and it is important to appreciate the severity of a situation, not just write a hippy love song about how love is stronger than hate and we should all get along.

Possibly a depressing note to include, although I’m not sure how many uplifting and inspiring tracks you expected on this anti-war playlist, so get off my dick about it.

Youth – Faintest Idea

“Time to take a look at the nature of your design
Numb the youth to the bullets and bombs that fly
In desert lands watching genocide
At the age of nineteen watched his best friend die
Let it all build up till it overflows inside
Then this teenage Rambo, his life gets done,
by the barrel of his own gun
ONE YOUTH DOWN!
A shot to the head, another victim to this war profiteering complex”

And to close off this list a track from my favourite Oi-Skacore band Faintest Idea.

I don’t think people realize that Ska is actually, historically a pretty dark genre of music. It sounds like a lot of fun, but many bands incorporate political and highly personal lyrics – and Faintest Idea do not shy away from exposing Tory cruelty and its effects on society.

Youth is, as you may expect, predominantly about the way young people are treated by our governments, and not just limited to the ones who are recruited for war purposes. But that is still a heavy theme.

Since Blair, if not before, young people have been continuously desensitised to war and violence, but it’s not because of Call of Duty games. We are living through times of intense global conflict, that we’re either actively involved in, or profiting off of by supplying weaponry to corrupt rich powers. Before soldiers even go to war, they will be passively exposed to war and violence just by existing, and this makes a generation of kids very easy to recruit and take advantage of in the military.

In my town, the Army reserve centre is literally next door to the Scouts. As a former Beaver myself who gave up at Cubs, it’s jarring to think that the whole institution of Cubs and Scouts is a thinly disguised way to feed kids, particularly disadvantaged kids, to kill and die for us.

And throughout all of this death, abuse and neglect, the politicians are still getting richer and richer, whilst the youth see none of this extra wealth.

This song is capped off perfectly with a famous George Carlin routine talking about America’s affinity and talent for war as the riff fades out, and hollow laughter rings out after these deeply disturbing observations. What a way to end a track. What a way to end a playlist.


And those are just some of the Anti-War anthems we’ve chosen to represent a nuanced but ultimately opposing attitude to the wars we’ve been fighting, funding, and profiting from for our entire history.

Loads of great tracks didn’t make the cut. One of the many downsides to the Vietnam war is that it took place right in the golden age of Psychedelic and Progressive rock, meaning there’s no shortage of anti-war songs to choose from, but the average length is 8+ minutes. Comparatively not the worst thing the war has done, but for a sheltered millennial westerner such as myself it’s thankfully the closest I personally will ever come to experiencing the true horrors of war in the modern age. Touch wood.

You can listen to these songs and more from Body Count, the gazette, Rage Against the Machine and more on Spotify (ironic, given their CEOs military investments – Capitalism is evil) and YouTube.

Kitty Messalina and Tom Short v Ash Preston and Eddie French || BCBA S02 E11

We are committed to keeping our show as accessible as we can – and that means livestreams to anyone who is still vulnerable or simply not near Manchester.

Our next episode of Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche will be on Monday 28th March 2022, broadcast live to our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy

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This month our show features:

Tom Short

“Impossible not to love” – HopScotch Friday

Tom Short is an award winning comedian that has a burning desire truly to entertain.

Tom’s genuine friendliness has earned him fans with almost everyone he comes across who fall in love with his charm, energy and quick wit. Tom is cut from a different cloth coming from Salford, being brought up working class and having meager beginnings in an environment that stamped out differences and creativity, he rose through this and is authentically himself for all to see and this endears him with every audience member he performs in front of this has been described as ‘Stealth comedy. The best kind’ (The Skinny).

and Kitty Messalina

Kitty Messalina is a comedic triple threat – a queer woman of colour. Her unique perspectives on prejudice, promiscuity and polyamory quickly earned her a nomination as a Finalist for the NCF New Act of the Year Award 2019. Despite being a newcomer to the circuit, she has performed with greats such as Rosie Jones and as tour support for Shaparak Khorsandi. Kitty is currently working on her debut solo show, “Is This Thing Turned On?” where she ponders identity politics, problematic crushes and Alexander Hamilton; her WIP performance of this was a sold out success at the Nottingham Comedy Festival 2021.

with team captain Bobbie Jones

“One To Watch” – Funny Women 2017
The Student Newspaper 2018- ‘Obvious Talent’

A combination of Dad Jokes and Daddy Issues, Bobbie-Ann Jones is one of the funniest prediabetic queers ever to come from Wolverhampton. They once made their counsellor cry and laugh at the same time, and they’re still proud of it. Is often seen carrying a single chocolate bar in a Sainsburys bag for life and rocking a killer rack.

https://www.facebook.com/BobbieJonesComedy

and

Eddie French

They’ve been making funny noises out of their face since 2010 and guitar since 2016. Eddie sucks at writing in the third person, but promises to bring plenty of chat and stories from years of crushing comedy.

and Ash Preston

Ash has been on the circuit for over two years. He has performed all over the country with his eccentric storytelling and high energy stage persona. Once described as a ‘friendly misanthrope.’ Fiercely proud of his working class upbringing and underdog mentality… He also resembles several murderers.

with team captain Kirstie Summers

“Too attractive” – Chris

Our admin and promotor from day one, Kurt has become a regular feature of Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche over the past year. In that time she’s launched a new show where she chats to comedians, musicians and other creators every week, has cycled all over London and moved house twice.

https://twitter.com/ActuallyKurt

and special guest host Andrew Marsh

Half of No Money in the Bank, one third of Social Distance Warriors and not-so-secret alter-ego of the greatest wrestler you’ve never heard of, Andrew Marsh’s relationship with reality may be tenuous at times, but we’re sure that won’t be an issue in a news show…

https://twitter.com/appleshampoo182


As always, our show will be free to watch with a pay-what-you-feel option for contributions which will be split between our acts and team. If you would like to make a donation, you can PayPal us here: paypal.me/blizzardcomedy

Or you can make regular donations by backing us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy

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Thank you for coming to Blizzard Comedy Live, featuring Raul Kohli

After a month off, Blizzard Comedy returned on the 7th February with a phenomenal line-up to kick off the 12th year of Tory Bullshit which has necessitated the need for our club.

I took the night off MCing, and left the show in the very capable hands of Bobbie Jones – a regular on our live and streamed shows, and an absolute powerhouse of a comedian.

Bobbie always brings something unique to a line-up, and tonight was no exception (which is impressive given the rest of the line-up included a silent act, a table covered in sugar, and a non-binary magician). Bobbie’s act is full of whimsical musings and takes which make even the most mundane subjects a spectacle – and is still able to do this in a universally accessible way.

She did not let up as a compere, and despite some unfortunate rowdy older gents kept the wider audience engaged and laughing throughout, complimenting the acts and standing alone as a phenomenal performer in equal measures.

Kicking off the show was another Blizzard regular Thom Bee – in a landmark set for him, I think marking one of the first times he has spoken explicitly about recent traumatic events and his mental health in detail on stage. Whether it’s as half of No Money in the Bank, or on stage on his own Thom has an instant charm and likability to him, and has a set full of nostalgia bait for Millennials, as well as dark and frank discussions of the impact of both physical and mental disabilities on life, and a hell of a lot of gay jokes for good measure.

Despite some of the more intense subject matters, Thom keeps an upbeat attitude and energy throughout, but not at a sacrifice to the gravity of the content, which is a fucking difficult line to walk, and he pulls it off expertly.

After him was Ed Roworth with 2 distinct but equally batshit sets. The First was his usual brand of prop based whimsey, anti-humour and plain weirdness. The second was a stand-up set done entirely without speaking. It is very hard to convey in writing in a way that doesn’t make it sound shit – but Ed pulls it off, leaving a mark as a favourite of the night.

Ed doesn’t do many gigs these days, but we’re always thrilled to have him on when we can – he has huge political insight for our stream shows, but uses our live shows as a way to barely address that and instead craft something absolutely bonkers that you’ll struggled to tell your mates about because you won’t be able to stop laughing.

Next up we had a last-minute Eden M.W. – who very kindly stepped in last minute after our planned 4th act had to drop out. Eden, is I believe quite new to stand-up, although clearly a veteran performer and creative in their own right.

Eden’s set was based around Magic – which can often be a cause for comedy audiences to sigh and switch off, but they had crafted tricks that were not only executed well, but clearly crafted with humour in mind. Not only that, they’re incredibly quick on their feet, have an engaging personality, and flawless delivery that would be the envy of some of the most seasoned pro’s. Absolutely sensational, go and see them when you can.

And finally we had Blizzard Comedy favourite Raul Kohli to headline. I first saw Raul some 6 years ago at the Comedy Balloon – and ever since that first sight I knew I was watching something special. In an increasingly polarised comedy landscape – and in our own club which is vehemently left wing – Raul offers genuinely profound political insight and commentary that I’ve seen kill at both Blizzard as well as in front of staunch Brexit voting tory audiences.

While it isn’t particularly rare for comedians to have versatile sets to appeal to audiences across the political spectrum (because lets face it, us socialists are never going to be able to pay as well as corporates) – Raul is one of the few people that comes to mind who can win over these audience without sacrificing or significantly softening any of the political content – or by resorting to material that goes against his own beliefs.

Raul is quick witted – and absolutely destroyed the two rowdy individuals mentioned earlier, who sadly only got more disruptive as the night went on. He covers topics from regional differences and stereotypes being a Geordie man of Indian descent – to a deconstruction of western media’s obsession with Trans people playing sports in contrast to the harrowing oppression and violence we face in other parts of the world – all of it equally hysterical and insightful.

Raul is a rarity on the circuit – and you owe it to yourself to watch him if he’s performing in your area. In fact – he is doing 2 full hours at Gullivers on Wednesday the 6th April – An hour of crowdwork, and an hour of prepared material for £6. Book tickets here today: https://www.ticketweb.uk/event/raul-kohli-241-gullivers-tickets/11557685

A phenomenal first night back, and join us on the 7th March when guest MC Tony Basnett of Trapdoor Comedy hosts Cheekykita, Kat Molinari, Ash Preston & Tom Short – and you can watch us stream on the last Monday of every month, covering the news of the month in a variety of silly games and discussions on twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy.

Blizzard Comedy LIVE, featuring Tom Short

Live shows are back, which means we’ll be returning to the Gullivers stage with a bunch of absolute babes on Monday 7th March 2022.

Free tickets are available to book here.

Join us from 7pm in Manchester with these legends:

Tom Short

“Impossible not to love” – HopScotch Friday

Tom Short is an award winning comedian that has a burning desire truly to entertain. Tom’s genuine friendliness has earned him fans with almost everyone he comes across who fall in love with his charm, energy and quick wit. Tom is cut from a different cloth coming from Salford, being brought up working class and having meager beginnings in an environment that stamped out differences and creativity, he rose through this and is authentically himself for all to see and this endears him with every audience member he performs in front of this has been described as‘Stealth comedy. The best kind’ (The Skinny).

Supported by

Cheekykita

Like Alice in Wonderland on Adderall… curious, shambolic and kind of magical’ (according to The List), this Prague Fringe 2014 award-winner has performed her peculiarly charming brand of comedy in and around the UK and abroad. In 2015 Cheekykita – NATYS Finalist, Laughing Horse third prize and winner of Colchester New Comedian of the Year, funny women regional finalist 2016 and 2nd prize Max Turner award.

★★★★★ “It is one of those shows that I would describe as a work of genius without being able to pin down exactly why.” – Lynne Parker, Funny Women
★★★★ “Like The Mighty Boosh on crack.” – Broadway Baby
★★★ “Cheekykita is what happens when that weird lassie from high school grows up, but doesn’t lose her oddity…” – The List

Kat Molinari

Punsexual queen of the north, Kat Molinari started off her career by forgetting to leave space for people to laugh. She says “I’m surprised there aren’t more female stand ups who do one-liners, cause that’s usually how long we have to tell a joke before a man interrupts.”

Ash Preston

Ash has been on the circuit for over two years. He has performed all over the country with his eccentric storytelling and high energy stage persona. Once described as a ‘friendly misanthrope.’ Fiercely proud of his working class upbringing and underdog mentality… He also resembles several murderers.

with guest host Tony Basnett

Tony started his stand up career whilst studying at Leeds Met University back in 2008. Originally from Hartlepool and now residing in Manchester Tony has taken the circuit by storm. Described as an upbeat and playful comic, Tony has been seen across the country at top comedy clubs as well as performing at some of the UK’s major music festivals. With a mischievous and positive style that will get any crowd to warm to his charm.

Not content with just performing Tony started running award nominated comedy nights under the name Trapdoor Comedy Clubs. This allowed him to work with some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit including the likes of Chris Ramsey, Glenn Wool & Jon Richardson to name a few. His comedy clubs also allowed him to establish himself as a very strong an competent MC.

“Undoubtedly funny with a healthy dose of confidence” – Gigglebeats


Book your ticket here.

As always Blizzard Comedy is complete free at point of entry, but we will accept donations on the door via cash or card that will go towards supporting our wonderful performers.

But if you would like to support us you can do that at:
https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy
https://blizzardcomedy.co.uk/support-us/ 

Mabel Slattery and James Ross vs Anna Thomas and David Stanier | BCBA S02 E10

We are committed to keeping our show as accessible as we can – and that means livestreams to anyone who is still vulnerable or simply not near Manchester.

Our next episode of Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche will be on Monday 28th February 2022, broadcast live to our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy

If you’ve missed the episodes we’ve streamed so far, you can find them all on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz8rtSwsjVr-L8FgLCJ0VOQ

Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the other cool stuff we’re working on right now!


This month our show features:

Mabel Slattery

Hailing from a small village in Cornwall, Mabel Slattery is presumed to be the result of a clandestine Pagan ritual in which a hobbit, a kitten, a small whirlwind and a thesaurus were inexpertly combined.

and James Ross

James Ross has won three national comedy awards, all of them
essentially for admin. He runs the superb Quantum Leopard, a commie pinko no-punching-down £pay-what-you-like comedy night in London. He’s been doing comedy for longer than you’ve been alive, provided you are under the age of 13.
“[The] irresistible momentum of a drunk on an obstacle course.” – The Socialist.

with team captain Katie Mitchell

A rising star of the Midlands comedy circuit, Katie Mitchell’s comedy is alternative yet pervasive. She revels in a mainstream stand-up environment, as well as more specific events like cabaret, burlesque, and music festivals.

and

Anna Thomas

“Super refreshing and original in an often comedy sea of beige… one of them with funny bones she is.” – Barking Tales

“Welsh whimsy… one of the UK’s hottest new acts” – Dead Cat Comedy

“Playful and whimsical, Anna Thomas has instant likeability. Anna is definitely an act to watch out for… one of the most promising acts on the North West circuit” – Nodding Dog Comedy

and David Stanier

David Stanier is a silly and nice stand-up comedian and comedy writer. Fun and daft, enthusiastic and unconventional, David always tries his best!

“Stanier has a knowingness behind the daftness…lovely, feelgood stuff” – Chortle

“An earnestly giddy comic with an impressive arsenal of jokes… beautifully, banally silly” – Gigglebeats

“Stanier is a master of the misleading punchline, and by far the most fun performer currently on the North West scene” – Manchester Wire
“Astonishingly fresh, inventive and totally hilarious.” – JFL Comedy

with team captain Thom Bee

Thom is a Manchester-based comedian who began performing comedy in Berlin, Germany in 2015. Trained as a circus performer, and working on the UK circus festival circuit as a compere before transitioning to comedy, Thom has a wide-ranging, approachable and likable style.

“A standup fool, rising like a mighty, hungry dragon on Manchester’s comedy scene.” – Flim Nite, Manchester


As always, our show will be free to watch with a pay-what-you-feel option for contributions which will be split between our acts and team. If you would like to make a donation, you can PayPal us here: paypal.me/blizzardcomedy

Or you can make regular donations by backing us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy

Or you can support us AND get your hands on some delicious merch by checking out our store: https://blizzardcomedy.bigcartel.com/products

Sounds of Our Revolution | January 2022: Anti-Capitalism

Contributed by Jonny Collins


My new year’s resolution was to stop being forced to live under the oppressive and inequitable system of Capitalism. Sad to say I have failed on this front almost immediately.

I could write essays on the many shortcomings of the economic system which has become so thoroughly normalized that even thinking about any alternative will see you dismissed and potentially vilified. But many smarter people than me have written more than I ever could about the context, nuances, and flaws of the basis of modern society, so I won’t patronise you by giving a long-winded and likely poorly thought-out history and analysis.

But on a personal level, I find myself increasingly falling into habits of measuring my worth against the values of capitalism, rather than anything with actual value to me. It’s weird to describe myself as a workaholic, given that I don’t feel that I display that behaviour in my actual job to nearly the same degree as my hobbies. But since running Blizzard Comedy especially, I often struggle to allocate myself proper rest and relaxation time. If I am mentally unable to write or organize or administrate, I won’t relax, I’ll just feel guilty that I’m not doing enough.

Now you could argue this isn’t directly capitalism’s fault, as to say that we don’t take any actual capital off of Blizzard would be a huge understatement. But it is still a part of the narrative and values of capitalism that productivity is the factor that denotes your worth more than anything else. I have no plans to make Blizzard my job, even if it was feasible. But if we lived under at least some kind of social democratic hybrid with our current system where all our needs were met and all of our voices were heard, we would be able to treat our hobbies just as things that we want to do, and not feel obliged to spend all of our free time on them for fear that we’re not taking it seriously enough.

A lot of pro comedians will repeat the line that if you’re truly serious about stand-up as a career, you need to do every gig you can, multiple times a night if you can. You need to be prepared to travel, lose money, and dedicate every waking moment to perfecting your craft.

More recently I think the idea that comedy, like any art or interest, can be whatever you want out of it, and you don’t need to sacrifice your own mental health and enjoyment to be serious at it.

But many people do still view comedy as a grift first and foremost, which does not sit right with me personally. No shade to those comedians. It seems like they know what they want and how to get it, fair play. But there is a tendency among pro and semi-pro comedians to think that anyone who appears to be doing less than you is on some level inferior.

This is a toxic attitude that stems back to capitalism. If you have a minimum wage job with no prospects, that’s on you for not trying hard enough. Anyone earning less than you just isn’t motivated enough. And it can make you feel bitter when you see these people doing things they enjoy. Whether it’s your friend who might owe you a fiver treating themselves to a nice coffee, or God forbid a homeless person buying cigarettes.

Capitalism really brings out the worst in us, and whenever we see those less fortunate or lower down the ladder than us using their money in a way we deem unwise, it can really get in your head, and you begin to see them as deserving of their situations.

Even the best of us fall victim to this, and I encourage you to examine your biases and privileges whenever you find yourself disapproving in these scenarios. Not only is capitalism a deeply flawed economic system hurtling towards its inevitable collapse, but it is also a social poison that turns us against each other and keeps us in check, so revolt isn’t on the table.

I don’t know whether I’ll see the end of capitalism in my lifetime, but in the short term there is a LOT of great anti-capitalist music out there to listen to, to ease the despair that many of us feel after being beaten down all our lives. Here are just some of my favourite Rap, Punk and Metal songs lashing out against the system either explicitly, or taking a more implicit approach of lamenting the inevitable consequences of it.


9-5ers Anthem – Aesop Rock

“Now we the American working population
Hate the fact that eight hours a day
Is wasted on chasing the dream of someone that isn’t us
And we may not hate our jobs
But we hate jobs in general
That don’t have to do with fighting our own causes”

Kicking off this list is a track from possibly my favourite rapper of all time, Aesop Rock. First discovering his song Labor in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, which is probably one of the first rap songs I remember actively liking, many years later I picked up the album which includes this delightful deconstruction of capitalism and the American dream.

Aesop Rock is widely regarded as one of the best lyricists working in hip-hop today, and while that’s not necessarily quantifiably true, he’s definitely up there. He has a way with language that really lends itself to the kind of trancey and introspective vibe that signifies his choice of beats. Smooth, slick, yet very clear. Aesop Rock is the soundtrack to a stream of consciousness. Even his angrier songs are somewhat soothing – which works with this subject matter as it manages to sound like the monotonous 9-5 routine, commute, work, lunch, work, home, too tired to work on your passions, bed, repeat.

It also references another similarly titled classic later on this list as the track fades to a close. No prizes for guessing what that is.


GDP – Bob Vylan

“Yeah, chasing the dream, either make it or steal it
Seems like the choices are take it or deal it
No one need to be told there’s hard times ahead
When it comes crashing down poor people gonna feel it
Let me make it clear: this wretched system isn’t playing fair”

Following up we have a group that’s fast becoming one of my all-time favourites Bob Vylan. I’ve said before, Vylan hit that sweet spot between what I love about UK Punk and Grime, with a really satisfying and heavy political onslaught of lyrical clarity with punk sensibilities.

GDP is one of their newer tracks, kicking off describing the BBC news talking about the GDP, and how that means fuck all to the poorest citizens of the nation. We hear this a lot; rich white people in ties talking about the economy as a hypothetical. Whether it’s doing well or not, that rarely changes the fact that the most impoverished in the country will be just as screwed over.

Fact of the matter is the economy is a fantasy, money isn’t real, but enough people believe it is and benefit from the idea of it that it has the power to dictate oppression. So, seeing all these rich Tory sympathizers discussing economics as a series of mathematics with no real-world implications (or at least none that would affect them) has got to be both infuriating and baffling.

We don’t give a fuck about the GDP, we don’t give a fuck how well the pound is doing, when you’re living meal to meal, constantly at risk of losing your home – it doesn’t matter how rich the country is if the people in it are slowly starving either way. The GDP isn’t doing well? Austerity, closure of services, etc. When is it doing well? Bonuses for the richest, gentrification, building of new services for the rich. The poor foot the bill for rich people’s failures, while they pat themselves on the back.

Fuck the whole concept of finance tbh.


Just Look Around – Sick of it All

Maybe if they weren’t so blind, they’d see what I see
I see the homeless livin’ out on the street
On every corner they’re asking for money
I try to help them whenever I can
But sometimes I can’t afford to help myself
I see diseases and modern plagues of our times
The greed of our leaders has made them blind
To our problems, they spend millions overseas
People right here are fightin’ wars everyday

Next is a band who is new to me called “Sick of it All”, which first of all, mood.

Secondly, this track does not pull punches. Describing in harrowing detail how capitalism and the corruption that stems from it impacts the working classes. From homelessness, plagues, wars, and divide and conquer tactics. This hardcore track says it like it is, and not in the edgy, comedy clubs won’t book me ‘cause I use racial slurs tell it like it is, an actual unaltered reflection of societal problems brought about by capitalism, the kind of things that are dismissed by the 1% and those trying to be the 1%.

Cool band, will definitely be checking out more of their work.


Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochrane

“Well, I called my congressman
And he said, quote:
“I’d like to help you, son
But you’re too young to vote””

Going way back now to the 1958 classic Summertime Blues. It’s rare that I include songs pre 1980s, as finding Blizzard appropriate rebellious anthems that haven’t aged badly or been really problematic in some way or another is very difficult. But I think this track for the most part is still relevant today – if a bit softer than our usual suspects.

Eddie Cochrane had a knack for capturing teenage frustration in the 50s, and sadly died in a road accident not long after this track, which would go on to be his biggest success, and spawn multiple cover versions, including The Beach Boys. This early Rock ‘n’ Roll track depicts a teenager working through the summer to sustain himself and the family – and the catch 22 of needing to work to be able to afford to do nice things, but then being stuck in a job meaning you don’t have the time to do any nice things.

The song finishes off with the quoted particularly pertinent verse, alluding to how political representatives generally ignore the grievances and plight of the youth, as they aren’t old enough to vote, therefore aren’t beneficial to help. I’ve long been an advocate for lowering the voting age to 13, as those who aren’t politically minded simply won’t vote, but those who are will actually be a viable demographic to appease and work for, not just condescend to.

There are logistical arguments against this, but there’s absolutely no reason 15/16-year-olds shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They will be past the age of 18 during an average governmental term and should therefore be given a say in how it’s governed. It’s either that, or have more regular elections, and I don’t think anyone wants that.

It’s a shame Eddie Cochrane died so young. There’s no guarantee that he wouldn’t’ve eventually been bought out by the establishment, but the fact that he didn’t even have a chance to stick to his guns and remain a voice for the oppressed workers everywhere is tragic.


9 to 5 – Dolly Parton

“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living
Barely gettin’ by, it’s all taking and no giving
They just use your mind, and they never give you credit
It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it”

I’m ashamed that I never picked up the irony and disdain in this song when I was younger. I always just assumed this was a commercial song trying to get people to celebrate their own oppression. But far too late I realized that this is a subversive song undermining capitalism, or at very least the power structures and misogyny it enables.

9 to 5 isn’t a celebration, it’s an ironically jumpy and catchy beat, whilst lyrically lamenting how the higher ups take advantage of base level staff to profit and take credit, whilst not sharing any of that with the workers who actually made it possible. This is particularly an issue with women, as even today many workplaces have horrendous gender equality records, with the highest paying execs being almost exclusively white men, while the women mostly occupy the lowest level roles, and are expected to be grateful.

But it is more than that, whilst if you look like someone who could be an exec (white and male) you have better chances of promotion, you’re still mostly likely to have the value of your labour undersold and manipulated to make other people richer.

In this song, Dolly advocates for climbing your own ladder and fulfilling your own dreams, which isn’t exactly the smash the system vibe we usually go for, but honestly even if it’s not the most aggressive critique of capitalism, it is a fucking bop, and there’s no way you’d have forgiven me if I didn’t include it.


Oligarchy – Space Monkey Mafia

Been a while since I’ve been able to put this on a playlist! Can’t remember when this was originally included, probably the anti-corruption playlist back in 2020 – but it is very fitting here.

An oligarchy is a system where a small exclusive group of people have control. In this case the small group of people are the billionaires who control large portions of the media and have ins with most high-level politicians, meaning that even in the event of evicting the Tories from Downing Street, the same people will still be getting what they want.

The fact is, whatever we say, the UK and the US are oligarchies with lots of different faces. Sure, there’s elements of democracy to give the electorate the illusion of choice, but realistically the richest people will always get what they want. Whilst we’re living under capitalism, there isn’t really a way to stop that. Even if someone were to carefully legislate against it somehow, there will always be incentive for people to take bribes- sorry, “donations” from high profile donors in exchange for policy change.

The only way to stop this corruption, would be to abolish capitalism. And I don’t think that’s likely to happen in Parliament or Congress.


Cockroach King – Haken

“Hypnotized by the cockroach and its promise
I was compromised by a treasure
That was fit for fools”

I’m so excited I get to use this song. It’s one of my all-time favourites, and I didn’t even realize it was about capitalism, or more specifically greed until Genius helped me out.

Being a prog song, there is a lot to unpack here, and I won’t bore you with all the details, but it is steeped in imagery and metaphor, the eponymous “cockroach” being a representation of capitalism and riches – lots of references to characters and instances where getting rich, wanting more wealth was a curse more than a blessing: The Great Gatsby, King Midas, Dune, as well as the song “The Grand Illusion” by Styx.

The song alludes to the desire to be a “Self-made man” and rags to riches – but the presence of the cockroach is always looming, and the music is haunting and jarring, so that rather than having excited determination at achieving these goals, it is foreboding, and the fate for this path has long been decided.

Another cool thing this song does is alter certain refrains earlier in the song at the end, coming full circle. “Golden Wings to Fly” become “Blackened Wings to fly, burning ashes of the hunter, scattered in the sky”; “An Empire built on guile and greed” becomes “An empire falling to its knees”.

This song depicts a journey, of the naïve soul dreaming of capitalistic success, only to discover that to achieve that they have been choking out the working classes, and there is no wealth without oppression, and that infinite growth isn’t sustainable. Sooner or later the empire will fall. By its nature, this system cannot go indefinitely, it will crash at some point, and each individual capitalist success is a microcosm of what will happen to the whole society unless we abandon the fruitless endeavour of endless economic growth before its too late.

(Spoilers, it’s probably already too late.)

A truly unique and addictive track, taking elements of jazz into a modern prog masterpiece that I just can’t stop revisiting. It’s a niche sound, I’ll admit, but those who do like this kind of thing will adore this track. And if you don’t, don’t worry, it’s only like … 8 minutes long, just go have a long poo and come back for the next track.


Gandhi Mate Gandhi – Enter Shikari

“Yabba dabba do one son, we don’t want you rules
Who you fooling son, we’ve got all the tools
We need to build a whole new system
To correct these flaws”

Unless you’re new to our shows and these playlists, you should know by now that Enter Shikari are far more than that *clap clap clap* song and one-hit wonders you may have thought they were back in the later 2000s. Gandhi Mate Gandhi (which is like 10 years old now, holy shit, aaa I’m so old) starts off with a rising electro beat and a monologue about everything that’s wrong with the current system, before one of the most satisfying drops in both Dubstep and Metalcore.

The song that continues as an argument between the band, and capitalist bootlickers. The highlight for me being this quoted lyric “Yabba dabba do one son” is the best phrase anyone has ever coined, and we all need to start using it whenever another Corbyn is dismissed as a communist or we’re told that there is no viable alternative to capitalism.

It is upsetting that after a decade, despite tracks like this, we’ve still not built a whole new system to correct all the flaws, we should really get on that. Chop chop.

Seriously though, this song is a beautiful takedown of capitalism, that never fails to re-motivate me, no matter how bleak the political situation may seem, give it a listen.


Under the Rotting Pizza – Nobuo Uematsu

I was in two minds about including an FF7 track after Square Enix’s totally tone deaf and harrowing New Year’s message, indicating a plan to dive headfirst into NFT gaming despite the environmental, social, and scammy implications this entails. I can’t be bothered to go into details here, but I imagine if you’ve bought into NFTs, you’re probably not reading this, so I’ll just assume you’ve read, listened to or watched someone much more informed and coherent than me explaining why they’re so bad and carry on.

I ended up including this, as Nobuo is technically a freelance composer now, and while he still does some work with the company, I’m confident enough that he doesn’t share the same values. This should be evident that the entirety of Final Fantasy VII is a critique of capitalism, but since when has that stopped artists disappointing us before?

I wanted to include this track, as to me the “Rotting Pizza” section of Midgar illustrates the disconnect between classes under capitalism so beautifully.

First of all, the working classes are literally underneath the main city where all the corporate buildings are. Shinra are literally on top of you at all times, and you are looking up at them, and they are looking down at you. When Shinra decide to drop one of these plates onto the slums in an attempt to turn people against Avalanche, without caring about the casualties, this too is a dark depiction of the broken system this playlist is critiquing.

I can’t think of many RPGs that have tackled this topic with such brutal imagery before or since (do recommend me some, I’d be interested to play them). And also, Nobuo’s compositions are breath-taking, and if I can squeeze one in anyway, you bet your damn butt I will.


That One Percent – The Human Project

“That one percent that live above us all,
kept in power ‘til the blues do fall.
As the rich get richer, and leave the rest to rot,
it’s the working class that foot the bill regardless of if they can or not.”

I feel like I’ve talked about this song enough, and the title should say it all, but yes, surprise surprise “That One Percent” is a critique of capitalism, who’d’ve thunk it?

Like any good punk this track has concise lyrics that sum up the issues in less than a paragraph. As I’ve alluded to in previous segments, the 1% will throw all of us under the bus if it’ll help them out of a tight spot, but we never see any of the benefits when things are going well thanks to our work. We’re kept just satisfied enough that we keep working, but not so much that it impacts them.

The instrumentation is also great, as always with this band. If you like your punk melodic and fast, then these guys are definitely for you.


Third Class Coffin – The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing

“Now my journey to the afterlife has been quite fraught
Because a third-class coffin ticket was all I bought
No, I couldn’t afford a send-off with style and class
And the necropolis company can’t be arsed!”

More punk now, but closer to the crust variety with a steampunk flavour. TMTWNBBFN, as you will know if you’re a fan, are very good at discussing contemporary political issues through allegory based on Victorian politics and society. While the details are different, the general structure is largely the same.

This song is based on a real phenomenon in those times, where the class system extends to death. (Arguably it still does, although in slightly more subtle ways.)

Third Class Coffins, unlike their expensive counterparts were treated more like dead meat than people. While 1st and Second-class coffins had some dignity and comfort for the mourners, third class coffins were just piled onto the backs of trains, to be disposed of as easily as possible, no mourners allowed, no care, no dignity.

This particularly gruesome idea really hammers home just how fucked up our class system is. The upper classes get everything, the middle classes get a more modest but still comfortable experience, while the working class are treated as an inconvenience and only ever dealt with as obligation. Not only is no effort put in, but effort into making things worse for them is.

Whilst not as explicit in today’s class system, the gap between the working class and upper classes keeps widening, and while state funerals aren’t quite as ruthless these days, the differences between the 1% who are often treated like deities, and the poor who are just processed and forgotten as quickly as possible is striking.

A person’s worth should not be based on their capital standing, I can’t believe this needs reiterating.


It Can Be Done – Redskins

“Look at Petrograd!
Look at Barcelona
Fight against the land
Fight against the land & the factory owners
Same fight today against another ruling class
Learn a lesson from your past”

Closing off once again with “It Can Be Done”; a song all about worker revolutions of the past and how we should learn from history and repeat it. And we absolutely should.

(Don’t be put off by the band name, it’s based on a British slang term for socialist skinheads, not related to the racist term for native Americans. I’d like them to change their name, but they’ve not been together for over 30 years, so I’m just letting it slide.)

This was a hard playlist to compile, as there is a thin line between songs against capitalism, and songs against consumerism. These do overlap of course, but I find the latter tends to be more patronizing and places the onus of blame on the victim, rather than the system that manipulates them into the behaviour.

For that reason, as much as I love it, there is no Between Angels and Insects by Papa Roach. A few other songs lost the cut for similar reasons, just because I felt that even if they had some clever and insightful lyrics, their direction was misguided, and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel bad for treating themselves to material possessions and things which spark joy, just because the system I’m criticising thrives off of it.

You’re allowed to enjoy things, and while we’re stuck under capitalism, you may as well buy things that make you happy.


Our next stream is on the 31st January, with team captains Kirstie Summers & Katie Mitchell, guests Jonathan Murray, Jake Pickford, Kieran Lawless & Eleanor Morton, and myself hosting. You can also get tickets to our next (hopefully) live show on the 7th February with Raul Kohli, Sophie G Collins, Edward Roworth & Thom Bee, with guest host Bobbie Jones here.

You can listen to the full playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

Blizzard Comedy LIVE, featuring Raul Kohli

We have had a brief break due to COVID concerns, but we have optimistically booked our next live show on Monday 7th February 2022!

Tickets are free but we recommend booking to secure your place: https://www.ticketweb.uk/event/blizzard-comedy-live-featuring-raul-gullivers-tickets/11688415/

We’ll be at Gullivers from 7pm with this incredible line-up, featuring some Blizzard faves.

Featuring:

Raul Kohli

Raul Kohli has fast become one of the most captivating acts on the circuit. As one of the few select Asians to have grown up in the far north of England (Newcastle Upon Tyne, he’s been blessed with a Worldview that upends ethnicity, culture and class. Combining ‘Superb political comedy’ (The Scotsman) with surreal storytelling; in a few short years, Raul Kohli has risen to the top.

https://twitter.com/RaulKohliComic/

Supported by:

Sophie G Collins

Sophie was brought up to see the good in the world and to enjoy bad puns. Then she became an adult and noticed the world was on fire. She got angry, got tired, she got into comedy. The result is a pinch of the apocalypse, a hefty glug of feminism, and an embarrassment of cheap gags.

Edward Roworth

The premier surreal, prop-based comedy act from his house, nay, home, it’s safe to say if he were King Arthur, he would have pulled the sword from the stone, because that’s what King Arthur did.

You can read more about King Arthur in T. H. White’s masterpiece, “The Once and Future King”.

and Thom Bee

Thom is a Manchester-based comedian who began performing comedy in Berlin, Germany in 2015. Trained as a circus performer, and working on the UK circus festival circuit as a compere before transitioning to comedy, Thom has a wide-ranging, approachable and likable style.

“A complete enigma with a new, mental story everytime I see them” – Trapdoor Comedy

Featuring special guest host Bobbie Jones

A combination of Dad Jokes and Daddy Issues, Bobbie-Ann Jones is one of the funniest prediabetic queers ever to come from Wolverhampton. She once made her counsellor cry and laugh at the same time, and she’s still proud of it. Is often seen carrying a single chocolate bar in a Sainsburys bag for life and rocking a killer rack.

“One To Watch” – Funny Women 2017

https://www.facebook.com/BobbieJonesComedy

As always Blizzard Comedy is complete free at point of entry, but we will accept donations on the door via cash or card that will go towards supporting our wonderful performers.


Book your free ticket here.

Eleanor Morton and Jake Pickford v Jonathan Murray and Kieran Lawless | Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche | S02 E09

Live entertainment is kinda back, but we’ve enjoyed our livestreams so much that we’re sticking with them!

The first episode of Broadcast Avalanche of 2022 will be broadcast live on Monday 31st January!

We’ll broadcast our next episode to our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy

If you’ve missed the episodes we’ve streamed so far, you can find them all on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz8rtSwsjVr-L8FgLCJ0VOQ

Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the other cool stuff we’re working on right now!


This month our show features:

Eleanor Morton

Eleanor Morton is a Scottish stand-up, writer and actor who started performing stand-up when she was 18 years old. She is also a performer with the award-winning London comedy groups Weirdos and Comedian’s Cinema Club, and a board-member of alternative night ACMS.

and Jake Pickford

Jake Pickford has been performing stand up comedy live on stage across the UK and USA since 2012 and finds joy in bringing others joy. Jake also streams on Twitch.

with team captain Kirstie Summers

Our admin and promotor from day one, Kurt has become a regular feature of Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche over the past year. In that time she’s launched a new show where she chats to comedians, musicians and other creators every week, has cycled all over London and moved house twice.

“Too attractive” – Chris

https://twitter.com/ActuallyKurt

and

Jonathan Murray

Jonathan ‘Jono’ Murray is a scouse comedian and front man for the spoken word punk band Austerity Dogs.

“Razor sharp scouse wit combined with superbly crafted storytelling. Jono skirts the edges of morality with his madcap tales and leaves the audience craving more” – Sian Davies

and Kieran Lawless

Kieran is an Irish comedian now based in Manchester. He has worked in comedy clubs across Ireland and the UK including supporting Patrick Kielty in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre. He has appeared on RTE television twice as a Stand Up and has scooped a number of New Comedian awards.

“exceedingly entertaining, highly energised and side splittingly funny” – northwestend.co.uk

with team captain Katie Mitchell

A rising star of the Midlands comedy circuit, Katie Mitchell’s comedy is alternative yet pervasive. She revels in a mainstream stand-up environment, as well as more specific events like cabaret, burlesque, and music festivals.


As always, our show will be free to watch with a pay-what-you-feel option for contributions which will be split between our acts and team. If you would like to make a donation, you can PayPal us here: paypal.me/blizzardcomedy
Or you can make regular donations by backing us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy

Or you can support us AND get your hands on some delicious merch by checking out our store: https://blizzardcomedy.bigcartel.com/products

Sound of our Revolution | December 2021: Best of 2021

Contributed by Jonny Collins


Well, here we are. The end of quite possibly one of the toughest years of my life, and judging by the general vibe on social media, the sentiment is largely shared. 2020 was an unprecedented disaster with glimmers of hope at the end of the tunnel. 2021 took that hope, shat on it, threw it in your face, then got you arrested for stealing its shit and wearing it indecently on your face.

I think we’re passed the point of looking forward to the future, but we can certainly say good riddance to the past, and send it off with a look at one of the few good things to come out of this year: The music.

No matter what kind of music you’re into – Pop, Hip-Hop, Rock, Metal, Punk, etc. – there has been some fucking phenomenal output this year both from veteran heavy hitters and newcomers taking the world by storm.

So let’s take this time to reminisce on the greatest anarchic punk, raw hip-hop, empowering pop, and all around superb Blizzard Comedy approved music from 2021.

(And some from 2020 – because I didn’t realize they were too old until I’d already crafted the playlist, and I didn’t want to start from scratch, so they’re staying.)


Track 1: Smile
Artist: Shea Diamond
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: R&B
Release Date: 28/06/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln3HOozzef4
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/3FsyMk1uhRnZrcdGDmZF8x?si=db9b7b900c854752

“I live my life for a price
To survive through the night every night
Ooh, change my groove, different moves
Want the moon, I’ma do what I do even if you don’t like it”

It felt right to kick off this playlist with a song whose title makes you do just that.

Smile is an upbeat Jazzy R&B anthem from one of the most iconic musicians you may not yet have heard of. Just a quick look at her Wikipedia and you’ll see that Shea Diamond has had one hell of a life. Imprisoned for 10 years for robbing a convenience store at gunpoint to pay for her gender affirmation surgery, only then to go on to write possibly the best Trans-Femme anthem of all time “I am Her”.

This song may rub some people up the wrong way with the line “If I can Smile, baby you can too. If I can smile, you’ve got no excuse” – but after reading even a paragraph of her history and experiences in and out of the men’s correctional facility over a decade, and her punishments of humiliation, isolation, and aggressive misgendering; honestly, if anyone has a write to sing this lyric, she does.

There will be people out there who may be going through worse things, and misery shouldn’t be competitive, you can be having a better time than others and still struggle, but I think it’s important to hear this line in the context of the song as something uplifting and inspiring, and not belittling. If you don’t have a smile on your face during this song, then I really do hope you’re getting the help and support you need, as you are loved and valuable. ❤


Track 2: MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)
Artist: Lil Nas-X
Album: Montero
Genre Hip-Hop
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://youtu.be/6swmTBVI83k
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/7JvmJDDMZMvWaWARsWK9Da?si=35cef03d39a64d9a
Streaming & Downloads: https://lilnasx.lnk.to/MonteroAlbum

“Oh, call me by your name (mmm, mmm, mmm)
Tell me you love me in private
Call me by your name (mmm, mmm, mmm)
I do not care if you lying”

Oh come on, you knew at least one track from this album was going to be on this list. For a while I was actually going to go with Industry Baby as a big fuck you to the record industry that Lil Nas X played like a fucking legend this year, but in the end I opted for Montero for two reasons:

  1. Jack Harlow’s verse ruins Industry Baby.
  2. As pointed out by many music critics, Montero is not only a fucking banger of a song, it’s possibly the first Number 1 hit, not just with gay undertones, but explicitly depicting homosexual lust. In 2021. Even for the more progressive record labels out there this is a fucking achievement. Not to mention the iconic music video (side note, Lil Nas X might be one of the greatest visual artists of all time – his outfits, his moves, the direction of his videos, absolutely perfect) where he slides down a stripper pole to hell, only to give a lap dance to the devil, before breaking his neck and stealing his crown. This not so subtle reference to American Christian Right’s homophobic rhetoric about gay people going to hell pissed off all the right people for all the wrong reasons. Truthfully, the imagery is secondary to simply existing as a young, openly gay black man to them. Even Old Town Road had backlash from the Country charts for reasons that I’m sure had nothing to do with the fact that a Gen Z black man had made managed to make country music culturally relevant in popular music again after over a decade of boring white men trying and failing to do the same.

I could go on and on for the reasons that Lil Nas X is a queer icon and how I’m both pleased and jealous that future generations get to grow up with him in the world, but I’m clearly preaching to the converted here. This whole album is incredible, and even despite some of the more underwhelming collaborations on the album, this is a strong contender for album of the year, no doubt about it.


Track 3: 3 O’clock Things
Artist: AJR
Album: OK Orchestra
Genre: Indie
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1noRCUvsrM
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0hxRyDVC61KlZGS6m2Min4?si=4867b77c02794e85
Streaming & Downloads:  https://ajr.lnk.to/okorchestra

“Stay out of politics, stay on the fence
Stay out of all of it to keep half your fans
Isn’t this obvious? Am I insane?
There might be two sides to everything that you say
It’s all a bit cloudy but there’s one thing I know
That if you’re fucking racist then don’t come to my show”

AJR represent everything that 16-year-old me would have hated about pop-rock. From the stripped back musicianship, to the bland appearances, to some of the more cringe-inducing lyrics. There is no reason on earth I should like this band.

But despite all odds, I fucking adore them. A true testament to how much my attitude to music has improved since my late teens.

AJR Aren’t exactly anything extraordinary, but what they are is fucking good musicians, who are very clearly making the content they want to make and having fun with it, with unapologetic political messaging to boot.

This song is about a lot of things, not all of them political, but the political verses are the best – lamenting about how, in order to be successful, record execs and fans alike will tell them to just stay out of politics and stick to playing music. They then proceed to incorporate the least subtle lyric in the history of non-subtle lyrics of “If you’re fucking racist then don’t come to my show.” Before a really funky horn outro.

AJR might not be cool to your average Metalhead or Punk – but despite an arguably watered down and accessible approach to music – they certainly have more Punk sensibilities in their lyrics than many of the best Punk bands of the 70s and 80s in its peak. The sooner you realize that Punk isn’t a musical style, and an ideology and approach to art, the sooner you become an adult.


Track 4: Girl Clout
Artist: Fresh
Album: The Summer I Got Good At Guitar
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 09/03/2021
Nominated by: Thom Bee
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/2xIJQK1drHR14ua2aiVeXP
BandCamp:
https://freshpunks.bandcamp.com/album/the-summer-i-got-good-at-guitar

“I didn’t pour my heart out
For you to fancy me
We didn’t drive for hours
To idolise your greed”

Girl Clout was nominated for our Intersectional Feminist playlist a couple of months back. I don’t know if Riot Grrl is seeing a resurgence this year, or if it was always here and I was just out of touch, but there is a LOT of great feminist punk right now.

Girl Clout is all about a certain brand of “Male Feminist” Punk act who try and use all girl or female fronted bands to try to give them credibility in Feminist circles, whilst also being creepy and playing with power dynamics to hit on (usually younger and less experienced) girls in the scene. Trying to get “Girl Clout” as it were.

Nice short and catchy track putting boy punks in their place. Love it.


Track 5: Boys Will Be Girls
Artist: Bones UK
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: Industrial
Release Date: 11/11/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l98iqIbftJQ
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/4udlUigO56yYlO51LJkDAO?si=e7302657306742ed

“Why do you wanna talk about gender for?
Everybody here is on a different floor
Boys will be girls, girls will be boys effortlessly
Come as you are, come as you want, completely”

Wanna shoutout to BCBA regular Ela Bambust for drawing my attention to these folks with their song “Creature” for I think the “Pride is a Protest” playlist in June. Bones UK are a great Industrial Rock outfit, but rather than taking the Marilyn Manson route of using androgyny to shock whilst being incredibly misogynistic and abusive to everyone, they instead release this gender non-conforming anthem.

I don’t even need to deep dive these lyrics, it’s very clear – and the music video of them on a motorcycle being generally sexy and gender ambiguous is bound to appeal to the thirsty homosexuals we have watching our shows, so definitely check it out.


Track 6: I Heard You Want Your Country Back
Artist: Bob Vylan
Album: We Live Here (Deluxe)
Genre: Punk/Grime
Release Date: 12/02/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/5hsdqc81tRXNpdKfTZu77J?autoplay=true
Bandcamp: https://bobvylan.bandcamp.com/album/we-live-here-deluxe-2

“I heard you want your country back
Well shit, me too
You stole it right outta my hands
And pulled the rug right under my feet”

Okay, this might be a cheat entry – as technically this album is from 2020 – however the Deluxe Edition was released earlier this year, so go fuck yourselves I’m including this terrific bonus track from “We Live Here”

It’s not my favourite song off the album, but it’s not far off. Bob Vylan combine everything I love about UK Grime and “Oi!” Punk. It feels disingenuous to call them a Nu Metal, Rap Metal or Trap Metal band, as the blend of British Anarcho-Punk and London hip-hop is so smooth and beautifully pulled off, that all the negative connotations of the aforementioned genres are highly unworthy of this band.

This track tackles with the Brexiteers’ rhetoric of getting their country back, with a simple intro that just repeats the lines “I heard you want your country back? Shut the fuck up. I heard you want your country back? Nu-uh, you can’t have that” with a rising bassline and dirty beat – leading to a verse about wanting his country back from the gammon that have been demolishing it for at least the last decade by continuing to vote for corrupt Tory politicians who are slowly stripping away everything good about the country to enrich their friends.

A short track, but one that packs so much punch you’ll find yourself winded just by listening to it. Try to remain conscious for the rest of the playlist though, it’s pretty great.


Track 7: You Can Only Try Your Best
Artist: Knife Club
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 18/02/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/57WhL8uLTIoKOS9KmBSoZh?si=4013e6757c20445f
BandCamp: https://knifeclubpunk.bandcamp.com/track/you-can-only-try-your-best-2

There’s only so much I can write for each of these songs. Knife Club are experts at encapsulating very simple concepts in few words, so I’ll do the same.

You can only try your best, and that’s enough. Work hard, fight the good fight, but don’t over exert yourself. You’re too important to burn yourself out for anything or anyone.

If we are fighting together, which we are, we’ll have more than enough of us to cover for if and when you need a break or are unable to carry on, on the frontlines. We got this.


Track 8: Why Must A Building Burn?
Artist: Maximo Park
Album: Nature Always Wins
Genre: Indie
Release Date: 26/02/2021
Nominated by: Jake Donaldson
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/2hR8cb1GFqK3BUYWke7P70?si=0729ffd0c5f84bc0
Merch: https://maximopark.tmstor.es/

“Why must a building burn
Before a lesson is learned?”

In case it wasn’t obvious, this track is about the 2017 manslaughter at Grenfell Tower. (I refuse to say Tragedy, because Tragedy implies it was an unpreventable accident, not gross negligence in a disgusting capitalist attempt to increase arbitrary profit margins at the expense of working class rights and safety.)

Jake Donaldson is a frequent contributor to these playlists, and it’s always Maximo Park. I’ll be honest they’re not typically the kind of music I’m super into – but despite musically lacking punch – that does not apply lyrically. And sometimes that blend works. The music has that kind of indie/space rock/trance vibe that makes you feel like you’re floating through the music, much more akin to feel good or maybe introspective themes rather than socio-political.

What makes this track work specifically, is that yes, it is an angry reaction to the factors that caused this crime, but it’s a reflection on the human cost of exploitative capitalism. Cut corners to maximize profits and lower expenditures without a care for the human consequences. This song makes an effort to humanize the slaughter; which gives it an eerie melancholy feel with the ambient indie backing.

It’s the epitome of “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed”. There comes a point where anger reaches a point that you just don’t have the energy anymore, you flip out into depressed apathy, and that’s where this song sits.

What makes it especially bad is that we still haven’t really learned or done anything. We’re still several years away from projected dates to remove and replace the cladding in similar towers all over the country. We will literally have to have at least one other general election before this work will be done. Which judging by recent trends, means we will have worked through about 7 more Tory Leadership contests, and at least 3 new copy/paste Labour leaders. Sigh.


Track 9: I am not a woman, I’m a god
Artist: Halsey
Album: If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
Genre: Electropop
Release Date: 27/08/2021
Nominated By: Ray-Ray McPrice
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Azv0G85lh8
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/5RhFmJifQe83FpQ6ZFFTZ5?si=9281112745044503
Download: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/if-i-cant-have-love-i-want-power/1574984039

“I am not a woman, I’m a god
I am not a martyr, I’m a problem
I am not a legend, I’m a fraud
So keep your heart ’cause I already got one”

I adore this track, I am not a woman I’m a god has such an earworm of a beat, “I am not a martyr, I’m a problem” is a superb line, and Halsey’s slightly breathy voice lends itself well to the sentiment.

Rather than me going on about it however, we have some words from the songs nominator Ray-Ray McPrice:

So, I’m a big fan of Halsey to begin with. Their music is thoughtful and darkly poetic, with an incredibly unique voice in both song writing and vocals. (Pretty much my entire Spotify Unwrapped revolved around Halsey, so… yeah, I might be biased. Apparently I was in their 0.1% of listeners??)

Heard on its own, ‘I am not a woman, I’m a god’ is such an impactful song – you could almost read it as a non-binary empowerment anthem, and yet it has this real undercurrent of menacing chaos. As a part of its parent album (‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’), that undercurrent is devastatingly strong; the album (and it’s accompanying film) is about the often bleak reality of being an AFAB person in a world where control over your own narrative is a rarity.

I imagine many other non-binary people can find affinity in a story where your body is simultaneously a weapon and a curse, and where even your strongest, “scream my truth from the rooftop” moments are tinged with self-doubt (if not complete erasure). It’s a song that balances a powerful emotional experience and its own place in a wider story – as well as just being incredibly fun to listen to.


Track 10: Make Good Art
Artist: Chris Catalyst Feat. Neil Gaiman
Album: Kaleidoscopes
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Nominated By: Sean Byrne

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/6TvZ0egUElZblWHVyRqcmB?si=d75d43bc1466438e
BandCamp:
https://chriscatalyst.bandcamp.com/album/kaleidoscopes

“You have the ability to make art
The one thing that you have, that nobody else has, is YOU
Your voice
Your mind
Your story
Your vision”

Bit of a soppy one, this. Taken from the works of Neil Gaiman, and featuring his voice, Make Good Art is a mantra he inspires. This is almost as good as that one speech from the end of Ratatouille. High praise from me.


Track 11: Morbid Obsessions
Artist: We Are The Union
Album: Ordinary Life
Genre: Ska
Release Date: 24/04/2021
Nominated By: Kirstie Summers
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZyUlhl8yYI
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/22gBwKtpb1qgBNS7l5feMh?si=0586b540633f4ba7
BandCamp:
https://wearetheunion.bandcamp.com/album/ordinary-life

“Let go of these morbid obsessions
Every thought feels like a confession
She said, she said, she said
If I get one life, gonna do what I want”

This entire album was a blessing to come out of this year. I can’t remember who initially got me into this band, as both my partner and Kirstie got into them around the same time – but Kirstie nominated them for our Trans playlist, so here’s what she has to say on it:

The music video for We Are The Union’s Morbid Obsession might be best example I can imagine of monsters-as-queer-representation actually done well. The theme of the song works so well with the zombie iconography, creating a really profound question, “why be dead when I could just be myself?”

This is all played out under an upbeat, bright ska tune that has way more depth than you might think if you only caught it in passing. Not just this song but the entire Ordinary Life album engages with some of today’s harshest issues in a way that is deeply personal to the band and makes them enormously accessible, even if you’re privileged enough to never experience them personally.

Between having the support of her band and community in performing with genuine authenticity and vulnerability, Reade Walcott shines on this album.


Track 12: Fish And Chips
Artist: Lady Parts
Album: We Are Lady Parts (Music From The Original Series)
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/6MMQK2Ghr4VfjtWvV4ujYX?si=fddabd85a949460b
Download: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Parts-Music-Original-Explicit/dp/B095B6GRWV

“Broken by the empire, raised by MTV
Misfit of the motherland, still fish and chips for tea”

Seriously, if you haven’t seen Channel 4’s criminally under-appreciated new sitcom “We are Lady Parts” get on it. If you’re a fan of Spinal Tap, Flight of the Conchords, or anything in-between, this will be great for you. A modern take on the rock sitcom – a loving pastiche of both Riot Grrl punk and Islam, in a way that shows a deep love and appreciation for both.

I struggled to pick one song to really showcase how great the show is, and sadly there’s only 6 – two of which are covers. In the end I went for Fish and Chips, one of the more understated tracks as it doesn’t really tie into the plot, but it is a great showcase for the values of the show and the experience of British-Muslim Millennials.

Check out the full album and series though. It’s well worth your time, and the kind of show I wish I was capable of producing.


Track 13: Pest
Artist: Goat Girl
Album: On All Fours
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 29/01/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3MMaaMFd9O5tdFV2fLUBp4?si=e57dd99fb6ab429b
BandCamp: https://goatgirl.bandcamp.com/album/on-all-fours

“Pest from the west
Drums on his chest
And sucks from the tee-tee
You’re one of those pests
The pest from the west”

This playful song’s lyrics are a parody of when we decided to call a certain snowstorm “The Beast from the East” – which Goat Girl rightly point out is a weirdly racist way to describe a natural phenomenon. Thus Pests from the West was born – and is a very apt way to describe the way the West has behaved historically.


Track 14: Frantic
Artist: Andy B & The World
Album: The First One
Genre: Ska
Release Date: 17/01/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpD4oG9kCTo
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0KCVCkCnFsnwM2DJcrzBfv?si=d1a4e53ed86e4fdd
BandCamp: https://andybandtheworld.bandcamp.com/releases

“Angry men in angry times
mollycoddled boys in pressed
white shirts and ties
they are vocal they are loud
but they’re not saying anything
worth writing about”

It was so hard picking just one track from one of the most ambitious Ska crossover projects I have ever heard of. Andy B & The World isn’t just a band, it’s a producer’s worldwide journey, collaborating with Ska, Punk & Reggae musicians from all different parts of the world, to create an album that doesn’t really have a consistent through-line – but is a celebration of all things Ska, and the sensibilities therein.

Despite having many eligible tracks that could be considered one of the best of the year, I ended up going for Frantic. It’s not necessarily better than Protesting, Change the World or Black and Blue – but it is the one that I find in my head rent free – as I keep expecting the rhyme to be “Angry men in angry ties” and no matter how many times I hear that line, my brain keeps auto-filling it.

This song is about toxic masculinity, incels and MRA rhetoric and how damaging it can be if we don’t defend against it. Not much more to say really – also it’s got a catchy as fuck brass hook, what’s not to love?


Track 15: Raise My Glass
Artist: Wonk Unit
Album: Uncle Daddy
Genre: Indie
Release Date: 01/01/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY5gVqMb_Bg
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/1o9NMZ9SxT2jSmJ3XhOus6?si=c086b6fccd844c12
BandCamp: https://radgirlfriendrecords.bandcamp.com/album/uncle-daddy

“Every year that passes I raise a glass to another one without you”

Not typically a Blizzard track in terms of lyrical content – not really being about bigger picture social-politics – but this is an absolute banger about celebrating another New Year’s Eve away from your abusive and toxic ex, which I think may resonate with a number of you.

I know a lot of couples who broke up over lockdown for various reasons, some of them were a surprise and kind of sad, but a lot of them were a lucky escape for people who deserved so much better. This song touches on the slight melancholy of former relationships, while also being an unambiguous celebration of life being better now.

This is hardly ground-breaking territory for rock music to tread, but I don’t think many songs handle it as elegantly and as simply as this one does. If you’ve ever ended a difficult long term relationship knowing it was the right thing but still breaking your own heart in the process – this song will hit hard and be incredibly comforting.


Track 16: Kill The Rich
Artist: Vindicator
Album: Communal Decay
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release Date: 01/10/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0ku1iwLAfiNOdI1KmP2B5i?si=865eab2f929c496d
BandCamp: https://vindicator.bandcamp.com/

Do I need to explain this title?


Track 17: Rotten Dichotomy
Artist: The Best of the Worst
Album: Better Medicine
Genre: Ska core
Release Date: 19/02/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/51B5WmDKFkjQ5K3BGpCMUZ?si=8ea53029ba374a37
BandCamp: https://thebestoftheworst.bandcamp.com/album/better-medicine

“Conditioned to believe the duality is real
It’s time to let the bigots be taken down by the misfits
We will not agree to secede, this is our fucking time
As your generation crumbles, ours will begin to rise”

Turns out this song is actually a 2020 track, whoops. I was first aware of it from the Better Medicine album however, which wasn’t released until Feb this year, so I’m counting it.

Hardcore Ska celebrating non-binary genders and serving as a generational anthem. This song is a strong contender for the heaviest track on the playlist, and yet it still has some of the funkiest horn sections I’ve ever heard. What a blend.


Track 18: Pill Popper
Artist: Limp Bizkit
Album: Still Sucks
Genre: Rap Metal
Release Date: 31/10/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/6krguPvOCqY3vNfrr0W71T?si=a2151745a20d44a3

“It’s no secret that our governments have fostered a culture of corruption
In which special interest and big donors advance their interests
At the expense of everyday people
The pharmaceutical industry does not create cures
They create customers”

Honestly, apart from that sample at the beginning, this song has no reason being on this list – but there was 0 chance I was going to create this playlist without a track from the latest Limp Bizkit album.

I think I’ve gone too deep into the irony. The album isn’t even good, it’s fairly average at best from a band who haven’t been good for nearly 2 decades. Yet I can’t stop loving them for some reason.

I was born in 1995, meaning I’m right on the cusp of Gen Z – but my inexplicable love for Limp Bizkit firmly cements the millennial in me. No self respecting Gen Z would even listen to this album, let alone pick a track for a year end playlist. What is wrong with me?


Track 19: Nowhere Generation
Artist: Rise Against
Album: Nowhere Generation
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 18/03/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75S5PDXTEVQ
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/6krguPvOCqY3vNfrr0W71T?si=c972d3a555434262
BandCamp: https://riseagainst.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-generation

“We are the nowhere generation
We are the kids that no one wants
We are a credible threat to the rules you set
A cause to be alarmed
We are not the names that we’ve been given
We speak a language you don’t know
We are the nowhere generation”

Rise Against are all Gen X’ers in their 40s. So it’s arguably a bit rich that they kick off their new album claiming to be “The Nowhere generations…the kids that no one wants”. Even by the loosest definition of “Kids”, you’re about a decade out of it.

That being said, they have done what they do best and fully capture that teenage/20s rebellious attitude in a world that’s increasingly against them and indeed the entirety of the human race.

This track oozes Gen Z energy – and I’m not sure whether it’s meant to, or whether it’s meant to be a retroactive song about their own generation, or even their generation of fans who are mostly Millennials. The fact is this song is vague enough to be applicable to all of them, and it’ll only get more relevant with each new generation.

Kudos Rise Against. I’m 26 and I find myself struggling to keep myself relevant to the current generation of kids, yet well into your 40s you’re still releasing generational anthems twice removed from your own. That takes talent.


Track 20: GlitchGang
Artist: Dropout Kings
Album: GlitchGang
Genre: Trap Metal
Release Date: 06/04/2021
Nominated by: Kat Thomas
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzoara2kMwI
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3xoEy1AI2f3GANfoeBKyq9?si=c51fc10864c5418c
Download: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/glitchgang/1561086937

“Fuck the discussion there’s no need to beg
And we don’t want the bread now it’s off with your head”

Okay this is another kind of cheat entry as it was technically released in 2020. BUT the EP and single were re-released in April of this year, and this song slaps harder than any rap metal I’ve heard since the first time I heard Hacktivist in the early 2010s. Yes, even better than Limp Bizkit.

Technically speaking this track shouldn’t be eligible for this list, but I’ve been listening to it non-stop since I first heard it, and it still feels fresh as fuck, so it may as well be a 2021 song for all intents and purposes.

They have that Hacktivist vibe of djenty inspired riffs with genuinely tight bars, excellent flow, and guttural vocals that put a lot of modern death metal to shame. Their closest approximation is probably someone like Fever 333, although where Fever feel like a Punk band with trap elements, Dropout Kings are 100% peak Trap Metal, which I genuinely think is the most interesting subgenre music to have emerged in quite some time, and I look forward to hearing more of it, and the lasting legacy it leaves in alternative music.

But don’t just take my word for it – nominator and good friend Kat Thomas has kindly provided their own words on what makes this song great:

I first heard this song in the summer of 2020, which I think was very good time for this song to have come out historically. The Black Lives Matter movement was at a peak following the murder of George Floyd, and many BIPOC were simply not hiding their frustrations anymore. So a band fronted by a Black man really did rise to the occasion to bring out the frustration!

There are many songs which are so perfect for the world we live in, or for showing how the frustration of never being listened to really does sit deep within you – and this song does it in the first breath the lead vocalist takes: “Fuck the discussion there’s no need to beg, and we don’t want the bread now it’s off with your head”.

So I feel like it’s a good song to listen to when you’re mad at the world and want a song to gear you up!


Track 21: See You In Hell
Artist: Common Sense Kid
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 14/05/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/4x1DAElKMWCLanVDaZCnnt?si=0f7d844006b249ea
BandCamp: https://commonsensekid.bandcamp.com/track/see-you-in-hell

“They claim the past is better
Wear a flag like a sweater
But it doesn’t make sense to me
So I shout out in frustration
At the idiots in this nation
To just get in the fucking sea”

See You In Hell, was, If I recall correctly, actually nominated on Twitter by the artist himself for our Anti-Brexit playlist in August time. Rather than more smug pontification from myself, I reached out to the Common Sense Kid himself to give us an insight into the writing behind this song:

The song is a reflection about how I feel this government looks down on people and lack any form of empathy for human life outside of this island, anyone who is struggling and how this gross nationalist mentality that they are putting forward is seeping in to the pours of society. It’s also about Jacob Reese-Mogg as he really is a stuck up prick.


Track 22: Beautiful James
Artist: Placebo
Album: Surrounded By Spies
Genre: Britpop
Release Date: 16/09/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KudGpbfWYrI
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3Q0hZS1pKZWBoPRbgIwaCZ?si=56aa93a7285742a4

“Take me by the hand
As we cross through battlefields
Nobody understands
‘cause there’s nobody at the wheel”

Yep. This is Placebo.

I had no idea they had a new single out until I was researching for this list. Didn’t even use the single in the end, this was the B-Side.

Placebo have had genderbending and homoerotic themes since the very beginning, but this is as far as I know the first song of theirs that explicitly names a same sex romantic subject – and it’s a good one. If you like Placebo, you’ll like this. Not much else to say really.


Track 23: God Save This Queen
Artist: Bimini
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: Dance
Release Date: 03/06/2021
Nominated By: Kirstie Summers
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLdVZ9rR448
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/1gb9WC6HVuokoVc4a3UgeK?si=e34ee44b457741b7

“Here’s to the queers, whether lost or found
To the big city from the sea side town
Winning at life by being me, Bimini
Gender free
Breaking boundaries
I’m living my dream
God save this queen”

This track is another banger nominated by Kirstie – here’s what she has to say on it:

I don’t hate every song that has been produced by a RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor, but even the passable ones are generally underwhelming. Bimini Bon Boulash has changed the landscape with God Save This Queen.

Both a queer and working class anthem, it’s the kind of catchy track that you can play in the club and educates without coming across as patronising. It’s playful and fun and mashes up the two sides of Bimini’s personality beautiful, juxtaposing iconic English punk aesthetics with their glamorous, feminine side, and centring both directly in the landscape of a council estate.

This track is unapologetically Bimini and speaks to a demographic of queer, working class kids who often don’t see people like them on TV. And it’s a bop.


Track 24: The Saccharine Drip
Artist: The Dowling Poole
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: Power Pop
Release Date: 06/08/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB7DR633WzE
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/1FV2L11mnE3RomzUIwG8Qr?si=252b822d39114dba
BandCamp: https://369music.bandcamp.com/track/the-saccharine-drip

“Owing to the credit crunch
we had to privatise democracy
and chunks were wholesale bought by SERCO
who will sell it to the worthy,
Prove you’re worthy”

If you’re as embarrassingly into 70s Power Pop and nonsensical Psychedelic rock as I am, then you’re in for a treat.

The Dowling Poole pull off an iconic throwback to early prog sensibilities, having songs that go from making 0 sense to being very direct commentaries on politics. Saccharine Drip uses a lot of surrealist imagery, but that doesn’t stop its scathing commentary of Tory corruption, and in particular the sale of the NHS under the noses of the public whom they sworn to protect it.

This is the arbitrary dad rock song of the playlist – you can stop cringing now, everything else is much less cringe.


Track 25: Drop Dead
Artist: Grandson Feat. Kesha & Travis Barker
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: EDM
Release Date: 29/10/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWHZRvgFKy0
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3PgrntbrI5racVaswTt6Ms?si=f1f269524b484cf2

“Even if we go up in flames
I’ma treat it all the same
Know they won’t forget the name
For a lifetime”

This track might have also debuted in 2020. I’ve found conflicting info on it. The music video with Kesha and Travis Barker was released in October this year though, and I cba to make any last minute changes now, so it counts. So I think I ended up reading way too much into this song, when I think it’s largely just about drugs. But fuck it here we go.

Whatever the intended meaning, Drop Dead plays on a lot of imagery around drug usage, intertwined with dystopian language about losing fights and the bad guys winning. While you could read this song in a similar vein to Rehab by Amy Winehouse, a cry for help battling addiction, I actually think the drug references are used to position them as the working classes against the establishment.

Pot specifically is associated with the poor, with the “Upper Classes” typically using much worse substances both ethically and in terms of their effects. “I’m a Pothead, I’m a sinner” sounds more like reclamation of words that are used to shut down and dismiss the working classes when it comes to political discourse.

“I’d rather drop dead than be a quitter” Means simply that they’d rather die than give up the fight. “Don’t give up that easy, it’s turning round”: keep at the fight – it’s a slow process, but the tides are turning.

This was my reading of it anyway. On a re-listen I’m pretty sure it is the simpler reading of being about drug addictions and a kind of tongue in cheek glorification of it whilst describing the harrowing consequences in a triumphant and upbeat way. But there’s enough subtext in this that it’s definitely not a huge stretch that drugs are being used as a metaphor for class disparity and oppression.

Also it’s Kesha and Travis Barker, I wasn’t not going to include this track, even if the Blizzard Comedy tm reading is a load of nonsense.


Track 26: Oh!
Artist: The Linda Lindas!
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 21/07/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF-1IIs9_5U
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3PgrntbrI5racVaswTt6Ms?si=9ffad7204eae4f3c
BandCamp: https://thelindalindas.bandcamp.com/album/oh

“Why do I say something
Say anything at all (oh!)
It seems that when I try
I always take the fall (oh!)
But when I don’t speak up
There’s nothing but regret (oh!)
I can’t stop thinking of
What could’ve happened next”

The Linda Lindas are quite possibly the most exciting Punk Band we’ve had in decades. A throwback to the peak of Riot Grrl at the best possible time, polished playing in that real authentic punk way, lyrics that only socially conscious young girls could make work, and an artistic vision that overshadows many of the O.G. Punk bands who invented the genre.

“Oh!” is their most recent song (at time of writing) and is a simple and catchy as hell little ditty about trying to speak up and help but things going wrong and the internalized guilt that leads to.

This song has such a satisfying beat, punctuated with the titular “Oh!” and tied together with a perfect chorus hook that will make you wish you wrote it. Young activists will definitely find substance in this song – and even the more apolitical people can’t say no to that hook. These girls are going to go on to do even more great things, and I for one can’t wait to hear more.


Track 27: Highly Emotional People – Le Sac Remix
Artist: MARINA Feat Le Sac
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: Electropop
Release Date: 04/11/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3X6pmFQl2QauPZDDYIKdzD?si=d537acc9e0754806

“‘cause we’re just highly emotional people
And you don’t need to hide
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell me how you feel
I never see you cry”

Funny story: I was looking at some of my favourite songs from playlists past to try and find 2021 releases – found Purge the Poison by Marina – and was like “Oh I like this one, has she done anything this year?” Found this track ‘Highly Emotional People’ and was like ‘eh, not as good, but still pretty cool, this will do’ before realizing that Purge the Poison was also a 2021 track, and I could have just chosen that. Whoops.

Regardless, this isn’t a bad song at all. I went with the Le Sac remix only because it’s the first one I heard, I still don’t know how it compares. But lyrically it’s a lovely message about being okay to cry and express emotions, specifically regarding men who are often socialised to internalize and suck up their emotions from a young age.

This hits me hard as an AMAB person who was very emotionally open until my early teens, due in large part to horrendous levels of bullying at the beginning of secondary school, exacerbated by further bullying for crying, and a sense of frustration from some of the teachers due to said crying. I learnt that crying made bad things happen, so from then on I just stopped, I didn’t show any sad emotions for many years after that, and to this day I still struggle to cry – which as you’ll know can be an issue when you really need to. Often I need a good cry to get over particularly hard moments in life and begin the healing process. Without that release it’s internalised and continues to stew.

Expressing emotions doesn’t always fix anything, and there’s definitely a healthy balance where you’re expressing emotions without using them to manipulate anyone – but not being able to for years is, I think, a major factor in my depression.

I could be wrong. Maybe I would’ve had it anyway. But it certainly has made it harder to deal with, and I’m still recovering and learning how to be emotionally vulnerable around people, even those I trust a lot.

So yeah, this song hits pretty close to home for me. Not my favourite of hers – but definitely a profound one.


Track 28: We Got It All
Artist: Ah-Mer-Ah-Su
Album: Hopefully Limitless
Genre: Electropop
Release Date: 16/07/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2_eCCRwQgc
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/1NbVOe1NxcoH9J9nKNSyHb?si=c674a62c23174d0b
BandCamp: https://starmusic.bandcamp.com/

We Got It All is pure joy. Ah-Mer-Ah-Su has become a favourite artist of mine since I discovered her for my Trans playlist. Unlike the bittersweet tracks on her debut, this album has a much more overtly optimistic tone to it. Still trancey and mesmeric, and easy to get lost to with a cool visualizer or just closing your eyes and letting your brain fill in the gaps.

The music video adds to the joy with two trans women at different stages of their transition just having a great time together on the beach in bikinis. It is not often I get to see trans women who haven’t had bottom surgery in such empowering sexual clothing and owning it, and this warmed my heart to no end.

I can’t find the lyrics to this song, but the title and the hook “We Got It All” is a perfect match to the video. No one else, just these two trans women, a nice beach, and each other’s company. Utter bliss.


Track 29: BIG SHOT
Artist: Toby Fox
Album: Deltarune Chapter 2 (Original Game Soundtrack)
Genre: Video Game
Release Date: 17/09/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/2hpQl8ryv3IonCg9LiAtGT?si=3357730187c946b7
BandCamp: https://tobyfox.bandcamp.com/album/deltarune-chapter-2-ost

Toby Fox released a new game. This is a track from said game. ‘Nuff said.


Track 30: It’s Raining Them
Artist: Mila Jam
Album: Non-Album Single
Genre: R&B
Release Date: 20/08/2021
Nominated By: Chris Bear
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H285MJRP_Mo
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/1apudLaRRrbmAZbTP1HZdw?si=f6d6355480b4405e

“‘cause tonight for the first time
Just about half-past ten
For the first time in history
It’s gonna start raining them”

My partner drew my attention to this gender neutral re-imagining of the Weather Girls’ classic “It’s Raining Men”, which is actually the second modern take I’ve heard on this song this year. Todrick Hall’s “Rainin’ Fellas” is also a banger.

I opted for this one for what it represents, however. Lyrically nothing has changed but gendered language (although they left ‘guy’ in for some reason?). Musically, it’s recognisable as the original, but a bit more understated and floaty – much like Ah-Mer-Ah-Su’s work.

It’s just such a joy to listen to, I had a big grin on my face the whole time. It’s Raining Men is already objectively one of the best songs of all time, and this version has just improved on it. Thank you, Mila Jam, for this – especially as I can imagine the kind of pushback you got on this upon release.


Track 31: Demonised
Artist: Crazy Arm
Album: Dark Hands, Thunderbolts
Genre: Folk Punk
Release Date: 29/01/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/4rO4FVGHy4kcNSFIiopiSN?si=fd0d9fe33c104745
Bandcamp: https://crazyarm.bandcamp.com/album/dark-hands-thunderbolts

“It’s hard not to die when you’re demonised
I blew hot, I blew cold, I felt bought and sold
Something trapped inside can not be denied
It’s ok to be wrong from now on”

I don’t actually have a great deal to say about this track lyrically, although the line “It’s hard not to die when you’re demonised” is pretty pertinent to the trans experience NGL.

Crazy Arm are a great anti fascist southern influenced punk outfit – and while this song seems to be going for more personal themes, it’s still a great tune and very worthy of its inclusion here.


Track 32: There are Dozens Of Us!
Artist: Animal Byproducts
Album: Attempts at Understanding
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 22/01/2021
Nominated By: Bee Bentall
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/7oAwnsMD6iMM6P9230OvXy?si=778d2f93bc9c4ee6
BandCamp:
https://animalbyproducts.bandcamp.com/album/attempts-at-understanding

“Do I undermine your solid gender roles?
Or are we all just assortments of holes?”

I don’t actually know a lot about this band, this was nominated by a relatively new audience member of ours, who has immediately engaged with our playlists to our pleasure!

This track doesn’t appear to be on YouTube, which is a shame, as it’s a solid non-binary anthem. 2021 seems to have a lot of them, good job, maybe it’s not all terrible.


Track 33: Queer
Artist: Sniff
Album: S/T
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 13/09/2021
Nominated By: Bee Bentall
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/6bG0x9N1HXLZoe9fZ7gX5H?si=c9583a781bd54e93
BandCamp:
https://sniffbanduk.bandcamp.com/album/s-t-ep

Again, I think this title is fairly self-explanatory.


Track 34: Between the Lines
Artist: Nervus
Album: Sunday, Someday
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 03/03/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/6NhFAggFwd01OMbmAGP5WB?si=6efc124362e347aa
BandCamp: https://sundaysomedayrecord.bandcamp.com/album/sunday-someday

“The Borders cut a line
that reaches through us
there is no ‘either side’
the myth consumes us
but we live and breathe between the lines”

I don’t actually remember where this song came from. They’re not a band I know well, but I can’t find any record of anyone else nominating them, so it must have been me. Either way, great fucking song, check ‘em out.


Track 35: NEGATIVE BLOOD       
Artist: Dollar Signs
Album: Hearts of Gold
Genre: Ska
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Nominated by: Thom Bee
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0e3WRTiBwegVPj77HuavN0?si=a4a7ad3f7f514660
BandCamp: https://dollarsigns.bandcamp.com/album/hearts-of-gold

“Trying to be more positive
But I got b-negative
Pumping through my blood
I’m b-negative in my blood”

Yet another 2020 track, I am not good at this. Once again, the single was released in 2020, but the album in 2021. Stop nit-picking @me.


Track 36: Class Struggle
Artist: Dog Park Dissidents
Album: ACAB For Cutie
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 03/01/2021
Nominated by: Pat Clinton

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/1HAiMzaR1hx1Lbd0zsu6XU?si=29b2ffdfe6bb4024
BandCamp: https://dogparkdissidents.com/album/acab-for-cutie-ep

“We’re only free to be you and me to the degree
Capital and the state consent
We only live our lives and we can only thrive
Within the boundaries they have set”

This song became an instant favourite of mine when nominated back in May of this year for the Trans playlist.

Dog Park Dissidents angrily and concisely expose the whole problem with liberal gay rights. Apart from the obvious that we’ve been given the bare minimum to appease cis white gay men to try and get us all to shut up about the rest of the queer community who are in a different section of that umbrella; this song also brings to attention that even working class gay men don’t really have any meaningful progress in society. Being as oppressed as the country already oppresses its poorest individuals is barely cause for celebration.

This song is essential listening for anyone who doesn’t understand intersectionality. Just because sucking dick is no longer illegal, doesn’t mean LGBTQIA+ people aren’t still at the mercy of the whims of a corrupt police force and a system designed to keep the marginalized at the bottom while the elite profit.

We only get as many rights as they drip feed us after carefully calculating it won’t hurt their profits. They have created an arbitrary system of ownership and declared themselves a winner, and while on paper anyone can ascend the ladder and join them, that can’t actually happen in any significant way as it was rigged from the start.

Basically, capitalism bad.


Track 37: Unstoppable
Artist: Ad Infinitum
Album: Chapter II – Legacy
Genre: Symphonic/Power Metal
Release Date: 26/08/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POwK89M7PH8
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/5kYknFK0x7ukSKbNlgkODc?si=d50368c2bc3749a5
BandCamp: https://adinfinitummusic.bandcamp.com/album/chapter-ii-legacy

“Hear me
Nothing can stop the fire in the heart
Of the broken one”

Lyrically this song is just full of Power Metal clichés, but the narrative fighting a hard battle and coming through against all the odds is trans as fuck and I won’t hear otherwise.

Also this band are fucking great, and it’s rare that I get to put Symphonic/Power Metal on these playlists, so let me have this one.


Track 38: TERF Obliteration
Artist: Hush
Album: Body
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 31/03/2021
Nominated by: Mike Fishcake
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0YEhbRNkzj7HB5qhdaSMSQ?si=ccc2755dfe9d428e
BandCamp:
https://hushband.bandcamp.com/track/terf-obliteration

This song was recommended by XS Malarkey Darling (one of many) Mike Fishcake, and he had this to say about the track, which I endorse whole heartedly:

I’ve been in the position before where I’ve been flicking through random metal playlists, finding something I like the sound of and then discovering that the artist is an actual complete piece of Nazi shit. And wondering why people aren’t calling out the troublesome behaviour only to find some mealy-mouthed bollocks about “separating the art from the artist”.

So it makes me stand up and take notice when an artist like Hush not only nails their colours to the mast, but runs into the middle of the crowd furiously waving them about with absolutely no fucks given, knowing that they’re likely to receive abuse for bringing up the topics of sexism, racism and homophobia, into a scene where these subjects aren’t common. No ambiguity, no subtlety, just pure intensity.


Track 39: Fire To The Cops
Artist: Pig City
Album: ACxDC / Pig City – Split
Genre: Crust Punk
Release Date: 10/09/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/7sOrSqZhnIp12dWwhtB7XK?si=c3263f02958144be
BandCamp: https://pigcity.bandcamp.com/album/split-w-acxdc-2

Again, title? Need I say more.


Track 40: Leaders Of The Blind
Artist: Green Lung
Album: Black Harvest
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 02/07/2021
Nominated by: Cam Emmott
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0kstQCEte0AT4sKjxRJGHm?si=8fbfa6784cbf49b5
BandCamp: https://greenlung.bandcamp.com/album/black-harvest

“And isn’t it strange
How we all live in the dark
In shadows waiting
For someone to light a spark”

I can’t say I’m too familiar with this band, but I guess I’m still a metalhead at heart, and on the rare occasion I find a good metal band who aren’t libertarians, sex pests, or actual Nazis, it’s good to include them on a playlist.


Track 41: Ten Mysterious Photos That Can’t Be Explained
Artist: Billy Bragg
Album: The Million Things That Never Happened
Genre: Folk
Release Date: 29/10/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n794uMfCJw
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0tUH00EZF5UB96Rt8ZQuAD?si=352e92f7d2a3463a
BandCamp: https://billybragg.bandcamp.com/album/the-million-things-that-never-happened

“The conspiracy hacks, the cyberchondriacs
Gripped by their fevered imagination
They’ve switched the filters off, too much is not enough
You know that you can overdose on information?”

When there’s a playlist where I don’t at least consider a Billy Brag song for it, I will eat my own buttocks. Ten Mysterious Photos is one of his more recent offerings (obviously, hence why it’s on this list) and among many things it tackles how quickly misinformation and propaganda can spread on the web and how easy it is to get sucked into the rabbit hole.

Normally hearing a 60-year-old moan about how computers are bad actually would be tiresome, but Billy Bragg is above that, and exposes the actual issues with the world wide web, not just how things were better when you told the time by throwing stones and tortoises, or whatever people used to do in the 60s, idk.


Track 42: Nudge It
Artist: Sleaford Mods feat. Amy Taylor
Album: Spare Ribs
Genre: Post-Punk
Release Date: 11/01/2021
Nominated by: Jonny Collins
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhdGipqrKNY
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/0ynGFMSVarYf7uHFYfL5tX?si=6f39aeee2a5e41e6
BandCamp: https://sleafordmods.bandcamp.com/album/spare-ribs

“Just stuck on silly ideas ’cause it’s all you can cook
You fucking class tourist, you mixed your social groups up
It’s like you all stick together, a stronger edition
The non-creatives un-impact, she got no invention”

This probably isn’t my place to talk about this song, as it appears to be about co-opting a working class image as part of an artificial brand to improve street cred and capitalizing off the back of an oppressed people.

As a painfully middle class person, it’s not my place to comment on that, but Sleaford Mods are pretty much always spot on with their messaging, even when embedded in cryptic metaphor and imagery – not to mention a dirty fucking Post-Punk bassline, intense harmonizing with Amy Taylor, and truly authentic verses from them both. I hope by attempting to sing this song’s praises I’m not falling into the exact trap that its criticizing, but either way, more people should listen to Sleaford Mods, they’re great.


Track 43: Fuck These Fuckin’ Fascists
Artist: The Muslims
Album: Fuck These Fuckin Fascists
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 08/07/2021
Nominated By: Kirstie Summers

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-7-DDgUh_E
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/026YEcmg29OySh0FhbWQ8M?si=6d0ef680bb754f18
BandCamp:
https://themuslims.bandcamp.com/album/fuck-these-fuckin-fascists-2

“Why try to hide
If you’re really full of white, white ass pride
Show your colours, all your tans and khaki white
Trust we know”

The last Kirstie song on this playlist is utterly perfect. See what she has to say about it:

A band made up of queer people of colour, The Muslims are peak punk in 2021. They oppose the white, cishet status quo with an infectious sound that absolutely bangs in every track their release. Fuck These Fucking Fascists gets right to the point, shoving all the bullshit hot takes to one side and going right for the jugular. There is no room for nuance or argument. What else really needs to be said? Fuck these fucking fascists.


Track 44: DEPT OF FINANCE
Artist: Jeff Rosenstock feat. Laura Stevenson
Album: 2020 Dump
Genre: Punk
Release Date: 20/08/2021
Nominated By: Jonny Collins
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/7EMbSxGLldv5Bt5YcwRFth?si=88a9de27fe774294
Bandcamp:
https://jeffrosenstock.bandcamp.com/track/dept-of-finance

“It has been a terrible year
But it’s not gonna stop moving forward
Even if it feels like nothing’s ever gonna change
The sun’s gonna rise in the morning
And you have to live anyway”

(Yep, another one that was originally released in 2020 – I’ll do better next time, promise.)

I seem to have an affinity with sad songs that have uplifting undertones (and vice versa). This song is fairly self explanatory. Many of us have had terrible years this year, but for better or for worse things are still moving forward. While it’s very easy to dwell on fears that nothing’s going to change or things are only going to get worse, the sun will rise tomorrow, and we’ll still be here, so while we are, we might as well fight.

Possibly a bit more low energy than the usual songs I include on these lists, but this one really struck a chord with me, so thank you for indulging me.


Track 45: Storm to Weather
Artist: Grace Petrie
Album: Connectivity
Genre: Folk
Release Date: 06/08/2021
Nominated by: Kit Thurman
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzYf0LitObY
Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/7EMbSxGLldv5Bt5YcwRFth?si=b083c243127948d6
BandCamp: https://gracepetrie.bandcamp.com/album/connectivity

“There’s a storm here to weather, the thunder’s coming near
Louder than ever and we don’t know where to steer
And though we can’t be together, no matter what my dear
I will love you forever and we will dance again next year”

This whole album was nominated by a good friend of ours Kit Thurman. Although as soon as I found out Grace Petrie had a new album out, there was no chance I wouldn’t have included a song from it!

This is a beautiful and hopeful song to end the playlist song, and Kit has provided us with a few words on why they chose it, as a lovely note to finish on:

Grace Petrie is an incredible artist and a queer icon. Her latest album is pure joy and Storm to Weather is a blessing to all of us coping with the isolation of the pandemic.


Phew, there you have it. 45 of the greatest songs 2021 had to offer. If you’ve made it to the end of this over 9000 word essay then I appreciate you, but also please get other hobbies. If reading this was even 1/10th as much effort as it was to write, it wasn’t worth it, get into Nazi punching or sodomy or something.

Genuinely though, thank you for reading. If you are reading I assume that means you are a dedicated follower of ours, so we are really thankful for all your support over the 2 most difficult years, of our just over 2 year lifespan.

2022 isn’t looking to be much better, but we’re still going to be here, fighting the good fight, and making lots of dick jokes along the way.

Tune in for our streams on the 20th & 27th December on Twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy for a nice round up of the news this year, and we’ll hopefully see you back at our live shows very soon!


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Thank you for coming to Blizzard Comedy featuring Hannah Platt

Contributed by Jonny Collins


What a way to end the year.

I had a roller coaster of anxieties on Monday. From low ticket sales, to my usual shambolic approach to personal preparation, and technical issues with the projector when we arrived at the venue, I was not feeling all that optimistic about the show.

The saving grace was the acts, who were all phenomenal. In some twist of fate not only did it go well, but this might actually be quantifiably the most successful night we have ever run in person. From lots of last minute ticket sales, to many generous donations, to me somehow managing to hold myself together throughout the night, this will go down in history, as the last great comedy night before we go back into lockdown.

Opening for us we had Ryan Kenny whose creative combination of deadpan, poetry and prop comedy rivals the best in the genre (and that’s at least 2 people). Ryan is always a pleasure to watch, a genuinely great jokewriter, but with an alternative twist that will keep even the most snobbish comedy elitists engaged. A gem on the Manchester circuit, if you missed him at our show, you owe it to yourself to catch him live.

After the interval we were greeted with Daniel McKeon – who had the room in stitches from the beginning. I’m disappointed that I needed to pee so I missed the first 30 seconds of his set, but came back in to see Sam Serrano absolutely crying with laughter.

Dan was the only act on who I had not worked with in any capacity in the past, and I am so glad I was able to on this occasion. He’s one of those comedians who you try to tell your friends about, but can’t get any of his jokes out because you’re still uncontrollably laughing at them. The greatness of Daniel cannot be overstated.

He is definitely going to blow up before you know it, so see him now whilst he’s still performing at my shit self-righteous free comedy nights.

Next was Sam themself, who I’m so delighted we finally got on one of our nights after so long. Three years ago I would have killed to have more non-binary comedians on the circuit. As it turns out, I didn’t need to, and all of those people died for nothing, ‘cause there was always loads of us, I just didn’t know any of them yet.

Sam is a definitive queer voice of their generation, who has a very relatable experience with gender and sexuality which is still distinctly theirs. I have it on good authority that Sam absolutely kills in mainstream clubs, which is incredible given how comfortable they appeared in our room which is the polar opposite.

Sam is a versatile comedian who covers topics from coming out, neurodiversity, and pretending to support a football club they’d never heard of because they had a gay sounding name. Whether it’s at the Comedy Store, or a small friendly bar who’s too woke to ask you for money (please give us money) you’re bound to have a great time in Sam’s hands.

Headlining our incredible Christmas show was the one and only Hannah Platt. Hannah is an absolute legend in the Northwest, and since I’ve known her she’s only gotten better and better. A perfect fit to headline our night, Hannah has a knack for having a deadpan delivery which always sounds like she’s telling you off for something, yet working that into a style that keeps the energy high and an audience attentive on her every word.

She started her set… well she didn’t start her set for nearly 10 minutes, as in a rare turn for Blizzard, there was a lot of consensual crowdwork going on – as we had some very… enthusiastic people in the audience. Hannah dealt with it like a fucking pro, and twisted it into absolute hilarity.

When she was able to start her set, it was an onslaught of probably the most content-warned set we’ve ever had. Covering everything from Suicide, Death, Body Dysmorphia and drug use – it may be a difficult set for some, but despite all that she kept the energy high, with a deeply personal set, exploring the depths of identity, self image, therapy, and sexuality in a way that was uniquely her own yet utterly engaging.

On a personal note, seeing Hannah from quite early in her comedy career to where she has now has been incredible. She’s made huge strides, and is set to keep getting better and better, and I’m so excited to see what the future holds for her as a performer. Go and check her out if you’ve not seen her before, and go and see her again if you have. A treat every time.

Footage from the show will be streamed over Twitch on the 13th December and available for 14 days if you would like to re-live or catch up on what you missed, and if you would like to support the club to allow us to continue to put on great shows like this in whatever 2022 holds for us, you can do so via Paypal, Patreon, BigCartel and Twitch.

Our next show is on the 10th January – hopefully in person with Edy Hurst, Umby Winters, Marie Goulbourne & Stephen Catling. Tickets are available on our Patreon already and will be made available to the public shortly. Follow the Facebook event here.