On Stow Festival Friday, the Waltham Forest Social Club hosts Steve White & The Protest Family and Belter, who are playing a special free gig. We caught up with Steve White to hear his thoughts on the festival.
Hi Steve, you and the Protest Family played Stow Festival last year, how was that?
We thoroughly enjoyed playing the Stow Festival last year and we all still miss The Standard, which was our venue for last year’s show. This year we’re at the Waltham forest Social Club and, although some of us have played at beer festivals there in various guises, this will be the first time that Steve White &The Protest Family will have played there. As locals and regulars on the Walthamstow music scene how could we not get involved in a festival on our doorstep?
What can people expect from your show?
Commentary on the issues of the day. In rhyme. With mandolins and stuff. It’ll be our usual mixture of folk and punk, protest songs and solution songs, and songs about Leyton Orient Football Club. We’ll make you think, hell, we might even change the way you vote, but hopefully we’ll make you laugh too.
Russ Chandler joined the band earlier this year on banjo (and spoons and backing vocals too) and although we’ve played out regularly, it’s not often been with the full five-piece line-up. We’re out in force for this one, so it will be the first chance for some people to see the full band. There’ll be new songs, old songs, old songs with new arrangements and new songs with…oh, hang on.
What have you been up to since last year’s festival?
This year has been anything but dull for The Protest Family. The highlight so far was definitely our performances at the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival in July. The low point of course had been Doug’s illness. As many followers of the band know, Doug is recovering from breast cancer (yes, men can get it too). There’s a blow-by-blow account on his blog.
What’s next after the Stow Festival?
Well, if you miss us at the Social Club, your next chance is at The Horse & Groom in Brighton on 30th September with Robb Johnson & the Irregulars, who are one of our favourite bands. Robb’s rated as this country’s greatest living songwriter by many, which makes it especially exciting for me.
October’s arrangements are a bit up in the air at the moment, but in November you can catch me and Lol celebrating Joe Strummer’s last London gig supporting the Fire Brigades Union. You’ll also be able to catch the band at the Royal Sovereign in Clapton on November 27th.
We’ve also got some very exciting news about a gig in December. Buy us a pint and we might tell you about it.
Steve White & The Protest Family play Waltham Forest Social Club from 8pm on Friday 21 September with Belter. Entry to the gig is free. The gig has a Facebook event page here so let us know if you’re coming!
In the meantime, here’s a video of the band performing ‘Brisbane Road’ at The Standard in 2011.