Musicians have often wanted to change the world. From underground grime artists to pop icons, many have believed in the political power of music. Rulers recognise it too. Music has the power to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions, or prop up the status quo.
Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what makes music so powerful. Years of touring, playing and protesting have given Dave Randall a unique insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the secrets of celebrity, commodification and culture. He finds remarkable examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history.
This is a book of raves, riots and revolution. From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Dave Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum and poses the question: how can we make music serve the interest of the many, rather than the few?
Dave Randall is a musician and activist. He was the former guitarist in Faithless and has toured the world playing guitar with Dido, Sinead O’Connor and many others.
“Fascinating… A deeply intelligent look at music and society and in particular pop’s tempestuous relationship with commerce. Thought provoking, readable and clever stuff.” – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music.
“What an imaginative idea, what a terrific, exciting book, weaving together the strands of music, politics and worldwide struggles.” – Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
Interested in learning more about Newham Bookshop and some of the people connected with it? We have four lessons for classroom or family use developed from On the Record’s oral history project centered around Newham Bookshop, Writing and Reading Newham. Click here for full details.
We are proud that Newham Bookshop is LoveReading’s Bookshop of the Month. The article features a Q&A with Vivian Archer, which you can read here.