FIGHT Club: 10 songs about fights, rucks and fisticuffs.
18 March 2017, 09:24
Radio X looks at (but does not condone in any way) pugilism (that's scrapping) in rock.
The Clash - White Riot
Joe Strummer wants a riot, a riot of his own. In the turbulent late 1970s when race riots were rife in the UK, the Clash frontman rails against the stodgy white middle classes. Flash forward 15 years and the white middle classes were setting fire to PC World and stealing mobile phones. What would Joe have thought?
Florence And The Machine - Kiss With A Fist
Flo got into a lot of hot water on the release of her debut single in 2009, but she explained that the song was NOT about an abusive relationship. "It's about two people pushing each other to psychological extremes because they are fighting but they still love each other. Sometimes the love two people have for each other is a destructive force."
The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man
"Summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy." In the aftermath of the Paris student riots in May 1968, Mick Jagger pondered (much like Joe Strummer) on the fact that such rebellion didn't really gain a foothold in middle class English suburbia, berating "sleepy London town". Then someone was stabbed to death at a Stones concert and he soon backed away from such confrontational lyrics.
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Part 1
Science fiction fights - that's more like it. Away from gritty reality, Wayne Coyne paints a vivid picture of the heroine who's taking on the evil automata. "She's taking lots of vitamins," he notes.
The Jam - Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
Back in the real world, Paul Weller offers up a thumbnail sketch of a man who comes a cropper on the way back home when he's confronted by a group of thugs. "They smelt of pubs / And Wormwood Scrubs / And too many right-wing meetings." Bad news.
Radiohead - A Punch Up At A Wedding
A spiteful song from Thom Yorke, who claims: "You've come here just to start a fight / You had to piss on our parade / You had to shred our big day / You had to ruin it for all concerned." Ouch.
Fight For Your Right – Beastie Boys
A metaphorical fight, of course. But a struggle, all the same. And nobody should stand in the way of a Beastie Boy and a par-tay.
Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
Based on actual eye-witness testimony of an actual night out in Leeds. Actually, the song came from drummer Nick Hodgson's days as a DJ in the Yorkshire city, and the titles was uttered by a club bouncer when he saw how lairy the evening was getting.
Mission Of Burma - Academy Fight Song
Classic American post-punk from 1980, in which an annoying friend pushes it a bit too far. "Walk into my room / Ask me jerky questions / Don't mean what you say / Immaculate protection."