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Band dropped from Glastonbury line-up over song called 'Kill Tory Scum (Before They Kill You)'

Punk band Killdren said that the song was written as a satirical form of protest, and was not meant to be taken literally.

Image: Ben Birchall

THE PUNK BAND Killdren has been dropped from the Glastonbury Festival line-up, after a song entitled ‘Kill Tory Scum (Before They Kill You)‘ sparked controversy.

The Jo Cox Foundation is among the groups that expressed concern at the band’s language in the song, saying that it played into “worsening” language in British politics.

It’s CEO Catherine Anderson told LBC radio: “The Jo Cox Foundation exists to build a positive legacy for an MP who was murdered just three years ago and it’s extremely concerning that people think it’s okay to talk about violence and death and the killing of MPs particularly after Jo’s murder.”

Among the songs lyrics are: “Even if it’s your dad or your mum, kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum… murder them all to the beat of a drum, kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum.”

The Shangri-La area of the festival, which claims to “hold a mirror up to the masses, challenging people in politics”, had booked the band “independently from Glastonbury Festival”.

It said that it was “incredibly saddened that the attention this booking has received has caused such upset and negativity towards such a peaceful festival”.

The Shangri-La field is all about positivity and pacifism, unity and love. We in no way condone violence and will not allow this latter to overshadow the incredibly inclusive spirit of Glastonbury, and as a result we have taken the decision to withdraw the booking of this band.

In an opinion piece for Independent.co.uk, the band explained that the song was “satirical”, and was written as a form of protest against austerity ahead of the 2017 general election in the UK.

The Kill Tory Scum (Before They Kill You) music video and stage show are satirical works laced with some admittedly fairly grim black humour. The band does not condone the killing of Tories or children, or anyone for that matter – regardless of political beliefs.

They said that the song was created to encourage people to vote against the Tories in that election, and was not meant in a literal sense.

“We are disappointed that Glastonbury and the Jo Cox Foundation were upset enough by our music and video that our set was cancelled, buckling under pressure from the right-wing media.”

The band said that other artists had political messages in their lyrics and songs, and that “festival culture, and Glastonbury in particular, spawned from the counterculture hippy and free festival movement”.

If artists continue to be censored from line-ups we can only expect what is already a diluted and commercialised version of its former self to get more bland and soulless.

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