ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

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Lee Griffiths, Northern Songs (ZTT)

2/5

Definitely not to be confused with Sporty Spices Northern Star, this debut gives you an idea of what Billy Bragg would have sounded like if hed grown up in 80s Manchester. Songs such as The One About the Smackhead (Griffiths in a nutshell: a protest song about the “system” thwarting attempts to get ones life in order) have even won him the endorsement of the Socialist Workers Party. Griffiths sings his semi-acoustic songs in an incongruously angelic voice thats more reminiscent of Tracy Chapman than Bragg, but the themes—dole culture, classism—are reassuringly British. Tuneless tunes make it dull going, though.