The Political Power of Music- a new book by Dave Randall

Dave Randall performing at Glastonbury Festival in 2010. Image: Dave Randall

Sound System: The Political Power of Music written by musician, writer and activist Dave Randall is published this month by Pluto Press.

Dave Randall explores the role of music in creating social change from the history of carnival in Trinidad to call and response songs sung at protests during the Arab Spring.

This book comes at a time of increasing political turbulence both in the UK and overseas with a reported rise in incidents of racism, fascism, and far right extremism.

Dave’s writing is informed by twenty years spent touring the world as the lead guitarist of multiracial dance band Faithless.

In the first chapter he describes the bands first tour to South Africa under presidency of Nelson Mandela in March 1999.

On arrival in South Africa he discovered the tour was sponsored by Camel cigarettes youth division.

Dave Randall instantly became aware of the commodification of music and how even with the best of intentions music is not always a force for good.

Here he is in 2011 campaigning against apartheid and supporting a musicians’ boycott of Israel.

We spoke to Dave in his home in South London about the role of music and musicians in creating social and political change.


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