Tang released their penultimate album in 1877, ten years before the introduction of the gramophone. I wouldn’t google this. It was before Wikipedia.
I learned of the band when K, the feisty lead singer, became embroiled in controversy, throwing a tantrum at a loyal fan on the corner of Royal and Crown, outside the Tavern Pavilion, near the streets where I lived unless moved along. She was incensed that Karl Marx had failed to get the third volume of Capital to his publishers on schedule. Tang were a protest band, and running out of material.
Critics dismissed them as dancy, poppy, or “pseudo synthy”, others for being melodic, but their music, much like the principle of effective demand, lived on furtively, under the surface, in the underworlds of Karl Marx, Silvio Gesell or Major Douglas, and there was no denying the band’s commercial appeal to a thriving urban underclass of marginalized and impoverished free thinkers.
Fortunately, while Marx’s critique of capitalism remained in limbo, the women’s suffrage movement gained momentum, and Tang – an all-girl band – were inspired to pen several new songs on the theme. They signed petitions and participated in demonstrations, although M, the band’s notoriously temperamental acoustic guitarist, insisted on including a proviso that preferential voting be strictly optional. She could see the direction in which the political class was heading and resolved never to allocate her preference to either of the two main parties, even though the two main parties did not exist in their present form (so perhaps I am projecting).
I’m not sure what any of this has to do with anything. Blogging is proving more arduous than even I imagined. Staying on topic is not my forte. Sometimes even the topic itself seems beside the point. But I suppose there could be a lesson in this?
Maybe – just maybe – if bands today were as poppy as Tang, we could make a difference.