From Bruce Springsteen to Mitch Benn, music has long been a great vehicle for political enlightenment and for having a good liberal whinge. For the fantastic English duo Jonny & the Baptists, it has been the socialist tour-bus dragging them around the country, preaching a message of acceptance, socialism and that Nigel Farage’s last name rhymes with ‘carriage’.
As alumni of The Now Show, Jonny & the Baptists are sure to please the Radio Four crowd, as well as anyone who wants to see how many words can be warped to rhyme with ‘Angela Merkel’.
Throughout the hour, songs are largely political in theme, but entirely accessible- you don’t have to have attended the Labour Party Conference to get all the jokes and appreciate the wonderful musical humour. The show is part musical comedy, part buddy-comedy and entirely, unashamedly, British. Through masterful guitar-playing from Paddy Gervers and Jonny Donahoe’s fantastic lyricism, we’re led by the hand through some of life’s more difficult conversations. How do we start a revolution without making too much of a fuss? How do we convince a family member not to vote UKIP? How can we tackle the many evils of the world without having to stand up for too long?
It seems hard to imagine anyone who might not adore their brand of damp, homely rage against the establishment. They did, though. Their show Stop UKIP gathered reams of criticism from members of a certain political party, much of which makes up the meat of another cracking musical piece as unbelievable as it is honest. As alumni of The Now Show, Jonny & the Baptists are sure to please the Radio Four crowd, as well as anyone who wants to see how many words can be warped to rhyme with ‘Angela Merkel’.
Between songs we’re treated to heartfelt conversation and stories from the road from Donahoe, who takes on the demeanor of a fantastically well-spoken drunk uncle at a wedding. The collision between his clipped Queen’s English and his enthusiastic stumbling about the stage never fails to amuse, and besides a great taste in gin, Donahoe shows arguably the best skill for a musician to have – keeping in time while being absolutely sloshed.