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General Election

Lewis Shepperd primed the masses for a clash against the classes with ‘Council Estate Reject’

Lewis Shepperd

Lewis Shepperd is set to viva la revolutionise the airwaves with his latest single, Council Estate Reject; whichever way the UK election swings on the day of the release, the scathed synthesis of indie, punk, rock, and Britpop will prime the masses for a long overdue revolt against the elite classes. Instead of placing faith in populist politicians and the façade of democracy, tune into this scintillating sonic insurrection.

The hypercharged punk pulse fed through the propulsive basslines and antagonised tempo of the percussion sends sparks of kinetic energy through the frenetic release which captures the collective sense of ennui, fires shots at the mindless monarchists, and evokes an insurgent riot. The three-minute liberation from the dystopia of our age is a sanctuary of electrifying escapism away from the misery that breathes down the neck of the working class.

So, if you miss when John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ was fiction and the media didn’t solely serve to sink us into subordination, find the ultimate outlet in Council Estate Reject. The embodiment of the punk ethos filtered through an indie rock lens with croons far more seductive than Johnny Rotten was ever capable of, delivers a high-octane shot of vindication which amplifies in potency when the guitar solo slashes through the palpitatingly sweet production.

Council Estate Reject will be available to stream on all major platforms from July 5th; stream it via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Election Promises: How Will They Impact the Music Industry?


As the UK anxiously inches closer to the general election on 4 July, many figures in the music industry are eager to discern which of the major political parties will bring radical reform to the culture sector and music education.

The Independent Society of Musicians has meticulously combed through the manifestos to identify the key policies that could shape the future of the industry. From education reforms to funding boosts, here’s an in-depth look at what the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties are promising.

As politicians are as true to their word as a desert mirage, it is worth taking every pledge with a pinch of salt, and, of course, as there are other major factors at play which influence vote behaviour including the cost-of-living crisis, NHS funding, and for raging racists, immigration, it may not be wise to solely decide which party deserves your vote based on their approach to supporting music.

Rather than using this article to lobby for one particular party, we will underline all of the key pledges from the three major parties without partisan bias to relay the key facts – if you can call manifesto pledges that!


The Conservative manifesto acknowledges the cultural and economic significance of the creative sector, stating: “At the core of our national and local identities is culture and sport.” This commitment is reflected in several key pledges:

  1. Protection and Remuneration for Creators: The Conservatives promise to ensure that creators are adequately protected and fairly compensated for their work. This includes safeguarding intellectual property rights in the digital age, which is crucial for musicians and other creators who rely on streaming platforms for revenue.
  2. Competitive Tax Incentives: They pledge to maintain competitive tax incentives for the creative sector, which could benefit music venues and recording studios by making it financially viable to operate and expand.
  3. Community Ownership Fund: The extension of the Community Ownership Fund will allow local communities to take control of music venues, preserving these essential cultural spaces.
  4. Music Education: Promises include ensuring children receive a broad and enriched education that includes music, facilitated through Music Hubs. Additionally, they aim to establish a coordination service to support more apprenticeships in the creative industries, providing valuable pathways for young people into music careers.


Labour’s manifesto takes a strong stance on making the arts and music accessible to all, not just the privileged few. Their commitments highlight a comprehensive approach to integrating music into broader societal and economic frameworks:

  1. Creative Industries Sector Plan: Labour plans to implement a creative industries sector plan as part of their Industrial Strategy, aimed at creating good jobs and accelerating growth in the music, film, gaming, and other creative sectors.
  2. EU Touring for Musicians: They will work to improve the UK’s trade and investment relationship with the EU, making it easier for musicians to tour Europe, a critical move for artists affected by post-Brexit travel restrictions.
  3. Consumer Protections on Ticket Resales: Introducing new protections for ticket buyers will help combat the exploitation in ticket resale markets, ensuring fair prices and access for fans.
  4. National Music Education Network: Labour promises to launch a new National Music Education Network to provide a comprehensive resource for music courses and classes, supporting parents, teachers, and children.
  5. Recruitment of Expert Teachers: The recruitment of 6,500 new expert teachers, along with measures to tackle retention issues, will bolster the quality of music education. Reviewing trainee bursaries and retention payments is also on the agenda to attract and keep the best talent in teaching.
  6. Review of Curriculum and Assessment: An expert-led review will ensure that the curriculum and assessment methods meet the needs of a modern education system, including a strong emphasis on the arts.
  7. Workers’ Rights: Labour is committed to improving the rights of freelance workers, who make up a significant portion of the music industry. This includes banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, introducing basic rights from day one, and ensuring fair treatment in terms of tax and National Insurance status.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are placing a strong emphasis on cultural investment and nurturing new talent. Their manifesto promises substantial support for the music industry through various innovative policies:

  1. Simplified Travel Arrangements: They pledge to negotiate free and straightforward short-term travel arrangements for UK artists performing in the EU and vice versa, facilitating cultural exchange and touring opportunities.
  2. National Lottery Funding for Arts: Proposing the use of National Lottery funds to support arts and sport, the Liberal Democrats aim to provide a consistent funding stream for cultural projects.
  3. Creative Enterprise Zones: Establishing new creative enterprise zones will stimulate cultural output and economic regeneration in various parts of the UK, offering musicians and other artists spaces to develop and showcase their work.
  4. Rejoining Creative Europe: Applying to rejoin Creative Europe will re-integrate the UK into a broader cultural network, opening up funding and collaboration opportunities for British musicians.
  5. Inclusive Education: Their educational policies include integrating arts subjects into the EBacc, ensuring Ofsted monitors curriculum inclusivity, and expanding music provision in extracurricular activities. Ensuring that every secondary school student is taught by a specialist teacher in their subject underscores their commitment to quality education.
  6. Commission to Broaden the Curriculum: A commission will be established to make qualifications at 16 and 18 more relevant to the 21st century, with an emphasis on creativity and critical thinking skills.
  7. Workers’ Rights: Similar to Labour, the Liberal Democrats propose a new ‘dependent contractor’ status with basic rights, a higher minimum wage for zero-hour contracts, and protections for gig economy workers regarding pensions and employment status.

Final Thoughts

As the election approaches, it’s clear that music and the arts hold a prominent place in the manifestos of the major political parties. From education reforms aimed at nurturing young talent to measures designed to protect and fairly compensate creators, there are numerous policies on the table that could significantly impact the music industry. Each party brings its own vision and solutions, reflecting a broader recognition of the importance of music and culture in society.

For musicians, educators, and industry professionals, these pledges offer a glimpse into a potentially brighter and more supported future. As the Independent Society of Musicians continues to campaign for vital reforms, it’s crucial for voters within the music community to stay informed and consider how these policies align with their needs and aspirations. Whether it’s the promise of better touring conditions post-Brexit, improved music education, or fairer treatment for freelance workers, the upcoming election could be a turning point for the UK’s vibrant music scene.

Article by Amelia Vandergast