Fat White Family On The Power Of Protest At Glastonbury 2015

Veteran of many demos against Thatcher and Brixton gentrification, Lias Saudi from Fat White Family gives us his – somewhat inadvisable, honestly-don’t-do-half-of-this-shit – tips on embracing the spirit of Shangri-Hell at Glastonbury…

Pick your cause

“Capitalist world order, capitalist fundamentalism, the Tory party, the royal family, all the usual shit. I went for the first time when Stevie Wonder played and I had a good time. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t think it was going to be that much fun. I know it’s been gentrified and it’s hundreds of pounds for a ticket, but you can still get your kicks and cut loose. It is full of middle class Londoners though. It’s all very white, all very safe. But you can still get magic mushrooms and forget about it all for a while. I’ve never paid for a ticket. I think I’d feel differently about it if I had to pay, but as somebody who has either broken in or been playing the festival I had a good time. I think I had a good time, I can’t really remember anything.”

Make banners

“Usually we just make banners on the spur of the moment. But you’ve got to have equipment to make banners. Bring some paint. Obviously it helps if, you know, Margaret Thatcher dies that day. Then you’ve got something to really shout about. So you have to look for a totem that everybody can gather around that is specific to that period of time. So search the news and try to make it relevant, current and fresh.”

Dirty protest

“They should have a fucking Maze Prison section; like the dirty protesters. Everybody could cover themselves in their own shit. We could have an area with that. I’d be in there! Kicking back with a couple of mojitos and doing a line from one of the posh girls whose daddy has bought them a ticket. Sounds good to me.”

Burn effigies

“I’d like to see a more abusive style of protest. People burning effigies and stuff like that. Nothing friendly, I think the gloves should come off now. It should be hateful and as gruesome as we can possibly be to the people it is aimed towards. It should be all violent, twisted and weird. Like a really beautiful bad script.”

Occupy the Pyramid

“Or burn it down. There’s never anything good on that. Although, are Motörhead playing it? That guy is hardcore. Anybody that survives that much speed has definitely got something going for them.”

Boycott boring music

“Drudgery, boredom and the exclusivity of music now: that is what we should be protesting. It’s not accessible to the right people anymore, which is why it’s all shit and none of it has any risk about it. These people’s lives have been so safe, I suppose. Not that mine has been fraught with incredible hardship, but still, a lot of these people’s lives have been so easy for them, and that is wrong. I think there are a lot of talented and brilliant people out there who don’t even get a look in, and don’t consider themselves capable of getting a look in, so they don’t even start. I think that is a shame and kind of the root cause of our abysmal music scene.”


Rail against the rain

“We could protest the rain. We had a protest against a place called Champagne + Fromage in Brixton Village, as we considered that the final straw. We were going to hand out White Ace cider and Dairylea slices as a protest. We prepared for this and then it absolutely pissed it down. It was quite humiliating. Nobody showed up. It was just Saul, Nathan and I with these little packets of cheese and everybody calling us a bunch of cunts. I think people on the left though we were taking the piss and everybody else thought we were just wankers. They were probably right but, yeah, it tends to make protests a little bit difficult, if it’s shitty weather. But bring some White Ace and Dairylea and we can all come together over those things and become one.”

Get kettled backstage

“The bit where you’ve got showers and you don’t have to mix with any of the peasantry, I’d like to get kettled in there. So I don’t have to see any of the peasants.”

Don’t be afraid of prison

“Somebody’s got to start the revolution. It won’t be me, but anybody out there shouldn’t be too worried as, for the most part, this world isn’t worth living in is it?”