Songs for Blair Peach

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Blair Peach (1946-1979) was a teacher, socialist and active anti-racist killed by members of the Metropolitan police’s Special Patrol group in Southall in 1979. I thought I would use this page to come up with a list of all the songs I can think of which refer to his death. (Of course, if there are any I’m missing, let me know):

The Pop Group, Justice (They’ve got to protect their property / Better phone up the police / Call up corruption / Who killed Blair Peach?)

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Reggae Fi Peach (Blair Peach was an ordinary man, / Blair Peach he took a simple stand, / Against the fascists and their wicked plans, / So them beat him till him life was done.)

The New Zealand band Dread Beat and Blood recorded a track Blair Peach. There is a clip of them playing the second half of the track as an instrumental:

Mike Carver, The Murder of Blair Peach (released on a four-track EP, all proceeds to Justice for Southall) (Who needs the nazis / When we’ve got the SPG?)

Carver

Then, there are a number of songs which refer to Peach (or Southall) more briefly:

The Ruts, Jah War contains a section about Clarence Baker, who was also struck on the head by police at Southall and was in a coma for a week afterwards (Clarence Baker / No trouble maker / Said the truncheon came down / Knocked him to the ground)

Hazel O’Connor’s Call the Tune is dedicated to Blair Peach:

As is Ralph McTell’s Water of Dreams (Oh, the other day, I had the strangest dream / I was walking down the street / There was banners and headlines everywhere / I stumbled into Blair Peach):

And Spasmodic Caress’ SPG refers to the Southall riots and Peach (British police murdered Blair)

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11 responses »

  1. I was hoping somebody would put Mike Carver’s record on Youtube. I had a copy some years ago but lost it in my moving. I still have his other one about Brixton riots/ Troops out now-smash the H blocks.
    There is a youtube video of Mike being attacked by Tory thugs after he infiltrated the Tory conference (198-) and interrupted Thatcher’s speech!.

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