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David McAllister: Come Together NE #2

Lauren Stones


David McAllister has always been a commanding presence on the North East music scene, and his performance for Come Together NE’s second festival definitely maintained this energy.


Music may be the food of love, but the food of music is passion, and David has this in spades. He uses his finely tuned craft to tackle issues that affect us all, including austerity and worker’s rights, putting a unique spin on protest songs armed with only eight strings. Woody Guthrie put a sticker on his guitar reading “this machine kills fascists” in the 1940’s, and this message truly lives on in David’s set.


“The Tide” is a beautifully written original song exploring “the personal and the political”, and where the two worlds collide. The flowing riffs and focused lyrics come across just as well on a live stream as in a venue, although it does invoke a sense of longing for me to be singing along in the dimly lit Station East archway again.


Another song that raises the virtual roof is “Which Side Are You On”, an old protest song reworked to describe the plight of the Palestinian people with a rousing chorus that left me singing in my front room with a glass of wine. Everyone is pretending their house is a pub these days, right?


All in all, it was an enjoyable and educational set with a message of hope in a time of uncertainty. “The Ones The Daily Mail Warned You About” inspires collective action with wit and panache. After watching, I knew one thing for certain – that our voices will never be wiped out.

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