REVIEW – Atona: ‘Disabling The NHS’ single, 2012 (“talk about rude health”)

1 Oct
Atona: 'Disabling The NHS'

Atona: ‘Disabling The NHS’

First MC NxtGen’s Andrew Lansley Rap, and now this – the oncoming carve-up of the NHS is certainly pulling the British protest song out of its ghetto. Talk about rude health…

Everyone in Britain needs healthcare, but who is healthcare for? Is it for the people who need it in order to stay alive, mobile or relatively sane on a day to day basis? Or is it for private concerns who use it as an avenue for extending business plans and for pulling in another income stream – and who are now circling the choice plum of public healthcare? Keith Lindsay-Cameron (a.k.a. “Keith Ordinary Guy”, retired youth worker turned protest-letter writer) has needed healthcare more than most. By his own admission, Keith has had a long-term struggle with mental health issues. His are of that particular kind which leave you eminently sane, but also painfully shorn of the thicker skin required to make headway in an increasingly brutal and predatory society.

This sensitivity might have driven the superbly dignified orator’s vitriol of Keith’s “A Letter a Day to Number 10” campaign (a one-sided public correspondence with David Cameron, holding him and his government to account for the increasing wreck of social support). It’s also left him profoundly grateful to a National Health Service for keeping him intact when his own problems were just too much. While few of us in Britain actively share Keith’s dogged social commitment and sharp sense of a general justice – and fewer still either share or are brave enough to admit to sharing his medical difficulties), most of us have various reason to thank the NHS (regardless of snarl-ups and corner-cutting) in its rickety benevolence. Certainly few issues seem as good for pulling us together and waking us up a little.

Hence Atona, a rapid coalescing of musicians, poets and general protesters around Keith’s ire-tipped missives. Disabling The NHS is their first salvo, a blend of tried-and-tested agit-prop methods slung out into the world for free. There’s a list of government ministers recited over a Gothic toll; a stolen-and-pasted-in sample of one of Cameron’s egregious, deceptive pronouncements on the NHS; a drive into plank-battering punk accusations and warnings – and at the heart of it, Keith himself reading his own cool and scathing denunciations (a stern people’s judge with a soft West Country accent).

With its gruff bang-and-shout, the anvil drumbeat, the framings of text and the clear love of plunderphonic razzing, this is all very much in the spirit of Crass, albeit pulled into the gentler, politer mainstream. Not a bad thing at all. After all, Keith doesn’t just channel crusty old memories of affronted people writing to the Times. He also channels those of seventeenth-century pamphleteers, who (much as Crass did) strived to nail down moral and workable verities for the future while the world turned upside-down around them. In any age, some people have got to work to keep the rest of us awake, and to keep twitching the clothes away from the naked emperors and pirates.

Atona: ‘Disabling The NHS’
Atona (self-released)
Download-only single
Released: 1st October 2012

Buy it from:
Free download from Soundcloud.

Atona online:
Facebook Sooundcloud

Keith Ordinary Guy online:
Homepage Facebook Twitter Youtube

5 Responses to “REVIEW – Atona: ‘Disabling The NHS’ single, 2012 (“talk about rude health”)”

  1. Geraldine Mitchell October 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Splendid …..what it lacks thank goodness is any slickness whatsoever which distances it from the sordid world of media/politics. Its heartfelt and angry as are most of the people in this country who are watching something we have all been proud of,which we have all used and been benefited by,and which was hard won by our parents/grandparents, being broken up and sold off so that cherry picking services is now well under way, and Childrens Services in Cornwall is now run by Richard Branson, who has also resorted to taking the NHS to court accusing them of being unfair in undercutting his other bids . Does Virgin records still exsist? If so they are not going to get their money grubbing hands onto this. Great stuff!

  2. Keith Lindsay-Cameron October 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Thank you for an incredibly sensitive and gritty review of Atona’s track and your understanding of mental health issues. I was surprised and honoured when I discovered that I was making an appearance on it. My grateful thanks to Atona for their welcome and easy on my old bones support and great music. Keith.

  3. Dann Chinn October 2, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Keith – you’re more than welcome. Glad you liked the review, and keep up the good work. By the way, I find it encouraging (as well as hilarious) that you seem to have won the grudging respect of the Daily Mail as well as the less grudging respect of many of its online readers!

  4. john October 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    nice one

  5. Anthony Tona October 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Thanks for the review Dann and thanks all for the commennts.
    We’ll be releasing a complete double album towards the end of October, comprised of various artists who expressed their wish to support Keith and his campaign.

    The album will be completely FREE to download and features tracks kindly donated by:

    Lost Cherrees
    Surf Weasel
    Danbert Nobacon (Chumbawamba)
    Black Light Mutants
    Girobabies
    Refuse/All
    TV Jones
    Exchange
    Age of Anarchy
    Screama Ballerina
    Elly Kingdon
    ATONA
    Mr. Pongle
    Senseless
    Captain Proton
    The Cosmonauts
    Endless Knot
    Dirty Money Number 5
    The Many Few
    Bling
    Jimmy Jangles

    and probably more…

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