The Stop HS2 Christmas single, ‘Oak Tree Lament (Did you stop the HS2?)’ by Dirty Mavis is currently (10am 21st December) number 4 and number 5 (live version) of the HMV download chart, despite the song having received no radio airplay due to it being deemed to be ‘currently politically controversial’. Under OFCOM rules, broadcasters are required not to give ‘undue prominence’ to matters which are deemed politically controversial. Clips of the song have featured in news sections on various radio stations and Channel 4 News, but the song itself has not yet been played on the air.
Links to buy the track and the video are at the bottom of this article.
The Oak Tree Lament was written, performed, recorded and produced by Buckinghamshire band Dirty Mavis and has been released in support of the Stop HS2 campaign. This has come as a YouGov poll has been produced showing 64% believe it is wrong to spend money on the proposed line at this time. The forecast cost, which will surely over-run, is £33bn.
Stop HS2 Campaign Co-ordinator, Joe Rukin said;
“The whole Christmas Single Campaign has been done on a shoestring from a standing start less than two months ago. The band did all the recording and production themselves so to get where we are on the HMV chart is a massive achievement, but it’s sad because they have produced a really great song and no-one is getting to hear it. It’s a Christmas song and is stirring stuff, but the problem is that it’s also a protest song. OFCOM rules are enforcing The Doors lyric ‘Too many protest singers, not enough protest songs.’”
“We just don’t understand this standpoint that simply playing the track just once would be once would be giving undue prominence to particular views on matters of current political controversy. Does this mean Ghost Town by The Specials has to go back into its box until the country is sorted out? There are plenty of tracks on the Christmas playlist every year which definitely gave views, with some coming round again, on politically controversial subjects. Look at this year, you can’t knock what The Military Wives are doing, but a big part of their success has been that the money is going to charities, which fill the services welfare void left by Government. Then you add in that they are singing about the fact their husbands are away and might get killed in a war which cannot be afforded and will never achieve it’s objectives. When I listen to it I feel an undertone of ‘Can we just end this particular war now please?’ It is right that they have been allowed to do this, but it is wrong that we can’t even get one airplay.”
“We released the single because HS2 is a massive issue in the areas it goes through, not because of the ‘nimby’ tag which supporters chuck at us, but because we’ve actually paid attention to the plans and the whole case for HS2 has been made up. Two years ago Lord Adonis just told the Department for Transport ‘Design me the fastest, most expensive railway in the world and justify it.’, there was no thought about whether it was a good idea, it was just ‘Get on and do it’ and that’s why none of the arguments for it work. The problem is that HS2 is not seen as a nationally important issue, so people don’t know much about it. The purpose of the song is simply to raise awareness of the issue, but we are simply not being allowed to do it on the radio.”
Dirty Mavis lead singer Martin Davis who wrote the song, said:
“We are amazed at the support and interest we are getting in this song. We are just normal people who wanted to back a good cause, with a good song. We know that we really do have an outside chance of changing the shape of the Christmas music charts, and it would be a fantastic achievement for everyone who cares about the countryside, if we could chart with this song, which was written, produced, promoted and performed entirely by the band itself.“
Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2, said:
“The recent YouGov poll shows that people across the country are realising that HS2 is a expensive white elephant, with nearly two thirds of people opposed to spending money on HS2. Buying the Old Oak Lament (Did you stop the HS2) single by Dirty Mavis is a practical way of sending a message of opposition to HS2 to the government.”
Notes to Editors:
- Radio stations requiring a file for broadcast should reply to this email or call Joe Rukin on 07811 371880.
- For more information contact Joe Rukin on 07811 371880 or Penny Gaines on 07765 780553.
- For a contact from Dirty Mavis call Martin Davis on 07808 811361
- The HMV Chart can be found at http://www.hmvdigital.com/charts/track
- People have until midnight on Christmas Eve for purchases to count toward the Christmas Charts.
- The new video is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hdruOY7clX0
- The website is at www.oaktreelament.org.uk.
- People can sign the petition against HS2 via the Stop HS2 website. http://stophs2.org/news/378-petition-government-stop-hs2/ or directly at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/353
You can buy one copy of each version of the track (there are two) per credit/debit card per vendor under chart rules. And you can also send gift copies by email to your friends and family and even your MP! – Anyone you have an email address for. Multiple purchases only get disqualified under chart rules if you use the same method of payment on the same website for a personal (not gift) download.
Besides buying and downloading the track, we hope you can forward this information as far and wide as you can by email and social media. There is also a poster for you to print out and display wherever you think you can.
HMV 79p per track.
Amazon 69p per track.
7 Digital 99p per track or £1.59 the pair
Play.com 99p per track
iTunes 79p per track.
You can order the track for download to your computer by texting TRACK 7655 to 80818 (Costs £1). You will then get a password to download it from the text a track website. You can also order the track for download direct to your mobile phone (not iPhone) by texting TRACK 7655 m to 80818. Costs will vary depending on your data download plan.