Jesus Christ - Chris T-T & The Hoodrats (from 'The Bear' LP)
In the first Unpopular advent back in 2008 I reflected on Chris’ ‘Capital’ album and pondered how his "blend of powerfully focused anger and deeply humanist empathy [might] grow as a rallying point of reference; a jumping off point for considering new ways forward that learn from our histories’ mistakes”. Well, ever the optimist, eh?
Looking back from 2013 (where DID those five years slip away to?) and of course it’s the glass half empty view that seems to have held sway: "everyone will continue as they were, throwing resources into propping up a terminally broken ideology and buying their heroes from X-Factor.” In truth of course the gaps in society have simply widened. Rich and poor. Have’s and have-not’s. Mainstream and Unpopular. Certainly Chris is still out there dreaming, fighting and making magnificent records.
‘The Bear’ was a wonderfully strange beast indeed, at times feeling like a gang of mystical outcasts roaming a post-apocalyptic landscape and preaching from notebooks filled with scraps penned and highlighted under a psilocybin fuelled harvest moon. And none the worse for that, obviously. Through it all there was unconcealed anger and vitriol coupled with remarkable gentility and empathy with the dispossessed; at its heart a deep sense of humanity and a love that refuses to turn a blind eye. Nowhere was it better captured than on ‘Jesus Christ’, a song with a gloriously religious soul taking potshots at the Religious zealots; preaching love and fun in the face of the hate and fear peddled apparently wherever one cared or dared to look in 2013.
“It’s a fucked up world out there” indeed.