Entertainment & Arts

Glastonbury: 'Kill Tory' band hit back at festival

Shangri-La Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Killdren were due to play in Shangri-La, one of Glastonbury's anarchic fringe areas

British punk band Killdren have accused Glastonbury of "buckling under pressure from the right-wing media" after their set at the festival was cancelled.

The two-piece band were originally booked to play the Shangri-Hell International TV stage on 28 June.

But their invitation was rescinded after criticism of their song Kill Tory Scum, which includes the lyric: "Tory genocide is the perfect outcome."

In a statement, the two-piece defended the song as a "crude" satire.

"The piece would not exist at all if the destructive and violent policies of the Tory party hadn't taken such a long and devastating toll on the UK," they said.

"The band does not condone the killing of Tories or children, or anyone for that matter - regardless of political beliefs."

'Inclusive spirit'

Killdren were hardly expected to be a major draw at Glastonbury.

The self-described "two-bit rave punk band", who have just 138 Twitter followers, were due to play a late-night slot on one of the festival's fringe stages.

Attention was drawn to their lyrics by an article in The Sunday Times, which added that Killdren's stage show depicted "live killings" of Tory voters.

The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in the name of the murdered Labour MP, condemned the band's appearance at Glastonbury.

"The direct incitement of violence and abuse, on any platform and in any sector, is wrong," said chief executive Catherine Anderson.

"All of us need to call out this kind of language, until we return to a more civil way of being able to debate difference of opinions - without having to resort to threats and intimidation."

Organisers of the Shangri-La area, which is booked separately to the Glastonbury's main stages, later dropped the band from their line-up.

"We are incredibly saddened that the attention this booking has received has caused such upset and negativity towards such a peaceful festival," they wrote in a statement.

"We in no way condone violence and will not allow this matter to overshadow the incredibly inclusive spirit of Glastonbury."

Killdren told the BBC they were "disappointed" by the decision.

"One glance at our website and the artwork that represents our music would surely indicate the cartoonish and over-the-top nature of everything we do," they said in a written statement.

"We are disappointed that Glastonbury and the Jo Cox Foundation were upset enough by our music and video that they cancelled our set, buckling under pressure from the right-wing media.

"We know that there are other acts on the line-up who are spreading a radical political message and hope the spirit of rebellion lives on at the festival."

The Sunday Times also highlighted that another band due to play at Glastonbury - Fat White Family - had previously called for violence against Conservatives on social media.

Image caption Fat White Family performing at Glastonbury 2015

In a 2015 tweet, the punk rock band, from south-east London, said anyone who voted Tory had "blood" on their hands, and called for them to be executed. An earlier tweet said Tories should be hanged.

The band are still due to play at Glastonbury on 30 June on the Park Stage.

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