Band of hope and glory
Middle England is what you get when a group of misfits are thrown together on a small island that can’t stand itself. Moody, angry, caught between the desire to live life to the fullest and the sense of being beaten down by a world which regards you with suspicion and hatred - this is troubled music for troubled times, made by a bunch of people with little to lose and less left to live for.
Middle England’s music melts down a whole host of musical lineages for scrap. Punk - both the first-wave heroes of the 1970s and modern torch-bearers like Sleaford Mods - fights it out with hip-hop, dub, synth-pop and dancehall in Middle England’s instrumentals. The licks may be sweet and the choruses may be stirring, but there’s more than a pinch of grit in the oyster here.
Atop these grizzled beats, vocalist Lucky Jones delivers lyrics which pull at the threads of the UK’s troubled national psyche. Sometimes he’ll tackle these matters head on, railing against modern Britain’s hate-thy-neighbour culture; other approaches are more subtle, his street-level poetry and introspective flights of fancy offering something like escape from the everyday insanity of … well, of Middle England.