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A punk band has been axed from Glastonbury for ‘kill Tory scum’ lyrics

Killdren were due to play the Shangri-Hell International TV stage

Killdren are Tunbridge Wells’ resident political punk band. Describing themselves as “sitting uneasily between straight up nihilism and fresh-faced naivety”, their irreverent attitude toward politics, and a certain political leniency, is reminiscent of some of the more spirited punk bands of yesteryear – a scheduled performance at this year’s Glastonbury was testament to that.

In an unfortunate – although hardly surprising – twist of events, the band’s slot at Glasto has been cancelled, due to their provocative single “Kill Tory Scum (Before They Kill Us)”. Lyrics read: “Even if it’s your dad or your mum, kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum... murder them all to the beat of a drum, kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum”.

The tune was described as “completely abhorrent” by Catherine Anderson, chief executive of the Jo Cox foundation, which was founded as a counterpart to political intolerance and violence.

Killdren’s booking and lyrical themes were first reported by the Sunday Times, which was then seized upon by a slew of right-wing media platforms. Amid the furor, it’s been announced that their Friday night slot on the Shangri-Hell International TV Stage has been cancelled.

“We in no way condone violence and will not allow this matter to overshadow the incredibly inclusive spirit of Glastonbury,” a statement from organisers said.

Killdren were quick to take to Twitter also and refute the action, contextualising their song with the stats that 120,000 preventable deaths can be linked to austerity. “As we have been pulled from the Glastonbury line-up for promoting violence – if you have been sucked into the ‘publicity’ – give the video a watch for facts about the real violence in society inflicted by Tory policies!”

The reaction has been varied – there’s been calls for a similar ban on Fat White Family, a band who’s previous tweets have also called for violence against Conservatives by hanging or execution. Equally however, Killdren’s Twitter is awash in support. 

The band previously performed their tune at Boomtown Fair in 2018, playing while kicking and spitting on a man dressed in a suit with the tag ‘Kill Tory Scum’.