If he were a reggae musician instead of a folk troubadour, Steve Pledger would be known as a ‘conscious man’, as the Jolly Brothers used to sing. ‘You’ve got to be a conscious man,’ could be his theme tune. It’s his mind set, attitude and subject matter that earns him that soubriquet. Pledger is a man concerned with social justice, a society where the poorest and most vulnerable get the support that they need. Be it the JAM’s (just about managing – this week’s media catchphrase), the disabled, the disenfranchised and those struggling for recognition and equal rights when it comes to issues of gender and sexuality. He’s an ethical sentient being. Increasingly these days, that seems to be a rarity.
Pledger lays his stall out on Somewhere Between and it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see Labour party and Momentum badges and leaflets, amongst his offerings. He would fit perfectly on the bill for the ‘People Powered’ concerts that are coming up, organised by Paul Weller and Billy Bragg, to offer support for Jeremy Corbyn. Mr. Weller and Mr. Bragg, please give him a listen and put him on the bill. He reminds this writer of Billy back when he himself was a dashing, young blade. Sharp, acutely in-tune with the political landscape, and blessed with catchy tune-age.
‘I’ve got a Che Guevara hat / You can’t get more Socialist than that’, he declares on ‘To Change the World’, his tongue, slightly in cheek, his credentials further embellished on the righteous ‘Lefty, Wait Your Turn’.
‘Lefty, wait your turn / when will you learn, that opportunity, she seldom knocks / you don’t get much change out of the bottom of a ballot box’
Pledger’s frustration with the Conservative Government and their lacerating, cut-back-to-the-bone austerity policies is evident. He applauds and encourages the peaceful, persistent efforts of those who are dedicated to dialogue and eventually changing mind-sets and voting choices.
Somewhere Between is Pledger’s third album and also features his friend Lukas Drinkwater, who, along with Ange Hardy, recently released their own album Findings, which has also been receiving great critical acclaim.
Somewhere Between will appeal to those who enjoy acoustic folk music and people who are interested in change. And change, as we know, isn’t always easy. Just think of that recent poll that claimed that UKIP voters said they were unlikely to change their underpants for, on average, ten days. They’re obviously lightweights; I try to make mine last a month.