It is safe to say that Marx and Engels would have approved had they been around for Saturday's Salford Music Festival gig at the Crescent 20 venue, at The Crescent pub.
As most Salfordians know, and will proudly explain to those who don't, Marx and Engels could often be found talking politics over pints at this historic CAMRA pub on the A6. Though now undoubtedly turning in their graves at what has become of the city's so called 'Labour' Council, there is no doubt Saturday would have been right up their street.
The night's festivity, delivered by up and coming promoter TNT Experience, was an intimate affair, though no less raucous for it. Warmed up nicely by the exuberant punk indie rock n roll of The Mothpopes, the evening got off to a flying start. Mike, of TNT, told us over the deafening sound system "This is what it is all about at Crescent 20; giving young bands a start in a fantastic live venue. We've been building this for four years now and people are finally starting to take notice." How could they not with talent like this?
Following the young upstarts from Leeds came Salford's Class Actions, and at this point even Marx would have been on his feet. Primarily made up of Aslan AK and Mike F, Class Actions are an acid rap collective, washed up together on the shores of the Irwell, and now receiving a lot of attention.
Following a stint supporting Radio 1's DJ MistaJam, and an outing with the legendary Italian Los Fasidios, Class Actions hit Salford in the style! With their trademark blend of machine gun fire political rap, blasted out over self-mixed acid tracks, Aslan AK did what many have been afraid to do – told the world that Anthony Grainger had been murdered in cold blood by trigger happy cops. By coincidence Sunday's press seemed to suggest there might in fact be more to this story than GMP had been letting on.
With their roof raising finale, Rip Up the Sun - a truly stinging attack on Rupert Murdoch and his papers' appalling treatment of Liverpool fans following the Hillsborough tragedy - the audience were invited to, and delighted, in ripping up copies of the Sun newspaper.
"This very spot," Mike said, "is where the most important revolution the world has ever seen started out. It's only fitting to have Class Actions on tonight, keeping the spirit alive."
At this point the atmosphere was somewhere between ecstatic and revolutionary as I made my way to the door. I was heading up Chapel Street to see the work of another up and coming talent, this time in the world of photography. Steve 'moonshine' McGee had offered his services for free to be on the spot where yet more of the Festival was taking place. For me it was a personal pleasure to watch this post punk graphical poet do his stuff. "It has been an honour for me to do this" he said "But the real talent is up there, on stage." Humble as ever, Mr McGee.
As the festival draws to a close on Sunday night with a host of musical talent playing out the proceedings, it would be fair to say that Salford may be down but is, as usual, far from out. Despite the cuts and closures, this whole event has proven beyond a doubt that it's the people of Salford who make the city great.
So, let's have a big hand for everyone involved in the Salford Music Festival. Roll on next year!
Words and photos by Ian O'Brien