Rough Music has been played for centuries as the downtrodden's discordant wail against oppression. Civil War Roundheads played merry hell with the bones of deposed aristocrats and we aim to resurrect this tradition with a vengeance!!! -- Rough Music
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Rough music is a Sussex tradition dating back centuries. It was a form of punishment for those who had offended their communities - people like profiteering landlords, wife-beaters or kiddie-fiddlers. In the past lovely people like these were a lot harder to prosecute using the law, so people took matters into their own hands. Taking what ever they could to make some noise with them, they would stand outside the miscreant's house and make as much noise as possible. If they were successful the offender was often driven out completely. Although such gatherings were illegal they happened throughout Sussex with the last ones recorded as happening as late as the 1950s.
This is very similar to a tradition recorded in the Lincolnshire village of Washingborough. Here people were Ran Tanned. Outside a miscreant's home, villagers banged drums, kettles, pots and pans, indeed anything that would make a noise, singing the Ran Tan rhyme. On the third night an effigy of the miscreant was burnt. This was legal under common law. The last person to be Ran Tanned was Danny Fitter, an organ builder, accused of beating his wife. A cottage on the Main Road that was the home of Danny Fitter has a plaque to commemorate the event.
Rough Music helps the people of Brighton make plenty of Rough Music of their own. People are making Rough Music against the corrupt City Council, Skidrow-on-Sea as it is known in Private Eye, the other enemy of the people Big Business and its profiteering feeding frenzies. It is making Rough Music for those who treat their employees like shit. They are making Rough Music for businesses that think that the environment and the quality of people's lives is a secondary consideration to the important task of making mega-profits. From EDO/MBM the bomb makers to Brighton and Hove City Council, from the Shoreham Airport stitch-up to the sneaking encroachment of the supermarkets into every corner of the city, Rough Music say bring on the music!
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