Erin Bardwell Collective – Edith New

• “Edith New” set to a picture of the housing album. Thanks to Erin Bardwell Collective – Topic.

8.2 “Fantastic Reggae from England”

First out on their EP “Great Western Reggae Soundclash (Platform Yellow)”, in February, 2017. Later included on their double album “Great Western Reggae Soundclash” in October, 2017.

Playing on this particular track are: Erin Bardwell (vocals, percussion, piano, organ), Sonya Beale (bassoon, vocals), Pete O’Driscoll (drums), Ed Frankis (guitars) and Harki Popli (tablas). Rowena Cameron (The Skanxters / Nomarks) guests on alto sax, and added voices come from Nevil Banton, Heather O’Neill & Souad Bouterfas.

Got to hand it to Erin Bardwell, he’s been forging his own path tirelessly since starting his group in 2003, even going so far as to run his own label, Pop-A-Top Records, and that’s no mean feat these days. A new album is due in 2019 too. Respect.

This great tune’s all about one of their own from Swindon, Edith New, which is a smart move I think, keeping it real.

Back in June, 2018, a centenary celebration was held in Swindon to remember women winning the vote, particularly acknowledging the radical campaigning by Swindon’s Suffragette hero, Edith New. It was an emotional day filled with songs and inspirational speeches and, speaking to the Swindon Advertiser, event organiser Leah Bevan Haines reflected on this:

“Edith was known for the three things, she was one of the first people to chain her self to railings, she was the first person to throw rocks through Downing Street windows, and the first to go on hunger strike in Scotland, so she was pretty up there.


Edith New (1877 – 1951)

There are still so many women’s right to fight for. It’s too easy to think ‘oh the votes been won that’s all history’, there are things you can take from Edith’s history and her story to inspire you now. We’d like the young girls here to think that their voice and votes do matter and there are issues that are important to me now. Some of the kids have talked about sexism in sport, women’s football not getting the same coverage that men’s does, and we’re saying if that’s your issue if that’s your issue then fight for that. So use your voice and claim your power by going to marches and protests, writing letters, petitions. Campaign in what ever way suits you but make sure your voice is heard. Go out and make a difference.”

Erin’s lyrics echo those thoughts; there’s still work to do…

Now you’re free
Hopefully forever
But am I free?
When will it be?
When they come knocking for me

Now you’re free
Hopefully forever
Now that voting’s for all
The chains and railings protest
A government test

You knew for sure
That that was the law to be changed

Hard to believe
That that was the law of the land

Now you’re free
Hopefully forever

Now you’re free
Now you’re free

And we wont forget
Edith New

Still work to do for Edith New…

Heard on Rocker’s March 2017 show on Dandelion Radio.


Erin Bardwell Collective in 2012 (L to R): Pete Fitzsimmons, Erin Bardwell, Sonya Beale, Pete O’Driscoll, Ed Frankis