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Friendly Fires criticise Tories for playing their song ‘Blue Cassette’ at party conference

Boris Johnson used the 2011 single from 'Pala' as his walk-on music at the party conference

By Emma Kelly

Friendly Fires band
Friendly Fires have hit out at the Tories. (Picture: Polydor Records)

Friendly Fires have issued a furious statement after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson used one of their songs as his walk-on music at the Conservatives’ party conference.

The St Albans band – made up of Ed Macfarlane, Jack Savidge and Edd Gibson – branded the Tories a “blue bunch of corrupt wankers” after learning that their track ‘Blue Cassette’ was played  ahead of Johnson’s address in Manchester on October 6. 

In a statement shared on social media, Friendly Fires said: “We do not endorse the Conservative party’s use of our track ‘Blue Cassette’. Our permission was not sought, and we have asked our management to make sure it isn’t used again.

“If we’d intended them to use it, we’d have named the track ‘Blue Bunch Of Corrupt Wankers’.”

The ‘Jump In The Pool’ stars then shared a screenshot of a 2017 headline about Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg calling the existence of food banks “rather uplifting”, and wrote: “If Boris Johnson needed something uplifting to walk on to, perhaps he should have used the sound of a busy food bank.”

Released in 2011, ‘Blue Cassette’ was the third single off Friendly Fires’ second album, ‘Pala’.

The group’s most recent album, ‘Inflorescent’, was released in 2019, and reached number 15 in the UK charts.

Friendly Fires join a long act of acts who have objected to their music being used at conferences and campaign launches by the Tories.

In 2010, Keane were ‘horrified’ to learn that their song ‘Everybody’s Changing’ was used as part of the Conservative party’s election manifesto launch soundtrack, with drummer Richard Hughes tweeting: “Told the Tories played Keane at their manifesto launch. Am horrified. To be clear – we were not asked. I will not vote for them.”

Florence Welch objected to Theresa May walking out to her cover of Candi Staton’s ‘You’ve Got The Love’ at the 2017 party conference, tweeting at the time: “Today’s use of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ at the Conservative party conference was not approved by us nor would it have been had they asked.

“If the Conservative party could refrain from using our music in future.”

The same year, Calvin Harris hit out at then Prime Minister May for using his collaboration with Rihanna, ‘This Is What You Came For’, at the conference, tweeting: “I do not support nor condone happy songs being played at such a sad event … Also cough plus grey complexion suggests liver cleanse needed – blood prob very dark – body trying to cleanse but lack of nutrients pls google.”