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Page last updated at 07:18 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009
The King Blues 'write own rules'

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

The King Blues
London's The King Blues tour the UK in March

The King Blues singer Itch: "Since day one when there was two people coming to our gigs we said we wanted to be the biggest band in the world."

"We're kind of writing our own rules as we go along."

Those words might sound ridiculous coming from most bands' mouths but London's The King Blues have earned their right to spout such grand proclamations.

Right now the acoustic political punks are playing sold out shows, gracing magazine covers, had a successful album [Save The World, Get The Girl] and appearing on breakfast television but it hasn't always been that way - especially in the beginning.

Philosophical outlook

"Back in them days it was quite hard for us to get shows because we wanted to play in that punk rock scene," says guitarist Jamie Jazz. "But we never let that deter us."

"You can't please everyone," says Itch philosophically. "Because if you're pleasing everyone you're not saying anything or doing anything."

"With us as a band our focus isn't really to meet people's expectations of what is or isn't punk it's definitely to have our own agenda."

Once assembled in their current form [their current live format features six people] the band began playing gigs in their squat.

"We took to the streets of London in the middle of the night to find a band and build it," recalls Jamie.

"We changed the locks on the doors, put section 6 up, hooked up the power and we just threw parties."

Real start

Even before those embryonic stages there were struggles - pre the riotous house parties lead singer Itch had found himself roaming the capital's streets homeless.

It's an experience which put fire in the belly of the then 18-year-old.

"It seems a lot harder to be homeless now," he says. "The government policy being that they want to clear the streets of the homeless by 2012 in time for the Olympics."

It's no surprise to find that he's fuming.

"At the moment in the city of London the police are using something called Operation Poncho where they're waking up homeless people in the middle of the night - making them leave where they're sleeping.

"[Then] hosing down with excessive amounts of water where they sleep and the surrounding area so they can't then bed down again once the authorities go.
I'd like to see a lot of laws that were brought in when we were supposedly under a terrorist threat, that were brought in for that reason, to now be repealed
Itch, The King Blues

"That sums up the government's attitude towards the homeless."

It was a difficult experience but one integral to the way The King Blues now operate.

Their recently-completed UK tour saw fans gain entrance to the shows by purchasing a copy of the Big Issue.

"The kids coming to the shows had to be in contact with vendors," explains Itch. "They were realising that these people are as much a part of their community as their neighbours."

"As a band we're much more about changing the regular people's point of view and attitude towards the homeless."

The political pop band regard themselves as part of just a "handful" of artists speaking out about real issue.

"At the moment we are a war generation we are in the middle of a recession," fizzes Itch. "This country is funding it and this country is sending arms over there [in reference to Gaza]"

"I'd like to see a lot of laws that were brought in when we were supposedly under a terrorist threat, that were brought in for that reason, to now be repealed."

"It's important I think now to take a step back and start righting our wrongs basically."

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