The Lounge Society: teenage punk band in Yorkshire takes on grouse shooting

More and more, we’re seeing local residents and moorland communities finding courage and speaking out against the grouse shooting culture and its associated criminality that dominates and damages their daily lives.

We’ve heard from local communities in the Yorkshire Dales National Park (see here and here), from a community in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (see here), from a local community in the North York Moors National Park (here), and from the community at Leadhills in South Lanarkshire (here).

Here’s another example, this time from a punk band (The Lounge Society) created by teenagers who’ve grown up in West Yorkshire’s Pennine towns.

[Photo by Piran Aston]

The Lounge Society have a single out called Burn the Heather and according to an interview they’ve done with the NME ‘it takes aim at local landowners’ pre-grouse shooting ritual of burning the moor-top heather, with deerstalkers, wellies and tweed jackets in the accompanying video’.

NME asked guitarist Herbie May, ‘How did Burn the Heather come to be and what was the story behind that?’

Here’s his response:

There’s a continuing trend where a lot of wealthy local landowners will burn a lot of land for the sake of a bloodsport essentially to shoot grouse and other birds. That contributes to flooding and it’s generally very unpleasant and it can give rural areas a bit of a bad name and we wanted to express how ugly that is. It was just a local teenagers perspective on that lyrically. The groove is quite important to the track itself and to a lot of our music. We really set out to make people dance and make you move while getting across what we wanted to say about local issues and if that has any connection to issues which affect small towns everywhere“.

NME: I guess it smartly loops it into the wider political dialogue right now in many ways? 

Herbie May: “It is something that has gone on in the Tory party, over lockdown there were certain rules which seemed to specifically protect fox hunting. For a time you were allowed to go fox hunting but you weren’t able to play football in the park with your mates, so it does apply in other areas albeit in slightly different physical manifestations. The idea that there’s a class of people that have that much desire to kill living animals to the extent of making such brazen acts like that, it is shocking“.

To read the full NME interview please click here

UPDATE 21st February 2021: There’s more commentary about this video and the shooting industry’s irrational, hysterical meltdown about it here

26 thoughts on “The Lounge Society: teenage punk band in Yorkshire takes on grouse shooting”

  1. If we lived in a genuine democracy all of these field sports and their counterfeits (trail hunting) would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, we live in a plutocracy in urban areas and a feudal system in the countryside.

    1. So what you supporters are saying is that you want ALL hunting banned. And you think, in a democracy, that this kind of prejudice against something you don’t like is acceptable? I support the original aims of this blog, but hatred has overtaken logic and reason here, from the top down. I find that quite sad. What next? Should I expect to be trolled and receive abuse because of my opinion? I can tell you that does happen.

      1. “And you think, in a democracy, that this kind of prejudice against something you don’t like is acceptable?”

        When the majority agree, yes. It was how we got rid of all sorts of abhorrent behaviour in the past…

      2. Hi Christopher Barber, Democracy can be disastrous for some opinions. We have the fine example of brexit to show what can go wrong. But 4% more folk want it than not.

        The number now wishing to control the unreasonable activities of a minority, taking part in cruel and harmful killing and habitat destruction all to produce more gun fodder. Trail hunting that kills foxes. Predator control for no sensible reason. All must be stopped.

        Chris, if democracy says that killing for fun must stop, do you think that you have the right to carry on killing?

        Last time you ignored my comments and questions. Will you answer this time?


      3. In answer to your question Mr. Barber, yes, I for one want all forms of fun-killing of wildlife outlawed – it is sick, unnecessary and the threats to our wildlife/environment is unacceptable. You may wish to perpetuate your ethically bankrupt Victorian death cult, but IN A DEMOCRACY there may come a time where the populous votes to outlaw the killing of wildlife for fun, as has already happened with hunting wild mammals with dogs. Other campaigns go on and obviously have you rattled. That too is democracy in action… Since you appear to be so keen on democracy, perhaps you will join me (and many others) and condemn the criminals still killing foxes for fun with dogs under the disgraceful sham of ‘trail hunting’? They, after all, are criminals and in a democracy we do not tolerate criminals do we?

      4. You say ‘prejudice’ here but really mean ‘argument’. Or should do. In the democracy to which you refer arguments are exchanged in debate to form a collective decision. Prejudice, on the other hand is exchanged in conflict to impose power and control as has been the case within the shooting and hunting world for far too long. And Conservationists don’t need prejudice as we have all the best arguments.

    2. That’s a dumb argument.

      In a civilised society activities should be permitted or restricted on their ethical merits irrespective of whether the majority agree or disagree with them. If some forms of shooting can be carried out without adversely affecting the wider environment then they should be permitted. If they can’t then they should be restricted.

      If we followed your approach we would almost certainly still have the death penalty.

  2. I think this is fantastic. Go for it guys ! Reading this you can see why the establishment are so keen to patronise and dismiss young people – they’re a threat ! Far more articulate and on the ball than the complacent people they are criticising. Its really great to have you working for our countryside and the future and I wish you the very best.

  3. Chris Packham will be in seventh heaven!! Thoroughly enjoyed that myself. In a similar vein this may raise spirits too – [Ed: rest of comment deleted – off topic]

  4. Well done to the guys from The Lounge Society for speaking out this way.
    Sites like this and songs like this help spread public awareness on all levels. I’m sure this will be shared far and wide and the many groups and individuals all pulling in the same direction will make life harder for the wealthy landowners who allow shooting and killing on their land. The eventual outcome will be little or zero heather burning, less local flooding, more moorland being re-wilded and subsequently more raptors and other birds etc. Well done guys, the songs great and I love the video and was quietly laughing as I bobbed about like a nutter. I wish you all the luck in the world and I’ll watch out for this and any future stuff. #BanDGS

    1. As an old time folk singer we would sing our protest songs to get out the message of our views of the world around us, these guys are doing the same. I doubt their single will end up in my collection but well done to them

  5. Bravo ! This is the sort of involvement that we need to take our concerns out to the general public and give the raptors a voice

  6. As a first generation Punk from the seventies, and an active environmentalist, i applaud what you are doing . ” Never Mind The Grouse Shooters heres the Lounge Society “. Brilliant video too.

  7. You might like to know that xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx is on Twitter using the video to accuse you of spreading something supporting the killing of gamekeepers / shooters.

    I didn’t realise that xxxxx who enjoy killing for fun were so sensitive.

    1. Thanks, Simon, I’ve written about some of what I see as a total overreaction here:

      That the grouse shooting industry is so pathetically rattled by some teenagers’ video, telling their own truths from their own perspectives, really does expose the industry for the shallow, got-nothing-to-offer dinosaur it is. It’s time to move on and the industry can see that distant writing on the wall coming more in to focus every single day.

  8. Great track! Far more more sophisticated than Punk if you ask me…….. It’s great to see that it’s not just us old crumblies that are up in arms about the activities of the bloodsports lobby.

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