The Political Turn: Entering the Great Feast


Coming up next week, before I disappear to Tuscany for a week, is the first Political Turn.

Where does it all begin? Well, in Greece of course, the home to western democracy and western philosophy, and we get there after a brief, improvised introduction. Our final destination is somewhere else though. In fact, it’s a place where any citizen of this planet can find themselves with ease. You’ll get some practice tips along the way and some experimental ideas as this episode is ultimately an act of practice itself in this yearlong series on practice. Your engagement with it will therefore be a practice too; one you may enjoy, or hate! The episode will not be all things to all people however and throughout I do my best to provide context, so that you know what is going on.

The first Political Turn takes listeners to the Great Feast with an emphasis on practice and since politics is a hot topic with many dangers littered across the path, specific current affairs and current concerns will be tackled with guests in the coming months.

This episode is primarily concerned with the Great Feast as that great gathering of all human knowledge and its potential role in our polarised times to liberate us. The episode is accompanied by instructions. If you follow them, you might actually get something out of it. If not, do try to find something to like about it…for example, the music…or the goats…or the Gods…

The music is central to this episode and I want to honour the artists who were so generous to provide their music by mentioning their work below. Have a listen if you like what you hear in this episode and support the artists by buying a download or limited edition vinyl. If they turn up in your town, go and see them play.

Xylouris White

Key to the episode is Xylouris White, who I saw perform live in Trieste earlier this year in one of my favourite gigs of the year. Firmly rooted in the past and future. Playing Cretan music of original and traditional composition, the band consists of Georgios Xylouris on Cretan laouto and vocals and Jim White on drum kit. Xylouris is known and loved by Cretans and Greeks at home and abroad. Jim White is an Australian drummer known and loved throughout the world as the drummer of Dirty Three, and Venom P Stinger.

Emerald Dreams

A Synthwave project based in Trieste, Italy, and put together by my friend Raul. Think Miami Vice meets Drive. If you like 80s future music, this might be right down your street. Most of his music can be downloaded for free.


Her music has been described as “heartbreaking and spine-tingling hymns” by Wonderland Magazine, “channeling the hymnal qualities of Cat’s Eyes with the dense vocals of Medúlla-era Björk” by The Line of Best Fit and a “songwriter of real strength and subtlety” by Clash. Bristol Live Magazine has hailed her “the city’s most exciting new act”. Support has also come from BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, saying she’d played her “on a loop all week” and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens who’s called her music “beautiful”.

Her delicate piano playing features prominently and is bolstered by balanced production of her own massed vocals, programmed drums, sub-bass, cello, violin and an obsession with reverb and delay.

Hundred Strong

Hundred Strong is the Alter ego of Bristol producer Ben Dubuisson and his music has featured often on our podcast episodes. He previously recorded as Purple Penguin for Bristol label “Cup Of Tea” and was an important part of the Trip Hop scene. His latest work includes collaborations with Joseph Malik, Kali Phoenix, Def Harmonics, Taskforce, and Amp Fiddler. It’s Bristol sound meets soul.

Other (lesser) podcasts

I’m joking and was inspired by some of them to make an effort to be more creative with my own podcast. Here are some recommended podcasts on politics beyond polarisation, & philosophy that touch on current affairs. Some are more consistent than others. The first is my favourite, though is sometimes UK-centric. If you have your own recommendations to make, which are preferably non-partisan, let me know and I’ll add them to the list!

  • Polarisation from the RSA
  • LSE Public Lectures
  • Intelligence Squared
  • Hi-Phi Nation
  • Talking Politics
  • A Point of View
  • Thinking Allowed
  • The Philosopher’s Zone
  • In Our Time
  • Zero Squared




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