‘Give Up The Throne’: Modern-day troubadour Joshua Batten’s heavy blues-rock protest song

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‘Give Up The Throne’: Modern-day troubadour Joshua Batten’s heavy blues-rock protest song

Words by John “Dr John” Lamp

The track comes bolstered with talent, featuring Mike Elrington, John McNamara and Simon Hosford.

Joshua Batten is a Melbourne singer-songwriter and has just released his new single ‘Give Up The Throne’.

The song is taken from his upcoming album Learn To Live Again, due for release on October 3rd – a chronicle of his journey through the pandemic and how it affected his mental health going forward.

Once again he’s offering up something different – a heavy blues-rock protest song about the dangers of mob mentality and losing control of emotions. 

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The song was inspired by the daily press conferences from local premiers during the COVID-19 lockdowns, but also the vague promises made by political leaders around the world.

Joshua explains; “I wrote the first version in 2019 after a friend asked me to write a song in response to the federal elections both at home and abroad, specifically how political leaders often make promises as part of their campaigns that they never live up to, yet keep getting re-elected despite this,” he explains. 

“It found a second life in lockdown, as daily press conferences from state premiers followed the same patterns day after day, and rarely offered any real solutions or sense of hope.

“Like many, I took my frustration and anger out on the government, blaming them for extending lockdowns and not offering a clear road map out.”

But ‘Give Up The Throne’ marks the beginning of a major shift in his attitude towards the pandemic.

“Change is the only constant in life, and the only thing we can control is our reaction to those changes. We can either stay still, waiting for the winds to change in our favour, or weather the storm by elevating our best qualities and applying them to the new situation.”

It’s a strong track which has guest backing vocals from Melbourne blues stalwarts John McNamara and Mike Elrington, as well as a ripping guitar solo by session musician Simon Hosford who’s worked with Daryl Braithwaite, Men At Work, and Birtles Shorrock and Goble.

It’s addressing serious issues, so it has a strong beat and vocals.

There’s a great instrumental break which allows Simon Hosford to showcase his talent. A great touch there, should be more of it.

Josh’s vocals are crisp and clear, but unfortunately tend to disappear in the choruses. This is a pity, as he’s trying to send a message in this piece. There’s a fashion for mixing instruments to compete with vocals at present. This has not always been the case. If you listen to Deep Purple from the 1970s, as an example, the mix allows the vocals to come over the top of even their most aggressive instrumental parts.

Well, leave aside that little personal rant, ‘Give Up The Throne’ is a great piece, vocally, instrumentally, and has a message which needs listening to.

Stream ‘Give Up The Throne’ here. Learn To Live Again is available now to pre-order on BandCamp and Joshua’s website