Belfast-based DIY feminist queerpunk quartet Problem Patterns' new track is an acerbic and biting critique of Tory funding policy and their attempts to privatise the NHS.
If ever there was a government that deserved the punk takedown treatment, then surely the current UK government is it. There’s a lot of material there, not least of which is the current state of the NHS. And this is exactly the topic that Problem Patterns tackle in new single ‘Who Do We Not Save?‘
Commenting on the single, the band say: “Our healthcare system has been falling apart for years due to cuts, and the pandemic only sped up the process. We constantly see campaigns telling people to ask for help, especially in regards to mental health, but the reality is that the services we need are under too much pressure. The line ‘We’re one or two paychecks away’ refers to the fact that many of us will be in a lot of trouble if privatisation becomes reality here.
The title itself is lifted verbatim from Dominic Cumming’s photo of the white board used to plan the UK government’s early response to COVID. We thought it would be fitting to use it for the single’s cover art, too.”
Directed by band member Alanah Smith and shot on location at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, the official video for the single was filmed and edited by Darren Hill, with Penny McGovern as camera assistant, and Fionn Dempsey playing the patient.
“I wanted the video to capture the chaotic energy of the song,” says Smith of the shoot. “I pictured the storyline as soon as we’d finished the song. In the first half, you have stressed out healthcare workers trying to save a life without the tools to be able to do so. Meanwhile, there’s a shady business deal to sell off what little is left of public healthcare, big menacing grins and all. I wanted to approach this with a bit of comedy, because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.”
Problem Patterns originated in Belfast in 2018, formed by the group’s collective fury over a high-profile rape trial. Their debut single ‘Allegedly’ was swiftly written, recorded, and released at the end of 2018 in response.
The quartet are not limited by age, ability, or binary identities. They don’t have a front person, but instead swap instruments and roles to ensure that each member of the group has a voice.
Latest single ‘Who Do We Not Save?’ is the first new material from the band since their 2022 single ‘Y.A.W’—an acronym for ‘Yes All Women’ and a retort to the social media excuse-me, “Not All Men”—which was penned in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Sarah Everard. “We’re trying to help people get through certain situations,” says Beverley, “Or speak to situations that people are living at this moment. It’s hard to hold things back.”
With plenty more news to come, the band already have a busy schedule shaping up for 2023, with support slots alongside And So I Watch You From Afar… and Fight Like Apes, plus appearances at Friday Fest, Sound of The Other City, My People Fest, Crapfest, and Core Festival, with further live dates TBA (see below for listings).
15.03.23 – The Black Box, Belfast (Pink Pound)
17.03.23 – The Garage, London (w/ Fight Like Apes)
07.04.23 – Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast (Friday Fest w/ Axis Of, Mob Wife)
30.04.23 – Bollox, Manchester (Sound Of The Other City Festival)
15.07.23 – Ost Hafen, Berlin (My People Fest w/ FAIM, Dying For It)
22.07.23 – EBGBs, Liverpool (Crapfest w/ Crapsons, Piss Kitti)
19.08.23 – Glasgow (Core Festival)
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