‘Pills were just starting to flow in Britain. We thought: “What will this sound like in a club with people off their heads?”’

The origins of All Together Now go back to 1981. Michael Foot had been the centre of tabloid outrage after wearing what the papers called a “donkey jacket” at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. He later revealed that it was an £800 coat from Harrods which the Queen Mother had actually complimented him on, but the outrage made me angry. I thought the soldiers in the trenches would be more annoyed with the top brass that sent them to the front than, decades later, a Labour party leader’s attire. I’d trained as a history teacher and this incident inspired me to read more about the first world war. I chanced upon an article about the unofficial truce in 1914, when British and German troops came out of the trenches to play football with each other for Christmas. I wrote a song called No Man’s Land and we recorded it for a John Peel session. A couple of years later Paul McCartney released Pipes of Peace, with the same theme. I thought: “Bastard!”

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