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The story behind the song: Battle Of The Beanfield by The Levellers

Fired by social injustice, this “good, shouty” gypsified protest song remains one of the most enduring tunes in the band’s catalogue

Britain was a divided country in 1985. Unemployment figures had risen to more than three million, there were riots in Birmingham and Brixton, inflation was high and the pay gap grew wider. The miners’ strike had ended in March, after a rancorous year-long dispute that signalled the beginning of the end for the national coal industry.

Three months later, on June 1, a clash between Wiltshire police and New Age travellers became known as The Battle Of The Beanfield, scene of one of the biggest mass arrests in English history.

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