D:Ream ban Labour from using their song ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ in election campaign

Pop band D:Ream have banned the Labour Party from using their hit song “Things Can Only Get Better” during their election campaign.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak’s general election announcement was drowned out by the track being played by a protester blaring it through a loudspeaker in the pouring rain. It led to speculation that the song could make a resurgence in the runup to the general election on 4 July.

The song was originally the sound of Tony Blair’s 1997 general election campaign.

But band members Peter Cunnah and Alan Mackenzie have said that they will deny any request by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to use the song at this year’s election.

The pair admitted their first thought when it went viral after the announcement was, “Not again.”

“The fact that it’s gone back to a political thing, I find disturbing. I was thinking, can we get on with our lives? But now it’s come back,” Cunnah told LBC radio.

“You question, are we just some sort of protest song on a speaker down at the end of a street? It’s like some very odd piece of gravity that you just can’t escape.”

After the UK became involved in the war on Iraq, the band said they were often accused of “having blood on their hands” and the ensuing regret led them to think differently about the place of music in politics.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says ‘wealth creation’ is his top priority (Getty Images)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says ‘wealth creation’ is his top priority (Getty Images)

“I remember clearly, there was this wonderful sea change, and the nation had this feeling that there was a need for change,” Cunnah said.

“Everyone was really behind it and giving Labour the benefit of that doubt. But after the war, I became politically homeless.”

When asked what their response would be to a request by the Labour leader to use one of their songs to promote their campaign, Mackenzie was certain in his response.

“There’s no way – our songs and politics, never again.” he said.

“I’ve learned the hard way. No, no, no,” Cunnah echoed.

Mackenzie, who spoke to LBC from his home in the Midlands, said: “I don’t think politics and music should be linked.

“It’s happened to a lot of other bands as well in America and here because songs get sort of intrinsically linked to something, it can really affect it in a negative way.

“I mean, I’ll be voting to get the Tories out, but I don’t really want the song to be linked to that.”

Mackenzie added: “This is a change of guard, I don’t see this as an election. It’s just a change of guard, someone handing the baton on.”

Meanwhile, singer Låpsley has welcomed the use of her song before and after Keir Starmer’s first major campaign speech this week.

The Labour leader walked on to the sound of “Better Times” by Låpsley and KC Lights, which was also heard before and after shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves’ speech on Monday 27 May.

It was all the more notable due to the thematic similarities between “Better Times” and “Things Can Only Get Better”.