“What brought the audience cheering to its feet at the end… was the metaphor for human solidarity presented by all those joyous musicians” the Telegraph, 4/5

“A more gloomy, depressed, bleak attitude than his own could scarcely be imagined.”  Melanie Phillips, the Times

www.brexitbigband.eu

The Brexit Big Band is the controversial, ever-evolving musical collaboration created by Matthew Herbert as an artistic response to the E.U. referendum (June 23rd 2016) and the triggering of Article 50. On the second anniversary of the vote, the Brexit Big Band have announced a series of shows across the continent in the coming months:

29th Jun          Verranos de la Villa 2018, Plaza de Colon, Madrid (free festival)

30th Jun          Montreux Jazz Festival

27th Jul            Wassermusik Festival 2018, Berlin

18th Aug          Live in the Square, London

17th Oct           Jazztage Festival, Leipzig

25th Nov          Romaeuropa, Rome

 

At each show, The Brexit Big Band changes much of its personal, working with local European amateur and professional choirs (with Choral Music Director Esmeralda Conde Ruiz) and local European musicians who perform alongside the Band’s regular lead players (working with Big Band Conductor Pete Wraight).

As previously announced, the Brexit Big Band will release an album on the day that the U.K. leaves the E.U. (currently set for March 29th 2019). The record is being recorded all over Europe and aims to feature over 1000 musicians and singers from Britain and the continent.

In the spirit of full transparency, the Brexit Big Band have released details of what to expect from them in the coming months in a statement from bandleader Matthew Herbert:

 

“I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks Brexit is going well. Jacob Rees Mogg is telling investors to take their money out of the UK. Nigel Lawson is moving to France. Parts of the Leave campaign broke the law and Nigel Farage has floated the idea of a second referendum. Furthermore ‘take back control’ apparently doesn’t extend to our own parliament, the majority of whom have voted against giving themselves any say over the deal and its consequences. Two years in and there’s still no plan from the government and we’re only a few months away now. It’s embarrassing, disheartening and utterly devoid of a positive vision for the kind of place we might want Britain to be. This is where the Brexit Big Band comes in. Since we were last in the news…

  • we have walked the Northern Ireland border, recording sounds as we go.
  • we have dismantled a Ford Fiesta in to its component parts
  • we have someone swimming the Channel for us
  • we’re recording in a fish and chip shop in Grimsby
  • we are recording the demolition of a British factory
  • we took part in one of the silent marches for Grenfell
  • we’ve written a song in German
  • we’ve made a symphony of endangered animals
  • we’re recording inside a World War 2 aircraft
  • we recorded a German passport misbehaving in Nigel Farage’s local pub
  • we’re organising a European kissathon in Trafalgar Square
  • we’re trying to organise a concert on a cross channel ferry

And finally, we have turned much of the abuse we got last year into lyrics, including tweets from the Secretary General of UKIP.

 

Recent press for the Brexit Big Band:

“A composer-cum showman who has an undeniable talent for breaking down the barriers
between performers and listeners”
The Times

“A paean to multiculturalism”
Evening Standard

“A shared feeling of delirium and affection…the compositions in their current state teeter between the dramatic moodiness of Bernard Herrmann and the looseness of Sun Ra”
Crack

“The Pro-EU ‘big band’ that WE pay for”

The Daily Mail

“Despite the controversy that’s sure to surround the performances, there’s no denying Herbert has stepped out on a limb in a way others haven’t… the show makes Brexit fun, moving and occasionally even funny”
Politico

“A tangible demonstration of the joy of cross-border collaboration…If there’s an exemplary and enjoyable way to voice a pro-EU message, then Matthew Herbert really has found it”

Loud & Quiet

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