We love Tracey Curtis who has sung at social forum gigs, climate camp gigs, the 2013 street choir festival, and who is now lending this project her support: 'In 2013, I was honoured to be asked to perform at the Street Choirs Festival, in Aberystwyth, where it was hosted that year.All of those involved are dedicated to raising people's awareness of human rights and to promote a world which is inclusive and peaceful.This Campaign Choirs project deserves to be supported!"
Buy one of Tracey's cd, we KNOW you'll like it, watch out for Tracey's gigs in your area, or just book her now!
'Didn't we have a lovely day the day we went to Whitby!' Well, actually, it was the whole weekend and it was a hell of a journey to get there, but it was great to meet old friends, hear choirs old and new sing, busk in the streets, be part of a really well attended and enthusiastic Campaign Choirs meeting, and do our Singing For Our Lives stuff - talking to loads of people, handing out flyers and trying desperately not to offer anyone a flyer more than twice! Good weather mostly, too. Some highlights that come instantly to mind: The wonderful Snowapple singing on Friday night, a couple of great songs in the mass sing, busking and hearing other choirs busk - and lonely signature busking spot out by the beach huts, brilliant performance of their protect the NHS song by Sheffield Socialist Choir complete with tiny ambulance, big blue flashing light and a siren chorus as they acted watching free healthcare disappear into thedistance. Then there was the always magnificent Out Aloud, singing wonderful beautifully while dressed in Dracula ghoul-cool: They always steal the show, and everyone else is absolutely delighted to be robbed!! Fab moment for Red Leicester on stage too - everyone so looking forward to next year! Here a few sample snaps, more all day on our Facebook page. Big thanks to Whitby Community Choir!
"Great work! Well done, it sounds very exciting. I am, indeed, willing to support your efforts to record street choirs and publish a section with some life stories. It all is an inspiring process as well as a final reality.... I'm honoured to endorse and support the street choirs life-histories project."
Chancellor Osborne looks set to cut tax credits, housing benefit, and what else? Strange to write something good on this budget day that is so suffused by a sense of dread, but we're so pleased to have the backing of the wonderful O'Hooley & Tidow, Belinda and Heidi:
'We think the project is a great idea. From our point of view of performing at a couple of Street Choir Festivals (Whitby and Hebden Bridge), we have met some wonderful people, and we have been positively affected by the community energy and enthusiasm of Street Choirs.'
At school I was only taught about the lives of Kings and Queens and never the lives of the populations they reigned over. Even today, we have royal correspondents and celebrity culture. It would seem the spotlight is always away from the truly important lives in any society - ours. I love this project because it does something inherently radical. It puts the spotlight on the lives of ordinary people and chooses to tell our story. Stories are our way of sharing our insights and experiences for the benefit of each other. Song often does a similar job. Singing and storytelling are acts of sharing and connection and coming together that is deeply important, not just for our shared humanity, but for our ability to resist together and create a better world.
Commemorating the life of Ray Davies in the Temple of Peace in Cardiff on Saturday the 4th of July clashed with US Independence Day. So, first off, apologies that all those US celebrations across Wales and beyond were therefore sparsely attended. But they cannot, anyway, have been even half as joyful. Without disparaging all his other work, as a county councillor and a resolute socialist in an irresolute Labour Party, Ray’s life was most vitally linked to Côr Cochion Caerdydd, Cardiff’s Red Choir, and to song. Ray was one of the people who started Côr Cochion, and the choir stands as a beacon of what a street choir can do, taking action with social movements, boosting morale and inspiring others.
Côr Cochion have sung to support so many campaigns and causes that the list here will inevitably be incomplete, even though it reads like a history lesson in radical social movements: coal miners’ and steel workers’ strikes, the campaign against the poll tax, anti-apartheid, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, Cymru Cuba, Troops Out of Ireland, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, CND, Trident Ploughshares…
During the commemoration, tributes to Ray were not so much punctuated as rendered seamless by potent songs from Côr Cochion that marked Ray’s commitment to his mining community roots, the union, anti apartheid, peace, Palestine, Wales and international solidarity. From the wings, Bristol’s Red Notes and Côr Gobaith from Aberystwyth, the formation of the latter directly attributable to the inspiration of Côr Cochion, backed the choir’s stirring arrangements of Miner’s Lifeguard, Solidarity Forever, Nkosi Sikelele’ I Africa, Guantanamera, We Shall Overcome, The Wall (about Palestine, to the tune of Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho), Yma O Hyd (We’re Still Here, about the survival against historical oppressions of the Welsh people), and the Internationale (in Welsh and English).
Tributes to Ray highlighted his conviction that, anytime people stood up together for what was right, there was no defeat. Lindsay Whittle, a Plaid Cymru AM but long-time political ally of Ray’s in south Wales, dubbed his comrade the most civilised man he had ever met, defining civilised as having a moral compass and the courage to act upon it. Ray Davies broke the law and was arrested numerous times, taking direct action for peace and justice, especially for nuclear disarmament. He once crossed a picket line – clinging to and attempting to stop a vehicle carrying scab labour! On a solidarity visit to Gaza, a bullet grazed Ray’s head as he was escorting ambulances carrying wounded Palestinians to hospital. In Ireland, Côr Cochion’s bus was stoned by extreme unionists, the windows broken and choir members injured…
As some of my own choir, Côr Gobaith, have to remind me, we do not all have Ray Davies’ mental and physical strength: we cannot all cut through fences or scale them; we cannot all put our lives and livelihoods on the line all the time. We are not all Ray Davies, we have different life-histories, different imaginings of the future and how to get there, red, black, green and rainbow. But we can all sing, inspire, mobilise and support social movements for peace, justice and environmental sustainability. Very recently, I sang with members of Côr Cochion against a proposal to open a new opencast coal-mine in Rhymney. It was hard for all of us to be on the other side of the line from the coal miners whose jobs tragically depend on exploiting a fossil fuel that threatens all life on Earth. Not their fault that their union, Unite, and most of all the UK and Wales governments were not doing their damndest to curb climate change, guarantee energy security and create jobs in green industries.
If Ray had been alive, he would have been singing with us. He never got stuck in the politics of the past, despite having a deep, personal sense of history and the exploitation with which it is so shamefully scarred. But Ray would also have talked to the miners, as indeed did a younger member Côr Cochion, of whom Ray would have been so proud. Ray would have told those miners that we have to make a new history, a future in which we are in control and in which we will not tolerate the exploitation or oppression of anyone or anything, from our neighbour through our fellow human beings across the planet to the rest of the natural world. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow we must sing – against austerity and for a green economy, against Trident Replacement and for nuclear disarmament, against cuts in public services and for social justice, against intransigence and for communication.