Campaign Choirs will be singing for the demo around the Tory Conference in Manchester on Sunday 1st October. People's Assembly have suggested the combined street choir stand at the end of the march to sing to people as they finish the route. See you there!
It was great to hear Birmingham Clarion Singers feature on Radio 4's series 'Choral History of Britain' with Jane Scott and Annie Banham giving very good interviews. The programme also featured Greenham Common and the role of women singing at the peace camp. Both Birmingham Clarion Singers and Greenham are vital elements of the story of the development of street choirs in Britain. Our Campaign Choirs Network writing project is forging ahead nicely with a few chapters 'in the bag' that feature stories from street choir members across Britain. Hearing the Radio 4 programme has re-energised us for all the hard work of writing, editing, proof-reading... Excitingly, there's a really talented artist working on the cover of our Singing for Our Lives book due out next year from Hammer On Press. Hopefully the next episode in the series 'Choral History of Britain' will provide more food for thought and inspiration.
After weeks of head-down working on Singing For Our Lives - actually having a wonderful and challenging time, working with and learning from everyone on the S4OL team - I (Kelvin) took a day off yesterday. I chose to go to Cardiff for a mooch about and - of course - ran into the irrepressible Cor Cochion Caerdydd. They were taking a big part in an action against cuts to public services. As usual, they'd put the effort in to make their singing a real piece of street theatre. It was an honour to sing a couple of songs with the Red Choir. And they're surely right, what is the point of Labour if they don't oppose the swingeing budget cuts being forced on them by the Conservative government? All our councils, whoever controls them - Plaid CYmru, Lib Dems, independents - can't keep saying 'there's nothing we can do, it's Westminster'. True, if they resist individually, they'll get hammered. But if they get together, say a collective and resounding 'NO' and demand the money that they need, they might actually put a stop to the brutality, maybe even bring down this crass government that should by rights be in its death throes, and win back the respect and support of the people. And look, in the background of these photographs, whose name is embossed in gold! 'Save our public services, this is not the only way out!'