Village Green Preservation Society – in pictures

All we need is an audience …

Thumbs up from Rick…

And we’re off…

Clara made our Days …

And Young Vox were wicked …

But who’s the man in the hat..?

No more hiding behind that pillar. Harvey outs Ray Davies…


With special thanks for a fabulous evening to Harvey Brough, Clara Sanabras, Rick Leigh,  photographer to the stars Sophie Yauner. And of course, to the legend that is … Ray Davies.

Long live Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety



Posted in Choir, Clara Sanabras, Community choir, Concert, London, Singing, Uncategorized

Only remember: Fauré Requiem and Incantation of Eden

faure-requiem-imageTo round off a memorable autumn term, before we abandon ourselves to the Christmas spirit, Vox Holloway is marking the end of the first world war centenary by reviving a double-bill we first performed four years ago.

Our Fauré Requiem is in a special new arrangement by Harvey Brough based on the French composer’s original chamber version, rather than the later – and more familiar – orchestral version.

The idea of partnering it with a new piece of music was born when Harvey and librettist Justin Butcher began to think about the impending four-year centenary of the first world war.

“It led Harvey and I to reflect on how Vox Holloway might engage with the theme of another world, the land of the departed,” says Justin.

“Though not a religious believer, Fauré nevertheless found the sombre texts of the Latin Requiem Mass for the Dead a powerful and liberating structure.

As Fauré himself wrote: “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

Harvey and Justin’s response was “a kind of cradle-song to a new-born child.” For Harvey, who wrote the score in just two weeks, “the child remembering was a powerful image.” Out of this image came a 10-minute partner piece to one of the most beautiful – and forgiving – works in the classical canon (Fauré had no time for the punitive histrionics of the Dies Irae.)

Incantation of Eden responds by shaping itself around the gentle injunction: “Listen … and remember”.


The Faure Requiem and Incantation of Eden, conducted by James Murray, will be performed at 7.30pm on  Sunday 25 November, at St Luke’s, Hillmarton Road, London N7 9JE. 

Click here to book tickets



Posted in Choir, Community choir, Concert, London, Singing, Uncategorized

Village Green Preservation Society – LATEST

We’re sorry to say (well, not entirely sorry) that our performance of this fabulous 50th anniversary tribute to the Kinks’s classic album is SOLD OUT.

But if you missed the good old-fashioned steam-powered train, you’re sure to be able to catch it again some time, and you can hear some choice bits of the album – plus wise words from our maestro Harvey Brough – on Radio 3’s In Tune.

Here it is, folks: (we make our entry at 1hour, 36 mins)

Yes, we were there! Twenty-six of us. (and hopefully some of our friends were there, too).  Seldom has there been such a squash on the 6th floor of Broadcasting House.

And it was Harvey’s birthday.


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Roll up, roll up! Village Green Preservation Society tickets now on sale

ehufEarly bird tickets are now on sale for the premiere of Harvey Brough’s brilliant new arrangement of the Kinks’ classic album, The Village Green Preservation Society.

Featuring the 120 voices of Vox Holloway, alongside Young Vox, and soloists Clara Sanabras and Rick Leigh, this unique 50th anniversary celebration of a 20th century masterpiece will take place on Sunday, October 28 at St Luke’s, Hillmarton Road, N7 9RE.

Click here to bag your place at the reduced price of £15 (£10 concessions). Be warned: they will cost you £20 on the door.

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Why the Kinks’ classic album is an oratorio for our times …

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The 120 voices of Vox Holloway are joining together this autumn to salute a musical legend and celebrate a seminal album that has become a huge influence on generations of pop musicians.

Ray Davies and the Kinks have left an indelible mark on the work of artists ranging from David Bowie to Blur and Lily Allen (just for starters).

Their 1968 album, The Village Green Preservation Society, is a unique musical fusion of vaudeville, oompah, music hall, palm court and the blues (an outrageous remodelling of Smokestack Lightnin’) – all bound together by the inimitable Kinksian rock with a tongue in its cheek.

Harvey has taken material from the album and session outtakes to create a modern Oratorio of Englishness, a collection of portraits of eccentricity, sometimes nostalgic or regretful, yet always leavened with wryness and humour.

The resulting choral work has a depth and an immediacy that is rare in the conventional choral repertoire.

Harvey says:

“Ray Davies is a composer whose range and versatility rivals, or surpasses, that of many classical composers. He also writes his own words with an insight and gift for truth to which many poets aspire. For me, he is a complete musician and composer, not just a pop artist.”

In the new oratorio we meet characters such as schoolfriend Walter (Do you remember Walter smoking cigarettes behind your garden gate?), Uncle Charlie (a-boozing with his friends in sunny Southend), Wicked Annabella, a temptress twisting minds, a Phenomenal Cat who eats his way around the world and Monica, who’ll do something wrong and prove to you she is right.

Coming at a time when we are questioning what it is to be British and what our relationship with Europe will be in the future,  the album’s 50th anniversary offers a poignant mirror image of the optimism of the late 60’s, when we were contemplating making a move in the opposite direction – joining the Common Market.

The album touches on themes that are more relevant than ever today. Along with friendship, growing up, old age and the passing of time, it deals with conservation, property development, deity, and the importance of connecting with nature.

As a community choir based a few miles from Ray Davies’s north London home, Vox Holloway is perfectly placed to carry his vision into a new era.


Posted in Choir, Community choir, Concert, London, Singing | 2 Comments