Freedom Song video

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Arthur and Village Green Preservation Society – in pictures

We are the Village Green Preservation Society . . .

. . . God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety

We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium

Everyone knows the future’s coming . . .

… except for those Old-fashioned Steam-powered Trains

When we were young and the world was free . . .

There lived a cat, a phenomenal cat . . .

Sat by the fireside a-pondering on . . .

Wicked Annabella mixes a brew

We go on drifting on, dreaming dreams, telling lies. . .

And it’s over the audience . . . Lo lo lo lo Lola

With special thanks to Harvey Brough, Arthur and the Emigrants, the David Le Page Ensemble, CamJam Voices, and the one and only Ray Davies. Photographs by Nick Rutter. Shoreditch Town Hall, 15 February 2020.

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Freedom Song returns to the Hackney Empire

In a triumphant new oratorio, composer Harvey Brough and librettist Justin Butcher tell the inspiring story of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a group of freed slaves who took to the road in 1871 to raise money for their university. Their aim was not only to build the first university for black students set up after Emancipation, but to fight for the right of all African American students to be educated. In doing so, they introduced Plantation Spirituals to the world.

‘An exquisite project’ – Emma Thompson

Arriving in the UK, the Singers performed in palaces and parish halls. They introduced Queen Victoria to ‘Steal Away’ and inspired the Hackney Poor School to set up the UK’s first gospel choir. They went on to become heroes of the civil rights movement with a message that speaks as urgently to us today as it did 150 years ago.

Vox Holloway joins forces with the Hackney Empire Community Choir and Stoke Newington school singers, for a return of the soulful hit

Starring: Greg Wise as Prime Minister Gladstone and Justin Butcher as George White

Soloists: Emily Dankworth, Christina Gill, Mike Henry and Wills Morgan

Band: Liam Dunachie, Mike Outram, Finn Peters, Nic France

Where: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ

When: Sunday 29 March, 6pm. Buy your tickets here

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Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur

Vox sings the Kinks at Shoreditch Town Hall

In the late 1960s, the Kinks released two albums that countered the optimism of the decade with a bittersweet evocation of what had been lost. 1968’s charismatic Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, was followed in 1969 by Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), about a carpet-layer forced to emigrate to Australia to find work.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these albums Ray Davies has commissioned composer Harvey Brough to rearrange songs from Arthur, to accompany his triumphant choral version of The Village Green Preservation Society, premiered in 2018.


Voiceovers by Ray Davies

Soloists Clara Sanabras and Rick Leigh

Plus a new doo-wop super group:  Naomi Hammerton, Mike Henry, Wills Morgan and Harvey Brough

And the David le Page Ensemble

Shoreditch Town Hall, London, February 15. Book your tickets here


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Sing Christmas with Vox

Join us for an evening of Christmas music: some old favourites and some new arrangements by Harvey Brough – and a bit of festive audience participation.

Christine Gill (soloist)
James Murray (piano)
Vox Brass Quartet
Young Vox (Grassmere School)

Doors open 6pm – pay barVox_Christmas_A4Poster

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