The project of the Brexit Big Band comes to an end with a concert in London after a two-year journey across Europe, we interviewed his leader Matthew Herbert.
Matthew launched the Brexit Big Band project on 29th March 2017, the same day that Theresa May triggered article 50 giving the UK a two-year countdown to the day it is due to leave the EU. Since then then project has involved over a thousand contributors including musicians and singers from across Europe.
It was conceived as a farewell party which started in Great Britain right after the referendum vote to “exit” from the EU and continued across Europe celebrating artistic and musical collaboration and communities across national borders.
The band came to Rome for the final concert outside of the UK which involved rehearsing and recording with a band of local musicians and a 100-strong choir. We interviewed Matthew Herbert before the concert that was held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in collaboration with Romaeuropa Festival.
He shared with us his thoughts about Europe, the importance the old continent played in his life, his concept of music and the big issues of the British society. “In an increasingly fractured and divided political climate where tolerance and creativity are under threat, it feels like an important time to assert the desire for our bit of the musical community in Britain to reach out in solidarity with some of our closest, but soon to be less accessible, friends and neighbours” says Matthew Herbert (watch the interview in full in the video).
Last Friday, on 29th March 2019, the day the UK was due to leave the EU (and the day the band’s album “The State Between Us” was released) the Band performed two concerts at London’s Royal Court Theatre.