Kevin Corbett looks back at the Artists for Brexit 'Big Brexit Party' at The Troubadour.
Photos by Chris Sharp
A shared affiliation against a national foe has always been a basis for performers and audiences to mingle together and inspire great art. Witness those celebratory concerts organised as forms of solidarity, comfort and protest by the big bands during WWII and more recently those by Rock Against Racism and Love Music Hate Racism.
The Big Brexit Party was a similar 21st century gig held to celebrate our national departure from European Union’s stranglehold. Audience and performers gathered together for mutual comfort, solidarity and protest through the experience of different performances organised by Artists for Brexit.
Many in the diverse audience were undoubtedly Brexiteers, but not all. Yet an atmosphere of decency and respect prevailed with no manifest incivility, unlike that experienced within our respective social spheres, where stigma and slanders of racism (or worse) for voting Brexit are reportedly common.
Truly liberating was this full-on evening of entertainment fuelled by a Brexit-euphoria from a diverse range of performers who fully embraced the referendum result to the point that it informed not just the content of their art (whether song, comedic cabaret or poetry) but also its optimistic, uplifting and spirited delivery.
The performers included: Meg Lee Chin’s powerful electronic-infused vocal renditions; Lucy Harris’s ethereal vocals, Michael Lightfoot’s softer vocals, Chloe Westley’s wry poetry and the comedic cabaret to thwart all political correctness from Will Franken. Andrea Jenkyns the sitting M.P. for Morley and Outwood (West Yorkshire) also sang and there was a short message from Gisela Stuart (former co-chair of the Vote Leave campaign). Northern Irish musician, Willie Drennan and his band performed fantastically stirring folk songs and DJ Rebop, otherwise known as the up and coming star and director of Voice4Change, Kunle Olulode brought a cool vibe to the evening with his set.
The overwhelming thrust of this evening of gusto performances was onwards and upwards towards a better sovereign reality where our country can truly reshape its own destiny wrestled free of the EU stranglehold.
Kevin Corbett is a constructionist and light sculptor.
His work can be found at: www.kevinpcorbett.com