Sweet Liberties

As the UK marks 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta and 750 years since the De Montfort Parliament, a group of notable British musicians have been commissioned by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), PRS for Music and Folk by the Oak in conjunction with the year-long ‘2015 Anniversaries: Parliament in the Making’, to write songs celebrating the history of democracy and rights under the banner ‘Sweet Liberties.’

Martyn Joseph, Nancy Kerr, Sam Carter and Maz O’Connor, alongside Patsy Reid and Nick Cooke, are taking this work on tour around the UK and this evening I attended the launch event in the historic surroundings of the State Rooms in the Speaker’s House at the House of Commons. This consisted of speeches by our host, Cardiff MP Kevin Brennan and Katy Spicer, Chief Executive of EFDSS, who also introduced the artists as they each performed their new composition and heartfelt tributes to the rights’ movement.

It was great to meet Martyn, Maz, Sam and Nancy afterwards and my thanks to Kevin for a subsequent visit to the Strangers’ Bar, where I spent a very enjoyable hour in the company of multi-instrumentalist Gerry Diver and Nancy’s husband, James Fagan.


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