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Matthew Herbert Brexit Big Band releases Brits only protest EP

Herbert joins Radiohead and Elton John in decrying woeful Brexit arrangements over touring Europe

Matthew Herbert

The Matthew Herbert (Brexit) Big Band, a massive project involving thousands of musicians across Europe, has released a new protest EP ‘You’re Welcome Here’ – with all its European participants removed.

Band leader Matthew Herbert has also joined the growing list of stars – including, today, Radiohead and Elton John – criticising the government’s failure to adequately negotiate arrangements for British musicians to tour abroad.

Herbert said: “The founding principle of Brexit is fundamentally at odds with the idea of collaboration so it’s no surprise to find this government has thrown a vibrant, popular, successful creative industry under a bus to prove a point. The music industry needs to be quicker to engage with bigger political questions instead of assuming music rises above this stuff. This touring issue was a clear danger from the very start of Brexit yet the industry is only now properly rallying to try to sort something. Where was this lobbying and organising four years ago?”

11 MH - Chris Plytas (1)
photo – Chris Plytas

The Matthew Herbert (Brexit) Big Band’s 2019 album The State Between Us incorporated more than 1000 musicians and singers recorded over two years in locations all over Europe. However, the new three track EP ‘You’re Welcome Here’, which also features ‘The Special Relationship’ and ‘Fish and Chips (Brexit edition)’, both using found sound recordings captured on the coast of the North Sea at Grimsby, sees the band stripped of all European involvement.

The EP is released on February 19.