Desford Colliery Band release Album for Peace to mark centenary of World War I
The Desford Colliery Band, one of Britain’s longest-running brass bands, is marking its 120th anniversary with an album for peace that also commemorates the centenary of the end of World War One.
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? is a collection of classic peace songs interpreted for brass band.
Band leader Peter Smith said: “We wanted to strike a note for peace in these troubled times so what better way to stir the souls of men and women all over the world than with our take on a set of classic peace songs?” asks band leader Peter Smith.
From the gently unfolding melody of Pete Seeger’s meditation on mortality that inspired the album’s title, to the joyful treatment of The Beatles’ global anthem ‘All You Need Is Love’, this is rousing and powerful music.
“Music brings people together, it’s hugely important to us and to our community" adds band member Darren Pearce who plays the Repiano Cornet. “At times it is our family, at times it’s our comfort. It’s at the centre of everything, our heart and soul.”
Highlights of the album include:
- ‘Imagine’ John Lennon’s clarion call for international unity
- The Bob Dylan protest hymn ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’
- REM’s soulful ‘Everybody Hurts’
- The eternally hopeful Judy Garland standard ‘Over the Rainbow’
The Desford Colliery Band
The message at the heart of Where Have All the Flowers Gone? comes from the lifeblood of the community that gave rise to Desford Colliery Band.
“As the title suggests the over-riding theme of the album is Peace,” says Kenneth Talbot 3rd Cornet. “There are no politics here – the band runs on friendship.”
Based in the small Leicestershire town of Coalville, close to the historic mining communities of Desford and Ibstock, the band has 35 championship titles to its name and can trace its history back to 1898.
Few of its founding members, many of whom were miners, could have foreseen that just 16 years later they would have to lay down their instruments to fight “The war to end war”. Peace in 1918 brought the band back together and it won a host of gold medals before its members were needed to fight a second global conflict.
Following that hiatus it has been active ever since, winning a string of awards for its recordings and starring in the hit TV series, The Real Brassed Off.
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? is released on Island Records on 26 October 2018.
(images copyright Desford Colliery Band)