Matthew Herbert marks Brexit with Big Band album blow-out


Composer, conductor and sampling-supremo Matthew Herbert is set to release his Brexit-inspired album, The State Between Us, on 29 March, the day Britain is scheduled to leave the EU. Herbert began the project two years ago on the day Article 50 was triggered, writing and developing music for his catchily-named United Kingdom and Gibraltar European Union Membership Referendum Big Band, motivated by the ideals and ideas of what represents Britishness as well as subjects such as ‘immigration’ and ‘home’.

This potentially colossal shift in British-European history is also reflected in the size of the project, which includes over 1,000 musicians and singers from across the EU. The album features leading jazz soloists such as trumpeters Enrio Rava, Sheila Maurice-Grey and Byron Wallen, trombonist Nathanial Cross, as well as singers Arto Lindsay, Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne, Merz and Patrick Clark who give voice to words by poets Percy Shelly and John Donne, revered British playwright Caryl Churchill and “various abusive members of the public and the secretary general of UKIP”.

The album also features a dizzying array of samples from such apposite sources as a Ford Fiesta being dissembled; a deep fried trumpet; a lonely cross-Channel swimmer; a factory being demolished and a cyclist riding around Chequers. See video below for more.

The band will perform at the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg on 16 February and two shows at the Royal Court Theatre, London on 29 March.

For more info visit

Mike Flynn

Watch The State Between Us trailer below: