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Universal Music has announced an album entitled The Music Lives On Now The Mines Have Gone, which brings together the UK’s most renowned Colliery bands.
The album's release, on 1 March, will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the end of the Miners’ Strike.
Bands including Grimethorpe Colliery, Kent’s Betteshanger Brass, Scotland’s Buckhaven & Methil Miners Brass Band, Point of Ayr in North Wales, Carlton Main (Frickley) Colliery and Desford Colliery Band appear on the recording. Some of these groups performed as the miners returned to work on 3 March 1985 following the bitter industrial dispute, gaining them the name ‘the loyalty parade’.
The album includes arrangements of classical favourites such as ‘Largo’ from Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, the hymns ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘The Day Thou Gavest’ and pop songs such as ‘McArthur Park’ and ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’.
Many of the bands featured have toured overseas and reached the finals of the annual National Brass Band Championship. The Grimethorpe Colliery Band, formed in 1917 in South Yorkshire, achieved international fame in 1994, following its soundtrack for the film Brassed Off.
Colliery bands used to be at the centre of British mining community life, but have dwindled as many mines have closed. Each of the bands on the album will receive a royalty from album sales, helping this national heritage to survive.