Former Supergrass front man and Mercury nominated solo artist, Gaz Coombes today releases a live version of his single, Long Live the Strange, featuring The Choir with No Name: a UK charity who run safe singing communities with people impacted by homelessness and marginalisation. Captured by phone, the music video premieres today on Gaz’s YouTube channel with the single available on streaming services later this month. Watch here.
Gaz saw an opportunity to team up with Choir with No Name’s Birmingham choir while he was in town during his current UK tour. The choir were invited to join him and his band at The Mill in Digbeth pre-gig to record a unique live version of single Long Live the Strange from his critically acclaimed album Turn the Car Around.
Choir member, Steve, said: “Singing with Gaz Coombes and his band was totally out of this world, one of the best experiences of my life! He made us all feel very comfortable and relaxed, a real worldwide superstar!”
The Choir with No Name was founded in 2008. Their inclusive, diverse and non-judgmental choirs welcome anyone going through a tough time. Coming together in this way changes the lives of members – fostering confidence, new friendships, vital life skills and a renewed sense of purpose and belonging – all crucial to supporting someone’s journey away from homelessness. Singing with upwards of 700 people every year, they currently run six choirs in the UK: Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Coventry, Brighton (run in partnership with Brighton Housing Trust) and Cardiff (run in partnership with The Wallich).
They sing together weekly, enjoy a free hot meal after every rehearsal (the only hot meal some members get all week) and gig together all over the country.
Gaz said of the collaboration: “It was such a pleasure to meet and spend time with the brilliant folks from The Choir With No Name. There was a lot of love in the room that afternoon and their energy and joyous performance elevated the track even higher. I’m so happy we got to do this together. I look forward to seeing all the guys again soon…..and maybe do another song!”
This collaboration is hugely exciting for The Choir with No Name, who not only loved the experience of performing alongside Gaz and his band, but it also offers a brilliant opportunity to amplify their choir members’ voices and raise awareness of their mission to empower as many homeless and marginalised people as possible to showcase their talents, build personal resilience and positive, joyful singing communities.
The Original Version of Long Live The Strange is taken from Gaz Coombes’ acclaimed album ‘Turn the Car Around’. Released in January via Hot Fruit/Virgin Music, ‘Turn The Car Around’ debuted at No.6 in the UK Official Album Charts marking Gaz’s highest charting solo record to date. The album amassed a swarm of praise from fans and critics alike, and is still sitting in the top 10 in Metacritic’s Best Reviewed Albums of 2023.
Regarded as the best work of his illustrious career, ‘Turn The Car Around’ is an album that both tapped into the sonic palettes and lyrical themes of its predecessors – the third and final part of a trilogy of albums following 2015’s Mercury and Ivor Novello nominated ‘Matador’ and 2018’s ‘World’s Strongest Man’. At the same time, it carves a bold new way forwards. A snapshot of an artist in the midst of a creative purple patch. “The one thing that has really nourished me in the last ten years is the idea of evolving as an artist, evolving my writing to keep moving forward,” Gaz says. “I run on vibe. I always have.” The vibes have never been better.