One of Sting’s biggest hits could have been an anthem for lockdown – Don’t Stand So Close To Me.
But another might apply right now – So Lonely.
But that’s not why the former frontman of global band The Police decided to get involved with the Battersea Power Station Choir. It’s because he saw the dogged persistence of its singers in keeping going during lockdown.
Plus, they are his neighbours in his new home in the redeveloped landmark – up the road from his first London home in Prince of Wales Drive.
The choir have gone digital and are rehearsing together virtually, once a week, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sting made a surprise visit to one of their regular online meetings, and took the opportunity to get involved by organising a special collaboration with them.
The group came together to virtually record an exclusive rendition of Hymn from the critically acclaimed musical, The Last Ship, for which Sting wrote the music and lyrics.
The BPS Community Choir and Sting were also joined by the cast of The Last Ship to collaborate on their version of the song.
Sting said: “Battersea was the first place I lived when I moved to London in the 1970s, over on Prince Of Wales Drive, so, I’ve come full circle now that I’m back to Battersea.
“The power station is an iconic building that reminds me of my home town when I lived next to the shipyard. It looks like a giant ship, with those chimneys on the river.
“We all need our community now more than ever. Thank you to the Battersea Power Station Community Choir for the opportunity to connect by singing together.”
Sam Evans, Choir Director of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir, said: “This is super exciting for us and an amazing challenge for the BPS Community Choir.
“Every one of our members was over the moon and very shocked to see Sting drop in on our virtual rehearsals.
“It is a huge honour for the choir to have the opportunity to sing alongside Sting.
“As we are a community choir not everyone is a confident singer, but all our members have embraced the challenge and risen to it.
“The end result is something we are all incredibly proud of and an experience that none of us will ever forget.”
The Last Ship, inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences, tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard.
This personal, political and passionate musical from 17-time Grammy Award winner Sting is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance.
To watch the Battersea Power Station Community Choir and Sting come together to perform the never before released Hymn from The Last Ship click here.
Pictured top: Sting (Picture: Mayumi Nashida)
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Cheques should be made payable to “MSI Media Limited” and sent by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online. Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Get the latest local news delivered every week!