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Gillingham musician writes album of Brexit protest songs

An album of Brexit protest songs has been released by a Kent musician in the hope it will provide "a bit of light relief".

Peter Cook wrote and produced the record from his basement studio at his Gillingham home.

Peter Cook has written an album called Rage Against the Brexit Machine. Picture: Sean Aidan
Peter Cook has written an album called Rage Against the Brexit Machine. Picture: Sean Aidan

The release culminates three years of work writing and composing original songs as well as altering well-known hits by the likes of The Beatles and David Bowie.

After releasing a single called Pants to Brexit in September 2016, Peter has developed dozens of songs ranging on various themes relating to the UK's exit from the European Union.

The album - titled Rage Against the Brexit Machine - released on Amazon Music on October 4 reached number 18 in the streaming service pop chart in its first week.

Peter says he's surprised at the way the album has been received.

He said: "The album popped around in the pop charts and was alongside Barbara Streisand and Sting which isn't bad for someone in their basement in Gillingham.

Peter has written an album which has been popular on Amazon, pictured at his home in Gillingham. Picture: Sean Aidan
Peter has written an album which has been popular on Amazon, pictured at his home in Gillingham. Picture: Sean Aidan

"It's definitely exceeded [my expectation]. Nobody in their basement gets into the charts. I hadn't expected it to chart and more surprised it did for nearly a whole week."

The record features 28 tracks all versed around topics from about apathy, mocking the negotiations, proroguing parliament and concerns about displacement.

It crosses multiple genres from rock and dance to a Chas and Dave inspired "Cockney Brexit Knees Up".

"Some are original compositions but some are twisted out of shape from the Beatles to Bowie. But it's mainly original songs," Peter said.

"Some others are more silly. They are not preachy but mostly fun. It wasn't for any particular reason but simply to provide a bit of light relief."

"We've done an incredible job considering it's all been done in my basement..." - Peter Cook

Peter has travelled around Kent and the UK performing his songs on high streets and is preparing to join a march in London tomorrow.

One million people are expected to parade from Park Lane to the Houses of Parliament - the same day MPs are due to vote on the deal Boris Johnson agreed with the EU on Thursday.

Peter is a member of the Mid Kent 4 EU group and has had help on the album from fellow member, Sian Davis, who is from Sittingbourne.

The music was recorded at the Faversham home of the late Bernie Tormé, who was Ozzy Osborne's guitarist.

Peter added: "We've done an incredible job considering it's all been done in my basement - there's no Britney Spears, producers and marketing.

"It draws people into a conversation. Music can be very healing.

"People like to wave flags and put memes on Facebook and talk without contact.

"I believe people aren't changed by ramming facts down their throats. We aim to hit the heart and head and music hits people emotionally and feels like having a conversation.

"It's like comedy and reaches a different audience.

"A lot of people can't be bothered to read when you're ramming data down their throats. People can recall the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody and that's 40 years old but can't say what's going on. Music sticks in the mind."

To find the album, which can be downloaded for £7.99, click here.

For more quirky and unusual stories, click here

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