"It is a tough song for us to sing, the lyrics are so moving and take us back to that night."
Manchester band Prose have teamed up with the Manchester Survivors Choir for a new charity single to mark the first anniversary of last year’s devastating attack.
The track, titled A City United, is a powerful offering and the first official release from the choir, which was initially formed after survivors of the Manchester Arena attack came together in the defiant aftermath of the tragedy.
As well as being recorded by Prose’s Mike Murray and Lee Royle, the track also boasts a mix from Elbow’s Craig Potter.
“Like everyone, we felt devastated after the Manchester bomb attack. The following day we were in our studio and there were still a lot of people searching for missing family members and we were talking about how awful it must be for the families of the victims”, Murray said of the track.
A City United, an album by PROSE on Spotify
“The whole city was in complete shock that something like this had happened here and at a music concert with so many innocent people just trying to have a good time. We both felt very emotional and just started expressing how we felt. Lee started playing the piano, I started singing and without realising it we had the basis of a song, but we didn’t know what to do with it!”
After initially performing the song in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens last year, Prose were asked to record it by Manchester mayor Andy Burnham – before it later caught the attention of the Manchester Survivor’s Choir.
“When we saw Andy Burnham’s tweet about the single, we knew we had to get in touch with Prose. We loved the song, the lyrics and everything it stood for and really hoped we could be part of it. They were singing about us, so it just felt right”, the choir said.
“It has been an amazing experience for the choir to collaborate with the lads from Prose. The young people in the choir were so excited to get the opportunity to go to a professional recording studio. It was wonderful to see them all smiling, laughing and having the confidence to sing and be recorded. It is a tough song for us to sing, the lyrics are so moving and take us back to that night.”
However, we are determined to show the world that with a bit of northern spirit and resilience we can create something that people can enjoy listening to and hopefully raise some money for the charities who helped us and others affected. It is a positive end to a very difficult year.
The two acts will also perform the track at Manchester’s Parklife Festival next month, with all proceeds going to the Manchester Emergency Fund and Peace Foundation.
Andy Burnham added: “I am so proud of the band and the respectful way they have dealt with everything and also their generous commitment to use the proceeds to support those most affected and I hope people will get behind this song.”