Pink Floyd star features HMP Wandsworth inmates in single


Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has revealed that his new single features former inmates from HMP Wandsworth, where his son served time.


Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has revealed that his new single features former inmates from the prison where his son served time.

Gilmour recorded Rattle That Lock with The Liberty Choir, a rehabilitation project that includes former Wandsworth Prison inmates and local singers.The rock legend said the choir gives prisoners "real hope and optimism".

His son Charlie did time in Wandsworth in south London in 2011 after being arrested at a tuition fees protest. He spent four months in jail after being convicted of violent disorder for his part in the 2010 protest, where he swung from a flag on the Cenotaph and threw a bin at a royal convoy.

David Gilmour told BBC News: "Charlie's experience was something that has impacted on us and has made us more aware of the prison system and what could and should be done to improve it. 

"We're just helping out by being part of this initiative, which will hopefully spread."

The Liberty Choir, run by vocal coach MJ Paranzino and writer Ginny Dougary, takes members of the South London Choir into Wandsworth Prison for weekly sessions with serving inmates. They also run regular sessions outside jail, where former offenders can join members of the South London Choir. Seven of these former inmates were part of the 30-strong choir that sang on Rattle That Lock.

Gilmour and wife Polly Samson have also donated money to allow The Liberty Choir to expand to other jails.

David Gilmour joined the choir during a visit to Wandsworth Prison on Tuesday

"It's wonderful, seeing all these guys singing in the prison along with people from the South London Choir. They are close to the end of their sentences, and they then have a place outside prison where they feel part of the community, and that's very good for them, to feel valued."

What have the current or former prisoners said about the choir?

I've had conversations with some of the guys in the prison and some who have recently been released, and they all think it's a fantastic programme and are very keen for it to be widened and spread to other prisons.

It gives them real hope and optimism that they don't just come out of prison into a vacuum and the same temptations. This gives them at least one night a week with something to do where they feel valued, and they can join in with something artistic that is uplifting.

David says that he and his wife, Polly, intend to continue their association with the prison and the choir, of which they are both founder supporters.

Original Source: Ian Youngs, BBC News

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