Dave Stewart Entertainment and The Churches Conservation Trust announce new partnership to bring ground-breaking music to historic churches

Dave Stewart Entertainment and The Churches Conservation Trust announce new partnership to bring ground-breaking music to historic churches

Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart and national heritage charity The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) come together this week to launch Church Keys, a ground-breaking new partnership bringing the very best of 21st century music to the historic churches of England.

To launch the partnership this Thursday, 16th June, a gig at All Saints’ Church at Langport, near Glastonbury, will see Dave Stewart joined by Chris Difford, a founding member of the new wave band Squeeze, singer Hollie Stephenson, who was discovered by Dave Stewart when she was 12 years old, and a host of attendees from Chris Difford’s Song Writing Retreat including Sunderland’s the Lake Poets.

The event is the first in a series of Church Keys concerts which will see Dave Stewart Entertainment (DSE) and The Churches Conservation Trust bring ground-breaking new music to churches around England in order to add to the cultural offering in local communities, and provide a launch pad for promising new artists to break.

Supported by Fuller’s Brewery, Church Keys will provide a rare chance to experience intimate, close-up performances by the most exciting emerging talent from the US and UK – while being carried away by the ethereal acoustics, breath-taking architecture and elegance of all these uniquely beautiful buildings conserved by The Churches Conservation Trust.

This summer, Church Keys kicks off with a tour of the CCT’s churches by The Lake Poets, the stage moniker of Sunderland-based multi-instrumentalist, Martin Longstaff. An award-winning singer-songwriter, Longstaff’s output has been described by The Guardian as “beautiful, thought provoking and honest,” while Clash Magazine enthused that it is “unfurling with patient grace”.

The partnership with the CCT is not Stewart’s first foray into the world of churches. In 1983, he and Annie Lennox bought and restored a derelict church in London’s Crouch End and turned it into a world-class recording studio. Now, owned by producer Paul Epworth, it is responsible for churning out hit albums by the likes of U2 and Adele. Similarly, Stewart has brought London’s popular Hospital Club to life with Microsoft’s Paul Allen.

DSE and the CCT are creating an entirely new touring circuit – repurposing England’s most venerated and historic buildings for their original purpose: the creation and celebration of music.

Church Keys is brought to you in partnership with The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation whose mission is to extend musical education, including songwriting, production, arranging, orchestration, and performance, to new generations regardless of income or ethnicity or learning levels.

Dave Stewart said: “I am thrilled to have partnered with the CCT, and together share a focussed vision on how to breathe life back into these beautiful buildings and turn them into a new kind of community centre. I can’t think of a better way to bring the community together to celebrate these historic churches than with music. Artists have been transforming neighbourhoods and cities for centuries – just look at Notting Hill or downtown New York City. The Lake Poets are one of the most exciting new talents emerging from Britain right now, and Marty’s origins with Sunderland make this a really meaningful association for myself.

Chairman of The Churches Conservation Trust Loyd Grossman said: “The phrase ‘A Capella’ literally means ‘in the chapel’ and music has always been one of the most important forms of participation; these beautiful churches are custom designed and tested over centuries to produce music. The introduction of these musical acts is the most wonderful way of putting new wine in some very old and beautiful bottles.”

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