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Highgate children’s choir sing with superstar Nick Cave on European tour

19:07 14 February 2013

Members of the New London Children

Members of the New London Children's Choir with musical director Ronald Corp leaving St Pancras International Station en route to Paris and Berlin to perform with Nick Cave. Pictured (from left) Laurie Bilton (12), Aoife Walter (11), Anuli Changa (14), Jessie Cattley (11), Amie Douglas (12) and Phineas Hubbard (10). Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

Six young classical singers rocked Berlin this week as they joined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as backing vocalists on the band’s European launch of their new album Push The Sky Away.

The band will support Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds during their European tour. Picture: PA/Yui MokThe band will support Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds during their European tour. Picture: PA/Yui Mok

Members of Highgate’s New London Children’s Choir – Anuli Changa, 14, Laurie Bilton and Amie Douglas, both aged 12, Aoife Walter and Jessie Cattley, both aged 11 and youngest of the troupe 10-year-old Phineas Hubbard – gathered at the Eurostar terminal in St Pancras on Monday morning ahead of the show in Paris.

Laurie, from Gospel Oak, said: “It feels really awesome to be going on tour with Nick because obviously he’s a really great artist. I hadn’t really heard of him before, so it was all new.

“It felt good to be chosen. I was unsure whether I’d get in there as there were lots of us.

“When we found out there would be only six going, my mum said I probably wouldn’t make it, but I did and was really happy, especially going abroad as well.”

The children sang at their first gig with the band in Brighton on Friday after a quick rehearsal with the Australian singer, whose duet with Kylie Minogue, Where The Wild Roses Grow, was a worldwide hit in the 1990s.

A West End sell-out gig at Her Majesty’s Theatre followed on Sunday and then it was off to Europe to play Paris, followed by Berlin ahead of Nick Cave’s official tour of North America and Australia.

The young singers performed backing vocals on many tracks on the band’s new album – due to be released on Monday – including Higgs Bosun Blues, Mermaids and the album’s signature song Push The Sky Away.

They were encouraged to wear bright casual clothes and move to the songs they were singing.

The choir, which rehearses weekly at Highgate Primary School, has more than 200 members aged from seven to 18.

Conductor Ronald Corp, OBE, said: “It’s a great thrill singing with Nick Cave.

‘‘Our usual choir repertoire is more classical, but our young singers are very versatile and have found that being a backing group for a pop band is a really exciting experience.”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds formed in 1983 and Push The Sky Away is the 55-year-old musician’s 15th studio album.

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