The 2017 General Election brought good results for MP4 with all three members of the band standing for re-election being returned.
Kevin Brennan MP (Labour, guitar and vocals), Sir Greg Knight MP (Conservative, drums and percussion), increased their majority whilst Pete Wishart MP (SNP, keyboards and vocals) was even luckier to be elected by just 21 votes when all the pundits said he had no chance of winning. Former MP Ian Cawsey (bass guitar and vocals) did not seek re-election.
MP4 Complete Second TV Series
MP4 have appeared again as the House Band for Matt Forde in his second TV series 'Unspun'. The show is broadcast on the Dave channel Wednesday evenings at 10pm.
The band were praised by the show’s last guest of the series, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said they were “really very, very good”.
MP4 Thanked for Fundraising Efforts
MP4 have been thanked by the family of the late MP Jo Cox for helping to raise money for her Foundation. Ms Cox was brutally murdered in June 2016 in West Yorkshire. Her assailant has since been convicted of murder.
The family decided to set up a Foundation in her name and MP4 helped to raise money for the charity project.
The band provided the backing on a charity recording of the Rolling Stones classic ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ and were joined in the studio by Scottish singer K T Tunstall, Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel, the Kaiser Chiefs frontman, Ricky Wilson, and singer/composer David Grey.
The track, now available as a download on i-Tunes, was released in December 2016 by Chrysalis Records and has, so far, raised over £50,000 for the charity, the single peaking at number 2 in the Official Independent Singles Breakers Chart.
Jo Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox, thanked the band for their sterling efforts and said the family were “very appreciative” of the work of those who had helped raise money for such a good cause.
MP4 Record Fundraiser Track for Jo Cox Foundation
A unique charity single has been recorded to raise cash for the launch of the Jo Cox Foundation.
MP4, the worlds’ only parliamentary rock band have been joined in the studio by the Kaiser Chiefs’ lead singer Ricky Wilson, KT Tunstall, David Gray and Cockney Rebel’s frontman Steve Harley along with members of the Parliamentary Choir. They have recorded a new version of the Rolling Stones classic track ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’.
The recording, backed by the Jo Cox Foundation, is being produced by Sade’s record producer Robin Millar with 25 MPs from across the political spectrum joining in the choir.
The recording and video will go on general release soon to raise funds and awareness for the foundation and to give a lasting legacy to the life and work of Jo Cox MP, who was brutally murdered in June 2016.
Pictured below: MP4 with Ricky Wilson and producer Robin Millar CBE.
Work Underway on New MP4 Album
MP4 have been in the recording studio this autumn recording a new album.
The band have been working with their producer Robin Millar CBE and work is now well underway for a December 2016 / January 2017 release.
The new album, as yet untitled, will feature some new original MP4 songs. Watch this space for further details.
MP4 Become TV House Band
MP4 have become the House Band for Matt Forde in his TV series 'Unspun'. The show is broadcast on the Dave channel Wednesday evenings at 10pm.
As well as playing on Matt's guests and performing the show theme tune the band play a song of the week and frequently engage in on-stage banter with Matt.
Raising Funds for Medical Assistance Dogs and the Royal British Legion
MP4 have made a special guest appearance at the 2016 Charity Festival held at Fawley near Henley on Thames. The band were introduced on stage to a capacity crowd by former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read.
MP4 Perform Special Show with Comedian Matt Forde
MP4 have performed a special London show with comedian Matt Forde. The largely satirical event was compared and written by Matt with MP4 acting as the "house band" for the evening.
MP4 to attend Brit Awards
The world's only Parliamentary rock group, MP4 are to attend the 2016 Brit Awards as guests of the music industry.
MP4 are Labour MP Kevin Brennan (Guitar and vocals), former MP Ian Cawsey (Bass guitar and vocals), SNP MP Pete Wishart (keyboards), and Conservative MP Sir Greg Knight (Drums).
The band are guests of BPI and are not expected to perform at the ceremony.
The Brit Awards take place on Wednesday 24th February 2016 at the O2 Arena.
Watch this space for further details.
MP4 Rock the Commons
The world’s only parliamentary rock group, MP4 rocked the historic Palace of Westminster in a Christmas concert for MPs this month.The group played in the Commons bar, adjacent to the Terrace following special permission being granted by the Speaker, who is a fan of the group.The band played a selection of songs to a full house including MPs from all the major parties and also House of Commons Officers.For a few numbers the group were also joined by special guest Jessie Norman MP, the Chair of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, who played trumpet!
The 2015 General Election brought good results for MP4 with all three members of the band standing for re-election being returned with an increased majority.
MP4 are Kevin Brennan MP (Labour, guitar and vocals), Sir Greg Knight MP (Conservative, drums and percussion), Pete Wishart MP (SNP, keyboards and vocals) and former MP Ian Cawsey (bass guitar and vocals) who did not seek re-election.
MP4 deny rumours that they plan to change their name to MP3 +1 and say that are looking forward to their first concert for the new Parliament, where many new MPs will see them perform for the first time.
The band are also in discussions about recording a new album but further information has not yet been revealed.
MP4 Shortlisted for 2015 Award
Members of the world’s only parliamentary rock group, MP4, have been short-listed for the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative 2015 'Social Driver' Award.
Formed in 2004, MP4 are the first -and currently the world's only Parliamentary Rock band and they have helped to raise over £1 million for charity since their first gig in February of that year. When the Parliamentary timetable permits, they perform at charitable events around the country and regularly encourage young people to take an interest in music.
Drummer, Sir Greg Knight said, “It is an honour to be shortlisted for this award. We have been greatly privileged to raise money for some very worthy charities over the years. We are delighted to hear from Grassroots Diplomat that they believe our band also helps break down barriers between politicians and the people they represent”.
MP4 will attend the award ceremony on 5 March 2015 at the May Fair Hotel, in London.
MP4 Rock the Commons
The world’s only parliamentary rock group, MP4 rocked the historic Palace of Westminster in a Christmas concert for MPs this month.
The group played in the Commons bar, adjacent to the Terrace following special permission being granted by the Speaker, who is a fan of the group.
The band played a selection of songs from their latest album Cross Party. The show drew a full house including MPs from all the major parties and also House of Commons Officers.
MP4 Awarded ‘Gold Disc’
The members of the world’s only parliamentary rock group, MP4, have each been presented with a gold disc by the British music industry in recognition of their charitable fund raising over the past decade.
MP4 has raised over £1 million in the past 10 years for numerous charitable causes including MacMillan Cancer Support.
The awards were presented to MP4 by Tony Wadsworth CBE and Geoff Taylor both of the British Phonographic Industry. The presentations were made to the band at the music industry’s annual “Rock the Boat” reception.
The members of the band, drawn from three different political parties, regularly give up their spare time when Parliament is not sitting to perform for charity.
MP4 have performed across the UK, in aid of various charities and this month they take to the stage in Milton Keynes to raise money for medical detection dogs.
The group’s fundraising efforts have been praised by Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Pictured are MP4 after receiving their rewards from the music industry.
L-R Pete Wishart MP, Sir Greg Knight MP, Kevin Brennan MP and former MP Ian Cawsey.
Musical Politicians Celebrate Fundraising Milestone
Four UK politicians are celebrating a decade of using their musical skills to fundraise and this year their efforts have hit the £1 million mark.
This month marks exactly a decade of fundraising for ‘MP4’ – the world’s only Parliamentary rock group.
The band comprises Peter Wishart MP (Perth – Scottish Nationalist Party) on keyboards. Pete is a former member of Scottish band Runrig and has appeared on Top of the Pops before he became a Member of Parliament.
Labour’s Kevin Brennan MP, who represents Cardiff West, is on lead guitar and vocals.
Yorkshire Labour activist Ian Cawsey, who is the former Labour MP for Brigg & Goole, is on bass guitar and vocals and Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, Sir Greg Knight MP, is on drums and percussion.
Since March 2004, the group has helped to raise over £1 million for charity and have released two albums. The latest CD ‘Cross Party’ was produced by Robin Millar CBE, who also produces ‘Smooth Operator’ Sade.
The group have backed a number of artistes during their 10 year career, including vocalist Feargal Sharkey. Also, former Radio 1 DJ Mike Reid last year performed his famous Cliff Richard impersonation with the group.
The band’s fundraising activities have been praised by both Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader, Ed Miliband.
Jersey Boys Meet ‘Westminster Boys’
The stars of the award-winning hit musical ‘Jersey Boys’ paid their first ever visit to Westminster this week to meet MP4 – the world’s only parliamentary rock group. The musical, which tells the story of the rise to fame of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is now in its 6th year.
Ryan Molloy, who plays Frankie Valli in the show was joined by other lead cast members Edd Post, Jon Boydon and David McGranaghan at the Palace of Westminster for a tour of the building and to meet musical parliamentarians MP4.
Since they were formed in 2004 MP4 have helped raise over £850,000 for charity.
The MPs gave the Jersey Boys a tour of the corridors of power at Westminster which included the Queen’s robbing room, the House of Lords, the House of Commons and the medieval Westminster Hall. Afterwards Jersey Boy Ryan Molloy said: “It is the most impressive building I have visited and only an afternoon matinee performance prevented me from staying longer”.
MP4’s Greg Knight said “Jersey Boys is a fabulous show and we were pleased to give the guys a tour of Westminster. It’s a pity we didn’t have the time to perform a concert together”.
Pictured at Westminster are, L-R are Edd Post, Sir Greg Knight MP, Ryan Molloy, Kevin Brennan MP, Peter Wishart MP, Jon Boydon, Ian Cawsey and David McGranaghan.
MP4 Play at Scottish Conference
MP4 have performed only their second concert outside England.
They played at the Scottish National Party's Annual Conference in Perth on October 19th 2013.
Their concert was well-attended by SNP delegates and Pete wore his kilt!
MP4 'do Cliff' and help to raise £100,000
MP4 have appeared on stage with former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read to help raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support.
In March 2013, the band took to the stage at London’s Carlton Tower Hotel near Westminster and playing to a sell-out crowd, MP4 performed a selection of songs from the 1960’s to the present day. They were introduced to the audience by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, who praised the fund-raising efforts of the band.
During their set they were joined on stage by former Radio One DJ Mike Read, who did his famous Cliff Richard impersonation and sang the song ‘The Young Ones’ with the group.
The evening, supported by other MPs, Peers and guests raised £100,000 for the charity.
MP4 Support East Yorkshire Mayor’s Charity
MP4- the world’s
only parliamentary rock band- made their first visit to the East Riding when
they headlined a concert at the Pocklington Arts Centre in support of the Mayor’s
fundraising concert for charity. This concert was the brainchild of Pocklington
Mayor Tony Marron. MP4 appeared at the Pocklington Arts Centre at the Mayor’s
charity event on the 14th September 2012. The band has already helped to
raise over three quarters of a million pounds for charity and their fund raising
efforts have been praised by Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Party Leader
Ed Miliband. The Prime Minister recently bought a copy of the band’s album “Cross-Party”.
Mr Knight said, “This was the first appearance of MP4 in East Yorkshire, and
we were very warmly received."
MP4 Perform in Westminster Hall
In May 2012 MP4 became the first musicians to perform in the 900 year old Westminster Hall. As the oldest building on the UK Parliamentary estate, Westminster Hall has played a central role in British history. The historic venue has been used for a variety of ceremonies and events since its construction in 1097, hosting feasts and banquets, coronation ceremonies, political displays and even a law court - famously staging the trial of King Charles I, the only English king to be sentenced to death while still on the throne.
However, despite the building’s colourful 900-year history, a pop band has never played in the hall - until 24th May 2012 when MP4, entertained an audience of over 1,000 including MPs, Peers and Parliamentary Estate staff.
Recent events in the 11th Century building have included speeches by Queen Elizabeth II, the US President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI.
MP4 Join Wildlife Protection Campaign
MP4 are backing a new campaign by the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) to stamp out the international trade in endangered and vulnerable species.
The Parliamentary rockers have joined forces with the WSPA to heighten public awareness of the illegal trade in animal furs and body parts which is still taking place.
The band were shown a polar bear skin and head which was seized in Westminster as part of a police clampdown on the trade.
Bassist Ian Cawsey said, “Worldwide there are only about 20,000 polar bears left”. Drummer Greg Knight added, “This type of hunting is reprehensible and usually subjects the animal to a painful death.”
MP4 Award - December 2011
MP4 were honoured at the 4th annual GovNet Awards held in the House of Lords. The band was presented with the ‘Alternative Parliamentary Entertainer Award’ by Lord Foulkes ahead of other shortlisted candidates Lord Ancram and Margaret Beckett.
The group said they were ‘delighted to be honoured’ and they presented the awards chairman Lord Foulkes with a copy of their latest album.
Due to the fact that the House of Lords chamber was in session the band were not able to perform live at the awards but they will be appearing on the Terrace of the House of Commons on New Year’s Eve at The Speaker’s reception, where all proceeds will go to the charity Help a Capital Child.
MP4 rock Buckingham
– June 2011
MP4 headlined at the Buckingham Fringe, an annual community
event in the town, at a special concert for Help for Heroes. The band were introduced
by a special compare for the evening – The Speaker for the House of Commons!
The same month the band performed at a Music Industry concert with The Noisettes.
PETE HAS OPERATION - March 2011
Keyboard player Pete Wishart has had an operation on his hand. This was to
cure a condition called ‘Dupuytren's contracture’
which causes some fingers
to curl over permanently. Although he is unable to play for a few weeks, he has
now made a full recovery. DUFFY JOINS MP4 to WELCOME in 2011
Chart-topping Welsh singer Duffy has joined MP4 on the Terrace of the House of
Commons to celebrate the New Year at a special Westminster party. The event
was organised by Commons Speaker John Bercow and drew a capacity crowd of MPs,
Peers and guests. The entertainment was provided by MP4, who performed a 45
minute set, which included a number of tracks from their new album ‘Cross Party’.
The band was introduced onto the stage by the Speaker, who thanked MP4 for their
Afterwards Duffy said she had ‘greatly enjoyed’ the band’s set and she later left with a copy of the band’s album.
Also in the audience were the Speaker’s wife and children as well as MPs and Peers from all parties. Profits from the ticket-only affair will go to charity.
MP4 Get a Full House at Labour Conference
Performing in Manchester, at the 2010 Labour Party Conference, MP4 achieved a 'full house' shortly after the doors opened for their gig.
Appearing at the famous 'Night and Day Café' at a UK Music event, there was standing room only as the venue quickly filled with MPs, Peers and Party supporters. The group were welcomed on stage by Feargal Sharkey and they performed a selection of covers and original material. It was the band's second appearance in the city.
MP4 Congratulate Producer Robin Millar on his CBE Award
MP4 producer Robin Millar has been honoured with the CBE for services to music.
His productions have sold over 55 million copies to date and he has campaigned to raise millions of pounds for a number of charities including Oxfam and UNICEF.
With 44 number one hits and 150 gold, silver and platinum discs, MP4 warmly congratulate Robin Millar on his well deserved CBE honouring his unique contribution to British music.
'This is a well-dererved honour for Robin," says MP4 Drummer Greg.
Pictured are MP4 with their producer Robin Millar (front right)
during the recording of their latest album 'Cross Party'
General Election Brings Mixed MP4 Results
The 2010 General Election broiught mainly good news for the band. Three members were returned to Parliament, 2 of them with increased majorities. Unfortunately, despite fighting a valiant campaign, bassist Ian Cawsey lost his Humberside seat.
The band intend to continue performing and have denied rumors that they are about to change their name to 'MP3 + 1'
MP4 Perform in the Speaker's State Rooms
MP4 have become the first band ever to perform in the Speaker's State Rooms in the Palace of Westminster. The occasion was the press launch for their album 'Cross Party' due to be released in April 2010 by Revolver Records.
The band were introduced by Speaker John Bercow MP who afterwards described their performance as 'superb.' The Speaker's wife Sally also joined the audience, together with music industry bosses, journalists , ministers, peers and MPs.
MP4 played a selection of tracks from their new album and signed advance copies for the enthusiastic crowd. A vote of thanks to the Speaker and others who had helped in the album production was given by Peter Jamieson.
Afterwards, MP4 achieved another first: they were interviewed in the Speaker's rooms by BBC TV whilst sitting on the Speaker's bed!!
MP4 'Help the Heroes'
MP4 have performed to raise money for the ‘Help for Heroes’ Charity at a speacial concert held on the 26th February this year.
The band were on stage at Winterton, in Humberside, to raise money for injured servicemen and performed a selection of songs, including some of their own compositions, with all profits from the evening being given to the charity.
Drummer Greg Knight commented: ‘We all agreed that this was an excellent cause and we were all pleased to help to raise money to make life a little better for those who serve our country so selflessly.’
MP4 Make History
On 2nd December 2009, MP4 made history by becoming the first ever rock group to play at the House of Commons.
The 'MP4 Christmas Concert' was held on the House of Commons Terrace and was a complete sell out.
Amongst the guests attending were MP's, Peers, music industry executives and pop stars Feargal Sharkey, Lydsey de Paul and Honey Ryder. Feargal Sharkey made a guest appearance on stage and, for the ban'd encore, joined MP4 for a rendition of his Undertones hit 'Teenage Kicks.'
MP4 meet Eurovision Finalists
MP4 have met the winning UK Eurovision hopeful Jade, together with the other two finalist acts - The Twins and Mark Evans - who were also bidding to represent Britain in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.
The guests were shown around Parliament before chatting with MP4. The band gave them some tips on 'how to win votes' before discussing the current music scene.
Later MP4 made a guest appearance on the BBC 1 TV programme 'Your Country Needs You' supporting the Eurovision finalists.
MP4 play Scotland
MP4 have played their first concert outside England. They performed a sell-out date at the Scottish National Party's Annual Conference in Perth in October 2008.
The band performed a 40 minute set to a packed audience consisting of the public, politicians and the press and were given a rapturous reception by the enthusiastic crowd.
MP4 play the Royal Albert Hall, London.
On 14 May 2008 MP4 made history by being the first -and only group of politicians -to play at the Royal Albert Hall.
Journalists, musicians, MP's and Ministers came along to hear MP4 perform and, as a special treat Culture Secretary Andy Burnham took to the stage for the group's encore and, for one number only, MP4 became MP5!
Extracts from the concert and the group's preparations for the gig were recorded by Sky TV and made into a special TV programme which aired on television on the Sky Arts Channel during May and June 2008.
Jersey Boy Visits 'Westminster Boys'
In March 2008, with the launch of the UK premiere of the play Jersey Boys, the Four Seasons lead singer Frankie Valli was in London to give the musical about him and his band, his full support.
During his brief stay, Frankie found the time however to visit Westminster to look in on MP4.
Valli, second left front, is pictured with MP4 at Westminster
The MPs were delighted to welcome Valli to the Houses of Parliament. 'We were disappointed that he is not staying in the UK longer -it would have been great to get him to contribute to our new album as guest vocalist,' says bassist Ian Cawsey, the Labour MP for Brigg and Goole.
Valli is returning early to the USA to perform at a number of sell-out concerts. 'If he wants us as an opening act, we'd be there in a shot,' adds drummer Greg Knight, Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, adding cautiously 'Parliamentary Whips permitting of course.'