Suffolk murders aftermath inspires song

A SINGER-songwriter has taken inspiration for his new single from the “resilience and strength” of local people in the aftermath of the Suffolk murders.

Jonathan Barnes

A SINGER-songwriter has taken inspiration for his new single from the “resilience and strength” of local people in the aftermath of the Suffolk murders.

Greg McDonald, who grew up in the county, said his song Reclaim The Night was a tribute to those who refused to be cowed by fear after the horrific events of December 2006, when five young women were found murdered near Ipswich.

The 27-year-old, who was the frontman of Bury St Edmunds-based band The Dawn Parade, releases the song on June 1 before going on tour.

He said the song was not explicitly about the murders, but was inspired by the reaction of people who lived in the town.

“I remember there were marches through the town after it happened, and one of the main themes was 'reclaim the night'.

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“I was really moved by that and inspired by the strength and resilience of how the community reacted.”

Greg, who is originally from Thurston, near Bury, said he had not taken on the subject lightly.

“I would obviously be horrified at any suggestion of exploitative use of the awful scenes that happened,” he said.

“I think, having grown up in Suffolk, something of this magnitude was so unusual, and it shocked me so much.

“What I really objected to at the time was when people who I knew and met were saying the best thing to do was to stay in after dark.

“Particularly there was a suggestion, mostly from men, that women shouldn't be allowed out and I didn't think that was the right response.

“Sure, we live in a violent, threatening world which is full of danger, but handing over control to these violent forces was the wrong response.

“I was really inspired by the marches and the resilience and strength in the community borne out of what was happening - that to me was responding in the right way.”

Reclaim The Night will be the first single from Greg's new album, which is out later this year on Sugartown Records.

His debut album, Stranger at the Door, was released to rave reviews last year. “That was completely an acoustic album,” he says. “I think of it as my 'crazy aunt' album, locked away in the attic writing songs.

“I'm playing with a full band for this record and it's all guns blazing. It's going to be hard rocking, route one and anthemic.

“We're all enjoying it at the moment and looking forward to playing some gigs - it's an exciting time.”

For more information about the single and tour, go to www.myspace.com/gregmcdonalduk