From the recording COUNTERBALANCE

“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.” John Grisham
When The Portraits were invited to play Glastonbury Festival in 2011, it was a moment of revelation for us all. Our work highlighting the plight of the forgotten peoples of the world had led to an invite to play the Greenfields stages by an inspiring Burmese dissident, Ko Aung, who had spent years in the brutal Insein prison for his beliefs and was now a refugee based in London and continuing to work for freedom in his country. It was amazing for our stories to finally be heard, and we started thinking what it must be like to suddenly hear the heart of a nation drumming behind you when your thoughts have been drowned out by violence, and your voice has been stifled for so long.



The phone rings in a West London hovel
Where the landlady just doesn’t care
Between the mice and the holes in the fabric
Would one of the Portraits be there?

I run a show in the town of Pilton
You may just have heard of its name
I’m heading there with a million others
And we’d love it if you’d come and play

There’s a heart drumming behind me
There’s a crowd who breathe in
My every tone
Why was it so long in coming?
I’ve a feeling I’ve just come home
Just come home

Bear with me twenty-five seconds
While I open the window and scream
And fire June’s paper arrows
Made of pages I’ve just wiped clean

There’s a heart…

Four weeks, twenty voices and heartache
And a shiny new band later on
Join a line, muddy flowers and excess
A queue of love ten miles long