A choir of complaining city residents have become a hit in the Edinburgh Festival


A CHOIR of complaining city residents have become one of the surprise hits of the Edinburgh Festival.

The group, called the Complaints Choir, have joined forces to bemoan in song the daily woes of living in Scotland’s capital.

The choir have a programme of 13 public performances at which they sing about everything from potholes to rubbish collections and – inevitably – the controversial trams project.

Evening News


On Monday, the band brought hundreds of commuters to a standstill with their performance at Waverley Train Station.

Hoping that some politicians were listening, the group sang about the disastrous £776m  tram project – reminding officials of the constant delays and costly overruns.

The lyrics include the line: “Huge disruption everywhere, buses already take us there. Incompetence beyond belief, digging up the road to Leith. The trams aren’t even going there, the council clearly doesn’t care.

Cycle lanes that disappear, come to a sudden stop.”

The singers only rehearsed five times before their first performance and did not know each other before forming the choir.

Composer Daniel Padden said: “Our advert stipulated that all you had to do was have a complaint and be prepared to sing about it

“There’s a real mix. There’s a few folk that have already sung in choirs, but there’s a lot who have never sung before, which is great. It’s exactly right for the project.”

He added: “There’s nothing like complaining to bring a group of people together.”

Fellow composer, Peter Nicholson, said that he was surprised the trams weren’t the first complaint on the list.

He said: “Weirdly, it didn’t come up in rehearsal, but we assumed it’s because everyone expected someone else to talk about it.

“Our first idea with the trams, because it is such a well known public relations disaster in Edinburgh, was just simply going to have the word tram in it and repeat it and not actually have any lyrics, no explanation because I think that’s all that’s necessary.”

But not everyone was immediately happy with the group’s intentions as one disgruntled traveller took to Twitter to complain.

John Lord, who was caught up in the chaos in Waverley, wrote: “I don’t like to complain but…that Complaints Choir caused an enormous queue at Caffe Nero. Some of us have jobs to go to, you know.”

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