Norwich band hand-picked to appear in national census advertising campaign

Norwich-based musicians, José McGill and The Vagaband, have been hand-picked to record the backing track for, and appear in, the new TV awareness campaign for the national census which is taking place on 21st March 2021. This means that the local Americana outfit who regularly play 300 capacity venues, will now find themselves being broadcast to millions of UK residents every day in a month-long campaign that starts this week. 

Although José McGill is the band’s singer songwriter, the track for the campaign is their take on The Zombies’ rousing 1968 classic, This Will Be Our Year, and the producers and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are clearly hoping that it will encourage everyone to take part in the census, which occurs every 10 years. 

José McGill and The Vagaband, who Q Magazine described as “stunning”, have three studio albums to their name and are probably best known on the UK festival circuit for their regular appearances at the likes of Glastonbury, Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Maverick and Red Rooster Festival. 

José, who hails from an Irish musical pedigree, grew up by the beaches of Norfolk close to Great Yarmouth. His musician father, Hugo McGill, a Belfast born contemporary of Van Morrison, was a stalwart of the UK country scene with the Medicine Band, before he settled in Norfolk to raise a family. As father and son they played live together in the early 1990s in Hugo’s band, Old Head, Young Shoulders. José moved to Norwich in 1994 and started playing locally soon after. He formed The Vagaband in 2006. 

The national census advertising campaign,  featuring José McGill and The Vagaband, hits our TV screens and social media platforms from Friday 12th February. The soundtrack song, This Will Be Our Year, will be available to download on the band’s ‘White Noise’ EP which is due for release in Spring 2021.