Spotlight show announces its ‘song of the year’ winner

Joshua Francis won the competition with his song about Greyhounds

Joshua Francis won the competition with his song about Greyhounds - Credit: Archant

A song that delivers a strong message about the plight of racing greyhounds has been named as the winner of the Spotlight song of the year competition.

The Spotlight show is headed up by Annie Smith on Huntingdon Community Radio and the winning song - Greyhound - was chosen by a public vote.

There were 17 nominations and more than 1,000 HCR listeners voted and the winner was St Ives-based singer/songwriter Joshua Francis who wrote a protest song called Greyhound.

Joshua won a full day’s recording with full production and a marketing and promotional package at the Perry Road Studios in St Neots.

“Greyhound” was written for Caged Nationwide, the UK’s largest greyhound protection group,” explained Joshua.

“It is a protest song against the greyhound racing industry and was written as a reaction to the Greyhound Board of Great Britain releasing figures in the national press in March revealing that in 2017 more than 1,000 dogs were killed and almost 5,000 were injured as a direct result of greyhound racing.”

His song is an international collaboration, with lead guitar from Coby Southoff, of Canada, bass guitar played by Rich Bass and violin from Cambridge virtuoso Shentong Penny Wang.

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Joshua’s music is described as a unique blend of original rock ‘n’ roll, blues and folk, with powerful vocals. His songs tend to be of a social conscience nature, particularly focusing on homelessness an animal rights.

He regularly performs at Thorn Cross Prison, in Warrington, where he performs concerts for his “jailhouse flock”. He also performs for the YMCA Sleep Easy events, where he entertains the volunteers sleeping rough for a night to raise money for the homeless.

He has made several records for charity, including an EP for mental health charity Rethink. Joshua’s charity work includes a double A single to raise awareness of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a condition which he suffers from himself, and which often leaves him bedridden for weeks. Joshua also has his own radio show on Flame Christian & Community Radio and all his music is available to download for free.

INFO: Listen to Greyhound at: