Helping Crisis at Christmas 2022
Kevin McGrath is a tireless fundraiser and a huge supporter of local musicians. Last year he put together an incredible compilation to raise funds for Velindre. This year he has an equally challenging project:
Last year I curated a fundraising album for Velindre Cancer Centre, where I have been an outpatient for the past ten years, which featured wonderful Welsh artists like Bandicoot, Adwaith, Climbing Trees, Burning Ferns, Dan Bettridge and Jodie Marie, as well as some of my all-time favourite acts in the form of The Wedding Present, Tot Taylor, Silent Forum and Sandra’s Wedding. V4Velindre was acclaimed by some of the leading music critics in the UK, including John Harris (editor of Get Back, the best-selling 2021 book that accompanied Peter Jackson’s new Beatles documentary) and Pete Paphides (formerly chief rock critic for The Times).
This year I am hoping to repeat the trick by teaming up with the charity Crisis. The idea is to invite musicians to write an original Christmas song, or to donate an existing Christmas composition of theirs to the cause. All the proceeds will go to Crisis at Christmas 2022. Christmas has always been a massively enjoyable holiday in the McGrath household, but that is not the same for everyone. As a family, we’ve always supported Crisis at Christmas, so I thought that I would try and go one step further this year.
The big decision that I took was to rule out cover versions. The world doesn’t need another version of “White Christmas” or “The Christmas Song”, as truly wonderful as those songs are. I hope songwriters will relish the challenge of following in the footsteps of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, The Beach Boys, Slade, The Ramones, The Pogues, Taylor Swift etc in attempting to pen an original Christmas classic.
The project has only been up and running for one week, but already I have been pledged over 20 tracks. As with V4Velindre, there will be a strong Welsh core to the album, but I’ll be spending most days from now until September chasing down Christmas songs from all over the world in the hope of discovering an unknown classic or two, as well as trying to persuade bands that I know and love to throw their hat in the ring. I’m looking for the best fifty tracks that I can find, they have to be songs people will want to play every Christmas. Any musicians who want to help raise money to end homelessness can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can follow my progress at REDSOAPBOX (tumblr.com)