Some of Scotland’s best-known musicians have teamed up with their technicians and road crew to release a compilation album aiming to help those unable to do their jobs in the live music scene due to the current pandemic.
Members of Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Twin Atlantic, The Proclaimers, Arab Strap, Idlewild, Kathryn Joseph, KT Tunstall, Fatherson, Emma Pollock, Honeyblood and The Xcerts have taken part in the recording of new versions of some of their classic tunes, with the resultant 12-track album available now.
All funds raised will be distributed via The Fruit Tree Foundation – the charity founded by Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones, who said: “The devastating impact Covid 19 has had on the music industry is well documented and few are far more affected than Live Crew. On speaking to members of our touring crew I realised how they were falling through the cracks in government funding and with no gigs and tours upcoming the outlook for them was bleak.”
Idlewild’s crew were among the many affected – the band being due to celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2020, but instead seeing their homecoming show at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall cancelled, as well as Jones’ Post Electric Studio being closed for several months during lockdown.
“I wanted to try and find a way to support them and the wider Scottish Live Crew industry,” Jones continues. “Knowing how many crew members are also very talented musicians in their own right I thought it would be fitting for them to showcase this by covering songs of the bands they have been working with over the years, and releasing an album of this to create a hardship fund and also awareness of their situation.”
Among the specially-recorded new versions – which mainly see the original vocalists from the participating acts backed by their technicians – are Twin Atlantic’s ‘Heart And Soul’, Arab Strap performing ‘Here We Go’, a full band version of KT Tunstall’s ‘Black Horse And The Cherry Tree’, Idlewild taking on the title track to their first mini-album, ‘Captain’, and The Rezillos and crew reviving their 42-year-old chart hit ‘Top Of The Pops’.
Richie Dempsey, live sound engineer for Idlewild and Emma Pollock, as well as previously a musician in his own right with Dawson, Desalvo, and Stretchheads, said: “This is an exciting project, aimed at raising funds and awareness for Scottish crew that are involved with these bands. The UK government might not care about us, but the bands and the band’s fans do.”