One of the biggest-selling singles in music history has been reworked in aid of city hospice patients. Music festival performers have teamed up to re-record Band Aid’s 1984 festive number one Do They Know It’s Christmas? in aid of the Douglas Macmillan.
The cover was the idea of Jamie Holland, of Alsager, who performs in rock covers band The Vectors. The 44-year-old, who says the track is his favourite Christmas tune, roped in fellow performers from Alsager Music Festival to put their version together.
It is available through streaming services such as Spotify, and as a download. Their YouTube video even echoes the original, which raised money for victims of famine in Africa. A donation page has also been set up on Justgiving.com.
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The song – with its famous line ‘Feed the World’ – spawned the following year’s Live Aid concert and a host of charity sequels. Jamie said covering Do They Know It’s Christmas? was ‘something I’ve been thinking about for a few years’.
He added: “It took us about three hours to record it – everyone did two runs through of the song. It really came together pretty quickly. It took two days to mix it all. I’m very happy with it considering how quickly it was done. I think the thing I like most is how much fun we had with the video.
“As a community effort I’m really pleased. We will never beat the original though.” Alsager Music Festival has been running for about 12 years, taking place in the first and second week of July.
Jamie is a committee member and used his connections to assemble the group. He said: “Lots of different people were involved in the original Band Aid. We contacted everyone to say we wanted to do a Douglas Macmillan fundraiser and had a dozen responses.
“We have also done the music video in the style of the original. It is my favourite Christmas song.”
Jamie added: “People are happy there’s something going out for charity. The Douglas Macmillan is a really fantastic one.”
You can donate to the JustGiving page here and listen to the song here.
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas in 1984 after watching Michael Buerk’s TV reports of the Ethiopian famine.
The pair brought together a host of stars – including U2, George Michael, Duran Duran and Status Quo – and recorded it in just one day at SARM Studios in Notting Hill, London.
Paul Young was chosen to perform the song’s famous opening line: “It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.” It was released on December 3 and went straight into the charts at number one. It stayed there for five weeks and sold more than five million copies, making it the then biggest-selling song in UK chart history.
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