Leicestershire musicians to create a classic Christmas song for charity
Santa Claus really is coming to town – thanks to a festive charity single by dozens of Leicestershire's finest musicians.
Acts including By The Rivers, Martha Bean, Jersey Budd, Charlie Jones and The Screening are teaming up to sing the classic Christmas song, which will raise money for Leicester City's One in a Million campaign.
Most of the recording takes place this Saturday and Sunday, when a few well-known faces – including Foxes ambassador Alan "The Birch" Birchenall and possibly Showaddywaddy – will be joining the musicians at Yellow Bean Recording Studios, in Leicester's West End.
Here at the Mercury, we're getting into the festive spirit, too – so we're urging readers to download the single when it is released next month.
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Yellow Bean owner Jon O'Neill, who came up with the idea for the single, said: "I wanted to do it just for a bit of fun, really, and it originally started with bands that use the studio.
"But then it snowballed and we ended up getting more and more people involved.
"Now, it's pretty much the whole of the Leicester music scene. We'll be doing the vocals and recording a video on Saturday and Sunday.
"It's all good fun and if we raise a few pounds for charity at the same time then all the better.
"I wanted it to be Christmassy, cheesy and fun, which is why I chose Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
"I didn't want it to be political, that's not what it's about – it's about smiling our way into Christmas."
Some of the musicians have already been hard at work in the studio, recording the instrumental parts to the track.
Saxophonist Gaz Birtles, who is among the musicians involved, said: "It's great that someone has organised something like this – it makes us feel like we're in Band Aid or something like that."
Fellow saxophonist Drew Stansall, who plays with The Specials, said: "It's a great Christmas song.
"You can't get more Christmassy than Santa Claus coming to town."
Money raised from the proceeds of the single will go to Leicester City's charity campaign, which raises money for 10 good causes.
The musicians are hoping the single will be played at a Leicester City home game in December.
Trumpet player Gareth John, whose stage name is G-Funk, said: "Anything to do with The Birch is always really good, he raises a lot of money for charity. It's a pleasure to be involved.
"And the song's not just done in a cheesy way... well, it is a bit cheesy, but there's a lot of variety and there are a few surprises in there."
The single will be available to download on iTunes and via text next month, with the release date to be confirmed.
It will cost £1, with all proceeds going to the charity.
Reporter Gemma Peplow will be donning her Christmas jumper and joining in the recording fun at the weekend. Find out how she gets on in Tuesday's paper.
Where will the money be going?
Money raised from the single will go to the following 10 charities, through Leicester City’s One in a Million campaign
Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland; Leicester Children’s Hospital; Loros hospice; Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance;
Prostaid; Rainbows children’s hospice; The Royal Anglian Regiment Benevolent Fund; The Harley Staples Cancer Trust; Vista; Wishes 4 Kids.
The singers and bands
Alan Birchenall; Alex Totman; Alex Van Roose; By The Rivers; Charlie Jones; Danny Greet; Dawson Smith; Deadeye; Dean Jackson; Ed Stagg; Gemma Peplow; J Kenna; James Lewis; James Mabbet; James Shaw; Johnny And The Good; Time Boys; Jersey Budd; Joel Evans; Joel Wildgoose; Lee Jobber; Martha Bean; Martin Brown; Gunisment; Naeem John; Raegan Oates; Rebecca Sargeant; Resin; Rob Rayner; Rosie Doyle; The Screening; Sean Tizzard; Stevie Jones and Locke.
For more information: www.yellowbeanstudios.co.uk