A firefighter from Oswestry has joined forces with colleagues from around the country in a bid for Christmas number one with a charity single.
Kevin Williams, part of the group known as the ‘Fire Tones’, joined forces with stars from television shows The X Factor and The Voice to record their own version of Band Aid’s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ due for release on 1 December.
Money raised from sales of the single will go to the Firefighters Charity and the Band Aid Charity Trust.
The whole thing was dreamt up by Chris Birdsell, a firefighter from Welshpool, this time last year.
“It started when we were in a bar in Welshpool around this time last year – the first song that came on was ‘Do They know It’s Christmas?” said Chris.
“As we sat there everyone in the bar was singing along or tapping the bar and it got me wondering if we could do something for charity.
“I said it out loud and everyone told me I was dreaming! But a couple of days later there was a film on called ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ and the song is on the soundtrack so I took it as a sign and got to work.”
Former The Voice winner Stevie McCrorie agreed to take part alongside Andy Quinn, star of Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and X Factor contestant Mark Higgins.
“Chris contacted me about four months ago asking if I would like to be involved in this project,” said Kevin, “we worked on some guitar parts for the song. It was a huge honour to be part of such an amazing project.”
Kevin, who has been a firefighter at Oswestry Fire Station for 26 years says music has always been a huge part of his life and has his own band, Wasted Fate who released their first single last month and will be releasing an album at the end of the year.
The single was recorded during a hectic 12-hour session as members of the Fire Tones arrived from all over the country to BIMM Music College in Birmingham who donated session tine at their newly built recording studio.
“We wanted to honour the spirit of the original recording so we wanted to get it all done in one day, just as they did with the original Live Aid single," added Chris.
“I must admit I was nervous on the day because you’ve put all this work in and you’re wondering things like ‘is that person going to turn up?’ and ‘is this actually going to work?’
“But on the day, it was just incredible, they played it back to us in the studio and it was ‘Wow, this isn’t just a bit of fun, they can really sing.’”
The single is planned for release on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon music as well as the firefighters selling their own CD versions of the classic Christmas tune.
Chris and Kevin are hopeful that they could be the next big Christmas single, but whatever amount is raised for charity, the experience has been well worth it.
"I'm over the moon to have worked with such a talented group of people, and I feel proud and honoured to have been involved with such a fantastic project, whatever we manage to raise.
"But the hard work starts now," he added.
- Kevin Williams bottom row, second from left.
- Chris Birdsell left, who put the Fire Tones group together
- The firefighters who took part in the charity song