Hillsborough charity single to be played for first time for families in Liverpool ahead of push for Christmas number one
Hillsborough charity single to be played for first time for families in Liverpool ahead of push for Christmas number one Jade Wright Nov 22 2012
LIVERPOOL musicians will unite with some of the biggest names in pop on Thursday to launch a charity single aiming to top the Christmas charts in support of the Hillsborough families.
The single, a cover of The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother, will be played for the first time in public for an invited audience of the families and campaigners at St George’s Hall.
Produced by Guy Chambers, it has been recorded by The Justice Collective, which features artists including Robbie Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Paloma Faith, Beverley Knight, Melanie C, Andy Brown from Lawson, Holly Johnson, Mick Jones, Peter Hooton, Chris Sharrock from Oasis, Ian Prowse, Glen Tilbrook from Squeeze, Ren Harvieu, Dave McCabe from The Zutons, Paul Heaton from Beautiful South, John Power, and Gerry Marsden.
Joining the musicians will be comedians John Bishop and Neil Fitzmaurice, chef Heston Blumenthal and football favourites Kenny Dalglish, Peter Reid and Alan Hansen as well as organiser Steve Rotheram, MP for Walton.
Mr Rotheram said: “Some of the biggest UK recording artists have come together to record He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother to support the Hillsborough Families fight for justice and to raise funds for any future legal costs.
“While we are confident that the campaign for truth and justice is nearing a conclusion, for 23 years the bereaved Hillsborough families have carried the eternal flame of hope that we would one day see those responsible brought to justice.
"All profits from this CD will go towards assisting with any legal costs incurred in that fight.
"The families have suffered enough.”
The Hollies classic He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, was used to great effect earlier this season by Everton at Goodison.
Everton tribute to the 96 who died at Hillsborough by emmysguysandgals
Guy Chambers said: “I am deeply honoured to be asked to produce this record for the 96. If we can help to raise money to support the families’ legal battle so that they finally get their time in court then our job will be done.”
All artists involved are giving their time for free, and all proceeds from the sale of the single will go towards the Hillsborough Families legal costs in their fight for justice.
John Bishop, Steve Rotheram, Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, and Peter Reid at the recording of 'He Ain't Heavy, He's my brother'
Ian Prowse said: “There was a great spirit amongst the Liverpool contingent meeting very early at Lime Street and going down to do our bit that day. Mike McCartney, Steve Rotheram, John Bishop, Peter Reid and John Power were there to greet us and, as Neil Fitzmaurice said, it turned into the grown up version of Willy Russell’s Our Day Out.
"All the egos were parked outside because everyone knew the only thing that counted was the cause, raising money to help the families deliver real justice now the cold hard truth is out there for all the world to see.”
“I taught Neil Fitzmaurice how to sing properly with one finger in his ear and to refer to the headphones as 'cans'.
"He loved that.
"We all decamped to the local pub and the talk was of quiet determination and focusing on the real priorities now the hard fought for prize is in sight. I hope the country sweeps it straight to number one.”
In 2009, Steve Rotheram, as the then Lord Mayor of Liverpool, brought together musicians, footballers and Liverpool celebrities to record Fields of Anfield Road for the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. The record spent two weeks in the top 20.
This year’s He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother release is expected to go even further and will hopefully challenge the X Factor winner for the Christmas number one position.
Kenny Dalglish said: “The families of the 96 should never have been in the position they are now in, of having to fight to get the accidental verdicts from the 1989 inquests overturned. I will continue to support their dignified campaign every step of the way.”