The night that the UK entered lockdown due to COVID-19, John wrote Beyond The Call as he reflected on the situation. A demo version was shared on our Facebook page and the response was fabulous, so we decided to record a full band version – quite a technical challenge for some of us, as it had to be done remotely, rather than in the studio where everything could be controlled by John. As we talked about it, we decided that, based on the comments received, the song wasn’t just about our feelings but thoughts and concerns shared by so many, so we decided to open the song up to as many of those voices as we could. Over a weekend, we used our social media to invite friends and fans to record themselves singing along to the chorus (we even provided a tutorial) and send us their contributions. We collected all the files, added them to our own (including members of our own families) to produce ‘The Social Isolation Choir’ and The Key Workers Chorus’ – many of the contributions coming from people working on the front line. At the same time, we invited the singers to send in images of themselves and images of their loved ones who were working to keep us safe or to bring us back to health. These images were included in the accompanying video. About 150 voices were added to ours and we received many pictures of a whole lot of fabulous and dedicated people, nurses, doctors, care workers, delivery drivers, shop workers, radiographers, audiologists drafted in to support ward staff, members of all the emergency services and friends who are doing their bit however they can.
A huge round of applause each and every day to every one of them. May they all stay safe. An acknowledgement as well for John Kettle for masterminding the sound production and Neil McCartney for the video, both having brought their own kind of magic to the mix in a phenomenally short space of time.
Finally, we hope that you enjoy Beyond The Call, share our love and admiration for all concerned with the dirty end of the fight against the virus and please spread that love if you do.
All best wishes
Merry Hell 15th April 2020.
Artists’ website: http://www.merryhell.co.uk/
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