A charity single and video to raise funds for Force Cancer Charity has been made possible thanks to a musical couple from Exmouth.
Shelley and Ian Poole, from Withycombe Raleigh – lead vocalist and lead guitar with wedding and function band Quite Brazen – rallied local musicians and medics to take part from the safety of their own homes.
The video is to raise money for Force Cancer Charity, which has continued to support local people throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The youngest performer was 12-year-old Georgia Carroll.
Ian and Shelley, who own music rehearsal and recording space Brazen Sound Studios, in Exeter, coordinated the musicians to record a version of Help! by the Beatles.
The couple recorded their own version of the song, sent it to those keen to help for them to record their parts, then used the footage to produce a professional charity video.
Shelley, who is also a specialist dental nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E), said: “We recorded a version of Help! ourselves.
“Ian played all the parts and I did the vocals. We sent this out to musicians to record their parts on phones or with their home gear.
“We then added their parts into the track and made a video montage incorporating everyone into the video.”
Shelley became aware there was plenty of willing musical talent among her colleagues in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery department at the RD&E.
Oral surgeon Rick Kerr, married to Annie – FORCE information manager – first prompted the idea of fundraising for the cause.
Ian and Shelley took up the challenge.
Shelley said: “As we are deemed a non-essential business at this time, our doors were forced to close to musicians and our own planned gigs were cancelled or rescheduled into 2021.
“Many musicians are missing this outlet of creativity and we knew a fair few who would be keen to have a go at an isolation project.
“They were more than happy to give their time during lockdown to record some music to help FORCE raise awareness and some much-needed funding.”
She added: “Ian has spent such a long time on this project. It’s been a real labour of love.
“We really hope people love what we created and it raises lots of funds for FORCE.”
Among those taking part was Ian Jennings, a double bass player who has performed with Carl Perkins, Jeff Beck, Robert Plant, Jools Holland, Brian May, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Mick Fleetwood, Paul Rogers, Chrissie Hynde, Jimmy Page, Lulu, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler – to name but a few.
Matt Byrne, singer with local band Soul Traders, had a special reason for getting involved.
In 2009 he was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue and was unsure whether he would ever speak, let alone sing again.
After surgery, radiotherapy and support from FORCE for him and his family, he was able to resume a professional singing career.
The charity video was performed by Ian Poole, on electric guitar and piano, Shelley Poole on vocals – specialist dental nurse and professional singer. Ian Jennings, on upright double bass, a session musician and bass player in the Primitive Noise Band. Matt Byrne, on vocals, backing vocals and tambourine – vocalist with Soul Traders.
Matt Jackson, drummer and backing vocals, a drummer, drum tutor, maker of MJ Cahons – and drummer in Five Finger Discount.
Bass player Steve Jessop, and Luke Spencer Stone, on trombone – multi-instrumentalist in Embezzlers
Lorraine Carroll, on vocals – a vocalist with Evolver, and her 12-year-old daughter Georgia.
Dr John Bowden, who played trumpet, is an RD&E consultant of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Dr Aubrey Dickason, on acoustic guitar – specialist registrar in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the RD&E.
Caroline Moore, on vocals, a specialist dental nurse at the RD&E.
Karen Graham, who played tambourine, is an RD&E specialist dental nurse. Her husband, Rod Graham, played acoustic guitar.
Simon Leach, on vocals, is a lab technician at the RD&E.
Gaby Swain, on saxophone, and Adrian Bond, on trumpet, both from One Foot in the Groove
Exeter-based singer-songwriter Azzura, real name Tavia Graham, on vocals, and
Izzy Warren, also on vocals, who is an Exeter-based singer-songwriter.
FORCE – Friends of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Centre Exeter – is a charity that works locally to offer face-to-face support for anyone affected by cancer.