An ensemble of fire and rescue service personnel from across the UK has joined forces to record a cover of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity and The Band Aid Charity Trust.
The Fire Tones’ single is available to pre-order on Amazon and will be released on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music on Friday, 30 November. Despite having not yet been released, however, the highly anticipated single is already one of the bookies’ favourites for the No.1 spot this Christmas, alongside Elton John and Ariana Grande.
Welshpool firefighter, Chris Birdsell-Jones, came up with the idea and organised the single, approaching the Band Aid Charity Trust to acquire the necessary permissions. Reaching out for support from fire and rescue services across the UK, Chris’s band of Band Aid vocalists soon came together.
Among them were Nottinghamshire’s Andy Quinn who had previously starred on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, as well as Marc Higgins from Southampton and Richard Ryan from Worcestershire, both of whom had appeared as contestants on The X Factor.
Recorded in a single day in October, 40 fire and rescue service personnel from across the country descended on the BIMM music college in Birmingham. During the 12-hour session, the group performed under the watchful eye of seasoned music producer Steve Osborne – whose clients include U2, Placebo, Elbow and the Doves – and vocal arranger Louise Warren, both of whom donated their time for free.
Despite being in the running for the elusive Christmas Number One spot, Chris is just hoping to raise as much money for a charity that means a great deal to him and his colleagues. Speaking of The Fire Fighters Charity, he said: “Yes it would be amazing to get to Number One, but it’s genuinely never been about that. I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact The Fire Fighters Charity has had on colleagues who have used its services. It’s a cause that is very close to all of our hearts, because any one of us could become a beneficiary at any point in our lives, you just never know when you might need it.”
Proceeds from the single will be split evenly between The Fire Fighters Charity and The Band Aid Charity Trust.
The Fire Fighters Charity Chief Executive, Dr Jill Tolfrey, said of the venture: “2018 marks the 75th anniversary of The Fire Fighters Charity and, as the year draws to a close, we are thrilled to be supporting The Fire Tones as they push for the Christmas Number One. Every penny raised from every single downloaded, streamed or sold will help to fund valuable services, providing much needed mental health support to firefighters who have been subject to psychological trauma, as well as physical rehabilitation for those recovering from injury or illness. In the true Band Aid spirit, this single will therefore really change people’s lives”.