Entertainment

Cult rocker Arthur Brown records coronavirus charity cover

The performer called for the Government to provide ‘meaningful financial support' to musicians.

Cult rock performer Arthur Brown has recorded a cover of The Animals’ 1964 hit House Of The Rising Sun to raise money for a coronavirus hardship fund.

The singer, 78, teamed up with a number of famous friends – including former Big Country bassist Tony Butler and Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg – in aid of the Help Musicians charity.

Brown, who is shielding at home in Yorkshire, applied for one of the charity’s £500 grants and is waiting to hear back, after losing his income from touring.

Released under the moniker Arthur Brown’s Crazy World Of Lockdown, the cover was recorded from each bandmember’s respective homes.

Brown was sent a microphone, headphones and cables in the post, and shown how to download the software needed to lay down his vocal.

He said: “I truly understand the plight of UK musicians who have seen their livelihoods disappear overnight because of the lockdown.

“And while many sectors of the UK economy are returning to work, there is currently no light at the end of the tunnel for the live music industry.

“It’s a bleak prospect, so I am urging the Government to provide meaningful financial support for musicians until such time as they can earn a living – when it’s both safe and economically viable for venues, festivals and recording studios to operate.”

Arthur Brown records his vocal part
Arthur Brown records his vocal part (Arthur Brown/Planet Earth/PA)

He added: “The Government must do more to help the music industry, which currently generates over £5 billion a year to the UK economy.

“It’s so much more than supporting an industry in its time of need – it’s a critical investment.”

On Friday, Boris Johnson said he would announce a timeline for the reopening of the events and arts sector next week.

Brown, who fronted The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown during the 60s, is best known for his flamboyant singing style and stage presence.

His 1968 single Fire reached number one in the UK singles chart and in Canada.

Help Musicians launched its first hardship fund of £8.35 million on March 25, and the second phase began on June 5.

Help Musicians chief executive James Ainscough said: “Help Musicians is spending millions of pounds right now supporting the thousands of musicians who cannot make ends meet, so we are delighted that Arthur Brown and many other musicians, music lovers and music industry figures are fundraising for us.

“As other parts of the UK economy are given the green light to reopen, a return to capacity for the live music sector still seems a distant prospect.

“Musicians will need direct financial help from the Government for many more months to come.”

House Of The Rising Sun by Arthur Brown’s Crazy World Of Lockdown is out now.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access