Music

Northern Ireland artists cover Band Aid Christmas classic for charity

Former X Factor contestant Eoin Quigg and UTV presenter Pamela Ballantine are just two of the familiar faces on the charity track
Gareth McKeown

SOME of Northern Ireland's best-known faces have come together to record a version of a famous Christmas song to raise funds for charity.

UTV personalities Julian Simmons and Pamela Ballantine and former X Factor contestant Eoghan Quigg have recorded a video cover of the Band Aid classic Do They Know It's Christmas time to raise money for Aspire NI.

Aspire works with children in Northern Ireland in poverty to help close the educational attainment gap that exists between rich and poor.

Others to feature on the track, which was filmed last month in Donegall Street in Belfast, include musicians Brian Houston and Emma Horan as well as Cool FM radio presenter Peter Snodden.

The cover song is the brainchild of Mark Knox, who founded Aspire last year.

One half of musical duo Moss Road with friend Ross McConnell the pair recorded the song Dare to Dream for Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign to raise money for a schools project in Uganda.

"People are getting bored of traditional fundraisers like going to coffee events and having collection buckets up the town so that's when we invented Moss Road as a fundraiser for the Uganda trip. So then when Aspire was started we thought we would do a Moss Road song to raise money for it.

"We messaged people we knew from Lurgan and then one thing led to another and I started emailing, Facebook messaging and trying my best to get in contact with anyone who's anyone in Northern Ireland and to my delight and amusement I started hearing back from Pamela and Julian and all these people saying when they were in," Mr Knox said.

The new song has proved an instant success, attracting over 25,000 views in just 24 hours and to date almost £400 has been raised for the charity.

"I was happy enough with how it ended up. We had to take out the verse about Africa as it wasn't about Africa, while the auto-tune on Pete Snodden almost covers a multitude of sins, but not quite, but Pamela Balentine sounds great.

"The video has three aims: One of them is to raise the money; the other is to raise awareness of the issue so if people are being entertained and at the end see 100,000 children live in poverty in Northern Ireland that says something; and the other is just to raise the profile of Aspire which it has been doing," he added.

To help Aspire reach their £2,000 target you can donate at: www.gofundme.com/2358srcc

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Music