A Gift from Men United
A Gathering of Pop Stars Rally to the Memory of a Friend and a Great Charity.
“God acts in mysterious ways,” was one of my father’s favourite sayings, and one I’ve taken to my heart over the years; which is why this album is so important to me…..and could be for you too.
Back in January my GP casually asked if I’d ever had a prostate examination; I answered in the negative and 9 months later on September 25th I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and three days later on Monday 28th I had an operation to remove the offending organ. I’m a lucky one – my cancer was caught in the very early stages and I am now cancer free YIPPEE! Others, like musician Matt Irving aren’t/weren’t so lucky as he sadly died of this sneaky disease on April 2nd 2014; a matter of weeks after he set the ball rolling on this album.
Alongside close friend Hamish Stuart (from the Average White Band) they gathered a bunch of musician friends to record My Father’s Son; a lovely brooding ballad, reminiscent of Mike and the Mechanics, that oozes class from every groove, and its a song that will resonate with most men who hear it.
Of the ten songs here some have been written and recorded especially for the project and others have kindly been donated with all profits going to Prostate Cancer UK.
Even without the great cause behind the album, songs like Andy Fairweather Low’s Dance On and the enigmatic White Water by Go West deserve a second wind anyway; but of the ‘donated songs’ Chris Difford’s Like I Did steals the show with it’s jaunty beat and lyrics, about the offspring repeating the mistakes of the parents will touch the hardest of hearts.
A Gift From Men United also manages to throw up a couple of pleasant surprises with the touching interpretation of My Father’s Son by Lance Ellington; he of the Strictly orchestra alongside a top-top backing band, as well as Joe Brown and the International Ukulele Club’s masterful reworking of the ELO classic Mr. Blue Sky – who knew Ukulele’s could ‘rock’?
Then we have the sad songs; Paul Carrack’s Life’s Too Short and I Don’t Wanna Be a Rock by Hamish Stuart and Friends both reduced me to tears instantly; as did the plaintive I’m Still There by Abigail (with Matt Irving on bass and accordion) which closes the album and had me absolutely chocked three times in a row.
Matt Irving also gets to take lead vocals on Every Little Hero; a slice of gruff Southern Gothic melodrama from the ever fabulous Los Pacaminos; featuring the ever wonderful Paul Young on harmonica.
Now we have to jump back to the beginning for the bespoke single Men United, written and sung by 80’s icon Nik Kershaw. Even if it wasn’t especially for the benefit of Prostate Cancer UK this anthemic love story about a man and his best friends, should be played every hour of the day on national radio.
Something of a love story about a group of mates who play football, go for a drink and a curry and are ‘Men United/Until we die’ – sadly, some sooner rather than later. Time is of the essence, use it wisely my friends.
A lot of Charity albums are disposable ways of getting money out of you; but on Men United you get 10 great songs for a measly £10 and all profits go to a charity very close to my heart (and nether regions) and for that reason I want you to purchase a copy (or at least download a couple of tracks)….because you never know when you are going to need these guys!
Released October 9th 2015