London- Irish bands such as the Biblecode Sundays, The Reels and The Peppered Aces feature on a new album put together to help musicians through this difficult time.
Phil Parsons of Frostys Bar in Kenton decided to bring six acts together for a fundraising album entitled Quintessential Quarantunes.
Joined by Irish-based acts such as Celtic Storm, Blackstairs Rebel and Catalpa, the album will be launched with a Facebook gig featuring all six bands this Friday 10 July.
Phil told The Irish World: “I would like the Irish community to remember the good times these bands have given for many years.
“When anyone has a wedding or a birthday party, they all want these bands to play for them. It’s payback for the bands now. They deserve something back.”
Phil saw how the cancellation of St. Patrick’s Day festivities hit musicians who were relying on that income.
“I’ve been around Paddy’s Day for years here. Paddy’s Day is always fantastic times. All of a sudden everything was cancelled and all the bands started losing big time.
“A lot of these musicians are married men, got kids and they’re relying on the money they get for playing gigs.
“I was speaking to a couple of lads and they were upset, down about it. A lot of them started doing these gigs for charity. I said, ‘Lads, let’s try do something for yourselves. There’s no shame’. It’s very hard on them.
“It still won’t make up for the money they’re losing.”
The government announced a rescue package of almost $2 billion to help the country’s arts and cultural institutions recover from the coronavirus pandemic, after some theaters and music venues warned that without support they might never open again.
“There’s nothing for these people. The government has just thrown them to the wolves.
“You see people who work in bars and everything got furloughed off with wages and everything. A lot of musicians got nothing. I think it’s a disgrace. Every other sector was looked after. I see today now musicians came out and urged Boris Johnson to save the music industry. Theatres and live music have just been left in front of the bulls really.”
You can order the album, get more information and see this Friday’s launch gig from 6.30pm on the Quintessential Quarantunes Facebook page here.