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Marion joins music stars to support the NHS

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MUSICIAN Marion Fleetwood has joined a stellar line-up from the likes of Blondie, the Sex Pistols and Shakespeare's Sister in a collaboration to raise money for the NHS.

Musician Marion Fleetwood at home in Stratford. Photo: Mark Williamson M36/6/21/8127 (48323695)
Musician Marion Fleetwood at home in Stratford. Photo: Mark Williamson M36/6/21/8127 (48323695)

The Stratford performer plays strings on a cover version of the Robbie Williams song Angels alongside famous names such as Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley, Pistols founder Glen Matlock, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Marcella Detroit of Shakespeare's Sister and pianist Jools Holland.

But instead of hanging out in the studio with the stars, Marion had to make do with delivering her performance over the internet.

She told the Herald: "It's been an amazing experience and just fantastic to work with such an incredible group of musicians, albeit remotely.

"It took all of three seconds for me to say yes. I've always been a huge Blondie fan so playing alongside Clem was amazing, and Tony and Marcella are obviously artists who I've followed and loved.

"I really never thought I would get to play with artists from such an incredible range of bands – playing alongside a Sex Pistol was never something I could have imagined."

The artists call themselves Kindred Spirit and their charity song, Angels (of the Nation) was released for download on 4th June in support of the NHS after being recorded remotely both here and in the United States.

The appeal aims to give grieving relatives of NHS workers who have died during the pandemic an angel statue as a symbol of the nation's gratitude. At least 181 frontline staff have died in the fight against Covid-19.

Marion is well-known on the classical and folk music scenes, and her 30-year career has included regular appearances at festivals such as Fairport's Cropredy.

Despite having to perform in her front room, this is one gig she says she'll treasure for ever.

"My mum has worked for the NHS for her whole career and I've seen first-hand the dedication of friends and family who work within it. The Angels of the Nation appeal is a poignant tribute to the NHS workers who have given their lives in the battle against Covid-19 and their families.

"I can't think of a more worthy cause and it's a real honour to have been asked to play a small part in raising awareness and funds for it."

Marion, added: "I was incredibly humbled to be asked, to be honest. I think if we'd been in the same space together, I may well have been very star-struck as so many of the artists involved are in bands I love. But because I was in my front room at home I wasn't nervous at all when I was recording.

"They are all fantastic people and in the band Zoom calls the laughter and chat has flowed really freely. Everyone inspires, lifts and supports each other and it's just been lovely to get to know them all a little bit. Friendships and musical partnerships have been made. As regards performing live, watch this space – who knows?"

The release is also a tribute to music producer Steve Brown, whose credits included Elton John, Freddie Mercury, The Cult, Alison Moyet, ABC, The Manic Street Preachers, Wham and many more. Angels of the Nation was the last project he worked on before his death.

Each angel statue costs up to £140 to make and deliver, and the total target is £25,000. Proceeds from the single will be donated to NHS Together charity. To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/angelsofthenation.

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