Welsh music journalist Kevin McGrath has embarked on an ambitious effort to raise funds for Velindre Cancer Center in Cardiff, Wales, where he’s received treatment for his own cancer. A regular contributor to Wales Arts Review and New Sound Wales, McGrath came up with the idea to create a massive 40-track digital album release as a way to not only raise money for a worthy cause, but also pay back in kind for the life-saving care he’s received.
Accordingly, he reached out to some of his favorite musicians in Wales, as well as in places such as Italy, Finland and America, to donate a song, old or new, released or unreleased, toward the creation of a 40-track mixtape album. Well, the response was beyond what he expected, and the album, entitled V4Velindre, now has a whopping 50 tracks by some of the best bands in Wales, including Bandicoot, Climbing Trees, Campfire Social, and Head Noise, as well as established singer/songwriters such as Jodie Marie, Evans McRae and Dan Bettridge.
McGrath explains his mission for creating the album: “V4Velindre exists because from the minute that we are born our lives intersect with the National Health Service. We all have stories (happy and sad) of the crucial role the NHS plays in our very existence. Nothing, though, could have prepared us for the sacrifice that NHS staff all over the country made to keep us safe during the COVID pandemic. Just between March 2020 and December 2020 883 NHS staff members died from COVID doing their duty and so much more. As the NHS, and the nation, seeks to rebuild in the wake of the pandemic we need to come together and make our contribution. As Nye Bevan famously said, ‘the NHS will last only as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it’. That fight comes in many measures – some will work for the NHS, some will vote for the NHS, some will protest for the NHS, and some will help finance its upkeep through jumble sales and sponsored walks. Please consider purchasing V4Velindre. Every single penny of the proceedings that comes to me from the sale of this album (minus the Bandcamp commission) will be passed straight to the Velindre Cancer Centre, where I have been cared for as an outpatient for the past eight years.“
Among its 44 tracks, the album features songs by the last three winners of the Welsh Music Prize, including “O Silly Me” by young singer-songwriter Boy Azooga, “Brassneck” by indie legends The Wedding Present (an exclusive re-working of one of their all-time classics), “Who You Are” by BOB and “Enemy of Promise” by the Nightingales. In addition, the album includes songs donated by outstanding new Indie bands from Italy (Smile) Finland (That Forgotten Band) and the U.S. (Walter Etc, Eggs on Mars and Parker Woodland). Two of the songs are by Welsh artists I’ve previously featured on this blog: “Deal With the Devil” by the hyper-talented singer-songwriter GG Fearn, and “Stage Fright!” by electro-punk band Head Noise. There are also some newly-recorded tracks from Armstrong, Silent Forum, Burning Ferns and Y Dail that cannot be heard anywhere else but on this album.
Here’s a sampling of the wonderful songs included on V4Velindre:
V4Velindre will be available exclusively through Bandcamp as a digital-only release on October 1st, and may be pre-ordered here. If you pre-order, you will get five tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more).
6 thoughts on “New Compilation Album “V4Velindre” to Raise Funds for Welsh Cancer Center”
I love the idea of music for a cause. In fact, I’m planning to visit a great one-day open air festival this Saturday that features top-notch tribute bands. Ticket sales go to fundraising for a local drug rehab program.
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It certainly makes one appreciate the music and artists even more!
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Hi, I can’t thank you enough for covering my mixtape fundraiser V4Velindre in such an informative way. I haven’t had the best day today (health wise), but in other respects, such as reading this article, it’s been rather wonderful. While this album is choc-a-bloc with great songs, its success will depend on how much money it raises. They only way that will happen is if people get
to hear about it. I’m just an ordinary person, without a PR machine at my disposal, so I’m relying on an informal network of music enthusiasts, whether they are writers/bloggers etc. This was a joy to see and I hope it will persuade a few more people to support the cause. One thing is for sure , they will own a fantastic album if they do. Kevin McGrath
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You’re welcome Kevin, and I was happy to do it. Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well, so am glad this provided a bit of sunshine to your day.
What an amazing undertaking. Kudos to Kevin. Wonderful music for a worthy cause and as usual, a great write-up.
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Thanks Ralph. It really is quite an undertaking, and all for a good cause.