Thirty One – a compilation album for CALM (February 2012)


Thirty One – a compilation album featuring Elbow, Barry Adamson, Noel Gallagher, Everything Everything, Delphic, D/R/U/G/S, LoneLady, Bad Lieutenant, I Am Kloot, Plank! and more. To raise money for CALM – the Campaign Against Living Miserably (here). The album was curated by Dave, released in February 2012, and raised in excess of £30k for the charity.

When the album was released Dave wrote this note…

A big project over the last six months has now come to fruition. The release of an album to raise funds for CALM; with tracks chosen and compiled by me.

CALM – the Campaign Against Living Miserably – aims to provide support for those suffering from mental illness or depression, with a focus on reducing the high suicide rate amongst men, particularly young men (more info here). There are shocking rates of suicide in Manchester, and the North-West, and in Britain generally (suicide is actually the single biggest killer of men aged 15-35 in the UK). And in the current recession issues of mental health and self harm have become more prevalent (as a recent study has shown).

Esther Callaghan from the Factory Foundation came up with the idea of a fundraising album to raise money for CALM, and she asked me to choose and source the music. It was a useful way of using some of those assets I’ve ended-up with; a love of music and a little black book full of the contact details of ace bands.

I reckon each one of us knows someone with mental health problems and depression who missed out, someone who needed to connect, but who never found the right person to reach out to. This was a chance to help.

We agreed it should have a local flavour but include musicians with a semi-detached relationship to Manchester as well as those with a roots going way back; and that it should include music-making by relatively unknown acts as well as established ones. It became an ambitious attempt to capture a snapshot view of Manchester’s music.

There were one or two artists who I approached who weren’t able to donate a track for practical reasons, but the response was unhesitatingly positive. I got the beautifully packaged CD back the other day, and had a little “wow” to myself.

Highlights include; a live version of ‘Lippy Kids’ by Elbow; tracks by artists still making great music nearly 35 years after their post-punk beginnings (including Barry Adamson and Durutti Column); a cover version of Gloworm’s ravey hit ‘Carry Me Home’ by the fantastic Everything Everything; remixes of tunes by Delphic and The Whip; a few artists I expect to increase their profile in the next year or so, like Airship, Plank! and Sara Lowes; a few you may not have heard, like NoCeremony and From the Kites of San Quentin; brilliant local heroes LoneLady, Jim Noir and Mr Scruff; the emerging talents of the Janice Graham Band and Murkage; I Am Kloot‘s haunting reworking of ‘Bigger Wheels’ (recorded especially for the album); and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, who donate arguably their finest song, the wonderful ‘Let the Lord Shine a Light On Me’.

Thanks to all the artists, and their various managements, and thanks especially to Esther for devising the concept, putting countless hours into this, and working through all the practical obstacles to make it happen.

The album comes in beautiful packaging, as a double CD (available from Piccadilly Records, Fopp, and plenty of other stores – Piccadilly will post the CD to you), limited edition vinyl (exclusively from Townshend Records and a download (here).

It’s a while since we had such a quality compilation of Manchester-made music. It’s a top selection of tracks, it’s for a great cause, not a “sexy” one, but so very important. I hope you can spare the cash for the album and the cause. Approx 7 pounds per album sold goes directly to the charity.

Dave Haslam, Manchester, February 2012.