It all started with a set of photographs of nurses on a Covid ward, taken by frontline worker Hannah Grace Deller. The work was shown on Grayson’s Art Club – a series presented by Grayson Perry on Channel 4 – which Chris Difford of Squeeze just happened to catch.
Chris was impressed by Hannah’s work and it motivated him to try and do something for the frontline workers. He pulled together a team of writers to create the 20-track album which he called ‘Song Club’. The album opens with an emotional and stirring single by Jessie Buckley and her band which is featured here.
The tracks are by an award-winning collection of songwriters including Nick Heyward, Graham Gouldman, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mark Nevin and Kathryn Williams. Song Club is a fantastic way to celebrate frontline workers and it documents a poignant moment in time.
Difford has said of the project: “Songwriters have been in lockdown like everyone else and collectively we have dark stages and an unsure future regarding live performances, so this has been something to focus on by way of embracing the amazing work of the NHS and frontline workers. My aim is to document this strange time we are living in and I hope bring inspiring songs to the ears of many.”
Working On The Frontline is the first release from the album; it features Jessie Buckley and band, ‘Jessie and The Leonards’, written by Kate St John and Neill MacColl and featuring Hannah Grace Deller. The song is a powerful representation of life on the NHS frontline.
Neill and Kate said: “Working on The Front Line is written from the point of view of a frontline NHS worker, to convey some sense of the reality of what it’s like to work on a Covid ward. The inspiration for the song came from the photographs of hospital workers taken by Hannah Grace Deller, talking to her about her own experiences of working as a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital.“
Proceeds of the Song Club go to (Royal College of Nursing) RCN Foundation COVID-19 Support Fund | www.rcnfoundation.org.uk
In total, the RCN Foundation’s COVID related activities have, to date, supported more than 2,800 individuals, providing more than £1,200,000 in grants to nursing and midwifery staff.
Song Club Tracklisting