Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The soundtrack to the next big run!

On day 6 of last year's big run I received an email from one Alan Millen (pictured left) entitled "The Exiles and their Toon Army tunes could be the soundtrack for your run".   I didn't know this at the time but Alan was one half of a band called The Exiles. I later found out that Tim Readman (pictured below right) was the other half. As I understand it, Alan (based in Switzerland) is the lyricist and Tim (based in Canada) does the instruments and that.

Anyhow, they wanted to send me two of their CDs to listen to when I was running the 874 miles to Lands End. "Brilliant", I thought and I had the CDs in time for the second half of the big run. I listened to both of their albums a few times in the remaining weeks on the run but it wasn't until later on the many school runs in the car that Jack and I really started to get hooked on their music.  We found that, the lyrics as well as the melody of so many of their songs were so catchy and once you know the words you just have to sing along and tap your feet.

It wasn't unusual for us to be driving through Rowlands Gill on a frosty morning singing "Wor Jackie's the greatest, that canny Geordie son, he scored the goals that won the cup in 1951....". "Can we listen to that one again Dad?" was Jack's usual response after each song.    You might think I'm making this up but I promise you I'm not!

A few weeks ago when I was riding my bike home (and saving another fiver towards the 2011 Tour Fund as a result!) I was listening to The Exiles' 2nd album - And 50,000 in the stands. I think the song was "My Friend Tim, thinks he's Jinky Jim" and I was just about to join the Derwent Walk for the final 9.5 miles home. All of a sudden I had a flash of inspiration! I thought it would be an amazing idea if I could get the Exiles to write and record a song for the next big run. My initial idea was for it to be used in the regular videos and podcasts I intend to send back from the USA in 2011. "Why stop there" I thought! We could make this a charity song, sell it as a download and in the shops and proceeds could be split between The Children's Foundation and St Benedict's Hospice.  Genius!  Not just a Civil Servant's son born in Jesmond, I'm a blooming genius! 

As soon as I reached home that night, I was on to Tim and Alan via email. Just hours later, I got a response from them both. It was no surprise that they were on board straight away and thought it was a "fascinating" idea. I've since supplied them with a few "inspirational" details and the plan is for them to take them away for a few months and come up with a charity song to be used as the soundtrack for USA 2011. As an old friend once said "You just couldn't make it up"! Watch this space for further developments on the song as I get them.

For further information on The Exiles to to listen to a few tracks, check out their myspace page here. Why not buy/download their CDs!  They are even on iTunes.  That's canny impressive!  

I'm extremely grateful for their help.  I've not told them this, but I have visions of them performing the song live on stage at the Fed Brewery at the cheque presentation evening in October 2011.  Now that would be "Domino to Danny"!  You'll have to read their myspace blog to find out what that means!