Guitarist Eric Clapton has joined forces with Van Morrison for a new single, Stand And Deliver. The song, written by Morrison and performed by Clapton, is in aid of Morrison’s Save Live Music campaign.
It follows the release of three anti-lockdown singles by Morrison: Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out and No More Lockdown. Stand And Deliver proceeds go towards Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which supports musicians hit hard by the pandemic and resulting restrictions.
Clapton said of the song and related cause: “There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration. We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.”
“Eric’s recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations,” said Van Morrison of the track. “It is heartbreaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry.”
England is currently in national lockdown, set to lift on 2 December. This week, new restrictions were announced to go into place as the national restriction finishes – with the vast majority of the country entering into the second level of restrictions, out of a possible three tiers. None of the restriction tiers allow for the return of regular concerts.
The impact of the pandemic on live music has of course been devastating – and many support causes have been founded across the world to help musicians and tour crews through the hardship.
Government support for venues has also been announced, however recently the Music Venue Trust identified 30 venues that had missed out on funding, and were at risk of permanent closure.
Back in August, Van Morrison caused a stir when he criticised the “pseudo-science” of socially distanced concerts, saying that “we need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward … It’s not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs. Come forward now, the future is now.”
While socially distanced gigs are, of course, much harder to make financially viable, many criticised Van Morrison’s portrayal of social distancing guidelines as “psuedo-science” and noted that the onus should be on governmental support, rather than endangering the lives of concert-goers. While cases have reportedly dropped recently, and various firms have reported successful vaccines to be in the early stages of development, it’s unlikely that live music will return in full anytime soon, at least in the UK.
Stand and Deliver will be available for download and streaming from 4 December.
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