Two Scottish Artists Re-Imagine Fairytale of New York for Arts Charities

When the recent stooshie over the airplay of well-loved festive song Fairytale of New York byThe Pogues and Kirsty MacColl seemed to take up more air space than the playing of the actual song, it sparked an idea between two performers from different corners of the art world.

These artists are actor Blythe Duff, known to TV and theatre audiences as well as cinema goers, and singer/songwriter Cameron Barnes of the world renowned band the  Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The pair met each other while playing mother and son in the National Theatre of Scotland’s production The James Playsthat premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival before playing at London’s National Theatre in 2014.

Within a week of said stooshie, Duff and Barnes were in the studio making the track   where they have added another layer to this already memorable song by playing out the plaintive lyrics and making it resonate as the journey of a mother and son. Also on board, providing string, piano, whistle and percussion work to the production, are musicians Scott Wood and Mhairi Marwick who join Blythe and Cameron for this worthwhile undertaking. 

33 years after the original release of the Pogues’ hit, Duff and Barnes tell a new tale of a single mum who lives vicariously through her multi-talented musician son Guy. She encouraged him to leave Glasgow and follow in her footsteps to seek his fortune in New York City but a global pandemic has sapped his creative energy. On top of that he’s skint and is heading home. How does he break the news that both their dreams have failed? Full story in the video!

Blythe Duff said “If I had been told, that 2020 would end with me ticking off the biggest wish on my bucket list – to record a single – I would have laughed in disbelief. To work with Cameron Barnes, Scott Wood and Mhairi Marwick was a thrill, throw in the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and it has just tipped me over the edge! Fingers crossed it raises money for our two chosen charities. If that happens… I’m sure it’ll help with everyone’s wish list…”

The single will be released on Friday 11th December on the brilliantly named Distrokid with all  profits  going  to Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s music therapy charity,  and ACT the Actors’ Children’s Trust. The video will be available in the week of 14th December 2020.

Irene Brown

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