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Velvet Underground cover raising much-needed funds for cancer charity

STUDENTS in the School of Music & Sound at the University of South Wales (USW) have had double reason to get involved in a special end-of-year project.

Looking to put something together to ensure the students could complete the performance section of their course, Popular and Commercial Music Lecturer David Coker decided to ask some of his contacts if they could help – and came up with a plan to make an special online music video.

While giving the students a chance to prove their performance skills, the project also has the added benefit of raising funds for the School of Music & Sound’s chosen charity – the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Thanks to his contacts, and those of USW colleague Damon Minchella – founder member of 90s group Ocean Colour Scene – they were able to put together an online cover of the Velvet Underground track Sweet Jane.

Featuring David and Damon, the cover also involved Alun Tomos, who performs with Raider, students Sadie Mulholland, of Doppelgänger, and Jack Vill of Al Moses, and other well-known names including Simon Gilbert of Suede on drums; Steve Smith, Dirty Vegas frontman and Squeeze percussionist, on percussion and vox; Anthony Saffrey of Cornershop on sitar; and Jamie Wright, of Bangkok-based DJ Octo, on guitar, who sent his parts over from Thailand.

Having recorded the song in their own homes, the performers got the videos to renowned editor Tim Murrell, who put together the final production.

And David is full of praise for all those involved in the project.

“We needed to do something for the students to ensure they had completed the performance section of their course, so an online video seemed ideal, particularly with the number of contacts we had at USW who could help out,” he said.

“We’re really pleased with the final video. The people involved have done a fantastic job.

“The added benefit of the video is that we are able raise donations and awareness of the Teenage Cancer Trust and hoping a people who watch will donate some much-needed cash to the charity.”

Debbie Jones, Senior Relationship Manager, Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru, said: “We’re delighted to be supported once again by the staff and students at the University of South Wales and are so grateful to the School of Music and Sound team for putting together the amazing cover of Sweet Jane in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru.

“Right now, many young people with cancer are particularly at risk from Covid-19. They may face even greater uncertainty and isolation than ever before, with healthcare services incredibly stretched. Cancer doesn’t stop for anything, so, however long this crisis lasts, young people will need our support more than ever. Please donate whatever you can to Teenage Cancer Trust’s crisis appeal and help us be there for young people with cancer during these toughest of times.”