An East Yorkshire musician has come out of retirement to write and record a lockdown-themed Christmas song to generate some light-hearted festive fun.
Grandad John Dawson, from Cowden, near Hornsea, was a familiar face on the local music circuit for almost five decades as he performed to packed audiences at hundreds of pubs and clubs with his sixties covers band, Chapter Four, from the late 1960s.
Now, he has written, recorded and filmed a music video for his song, ‘Santa’s Still in Lockdown’, with the aim of raising some smiles ahead of the annual festivities during an incredibly challenging year.
He called on friends, family, fellow musicians and singers to bring the project to fruition, as well as his grandchildren, William Finn, seven, his sister Georgia Finn, 10, and Josie Evans, eight, whose voices helped to bring the song and video to life.
The video has already been viewed on Facebook and various music platforms more than 3,200 times in just three days, and shared far and wide.
John, 73, said: “I’ve been in and out of musical retirement in recent years, usually coming back once a year to play one gig with Chapter Four, which we’ve really enjoyed.
“But due to Covid-19, this year’s ‘out of retirement’ gig in Hornsea was cancelled and I’d spent two months rehearsing with my guitar, so I was ready to play.
“I started looking at previous Christmas songs, why people enjoyed them, what was catchy about them and why they remembered them, drawing on my love of sixties and seventies styles of music.
“I created a song which suited me, making sure it didn’t clash with anything else, and ‘Santa’s Still in Lockdown’ was born.
“I’m overwhelmed by the response and the feedback I’ve received so far. Many people have had a very difficult year and, for some, it has been devastating. I hope this will make people smile as it’s certainly a year no one will ever forget.”
John enlisted the help of friend and fellow musician Simon Stevens, singer Lianna Webber, musician and studio engineer Francis Gill, and musician and artist Chris Norfolk, who also owns Portfolio Hull, a web design, photography, video and marketing company, for the song and video.
John said: “It was brilliant to have everyone involved, especially my grandchildren, because it’s something they will be able to look back on in years to come and they’ll always have those memories.
“After many years of playing in pubs and clubs, to have a concrete product with brilliant sound is the icing on the cake for me.
“When you have nothing to do in lockdown and you can’t go anywhere, things like this can hopefully cheer people up. I did it for the grandchildren and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“To know people are enjoying the song and the video has made me feel really content. It feels like I’m on a big gig without having to play anywhere. It’s unbelievable and has given me great satisfaction.”