NI musician stars in UK number one

Published Friday, 28 December 2012
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A Belfast musician has starred in this year's Christmas Number One single, which has been recorded to raise money for families of the Hillsborough disaster victims.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died in a crush at the stadium in 1989 and in tribute, a cover of the Hollies classic 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' was made by the Justice Collective.

The song, which starred the likes of Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams, also had a local name on the bill.

Richard Blake, a classical trumpeter who studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, recalled how he was awoken one morning by a very important phone call.

It was a friend who had recently begun working in a London studio saying: " 'Are you free tonight? Could you record on Guy Chambers' and Robbie Williams' Christmas single?'

"Obviously, I said yes! It sounded like a lot of fun. We turned up and it seemed to be a little bigger than we were anticipating," he explained.

Unfortunately, the single's major stars were not in the recording studio when Richard arrived for his slot complete with a long list of autograph requests from his friends.

"It was just Guy Chambers, the producer, a whole pile of engineers in the studio, and then, the four brass players.

"It's still rather cool. We're on the credit list and on the single. It's very cool and very surreal."

The Christmas number one was an early birthday present for Richard - he'll be 23 on New Year's Day - with his trumpeting appearing at the song's climax.

The modest musician won't be blowing his own trumpet about his new found success though, saying his friends will keep his feet firmly on the ground.

© UTV News
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