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Manics Fast Track Help To War Children - The Western Mail, 9th September 2005

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Title: Manics Fast Track Help To War Children
Publication: The Western Mail
Date: Friday 9th September 2005
Writer: Aled Blake

Manic street preachers are among a host of star names behind a record-breaking album out today.

It is 10 years since charity War Child released its first Help album, when 20 of Britain's finest bands and artists went into studios across the UK to each produce a track.

The aim was to produce the fastest number one album in British music history and it raised more than pounds 1m for children caught up in the civil war in Bosnia.

Help notched up sales of more than 71,000 on its first day in the shops. It is the fastest recorded studio album as well as being the fastest Number One, taking a mere six days from when recording began on Monday to reaching the top of the charts the following Saturday.

It is hoped that record will be beaten today by the new album, Help: A Day In The Life.

The new album, which also includes artists such as Gorillaz, Radiohead, Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight and Magic Numbers, will be available to download this afternoon - within 24 hours of it being recorded.

Manics were the first to file their track Leviathan last night, as strict deadlines swung into place to get the album online in time. They recorded it at Rockfield recording studio in Monmouth, also birthplace of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Oasis's What's the Story Morning Glory?

The Welsh band's bassist Nicky Wire said it was a privilege to be a part of the charity bid.

He said, 'The track we are going to record for the new Help album is a brand new song which we wrote after being asked to take part.

'The track is called Leviathan and is the punkiest thing we have done in years. We've been proud to feature on three of War Child's albums.'

Help: A Day In The Life follows a tradition of charity fundraising albums made by famous bands in quick time, including Live Aid in the 1980s and the recent Live Eight event.

Money raised will allow War Child to provide aid to children affected by wars and conflicts, including those living in war zones and where wars have just ended.

The bands will have only hours to record their tracks.

Kaiser Chiefs will have just three hours while on tour in Berlin. Damien Rice is interrupting the recording of his second album in Dublin.

Emmanuel Jal - a rising rap star who was once a child soldier in Sudan - is also contributing.

Tim Rice-Oxley, of Keane, said, 'Every childhood should be a time for optimism and innocence. In many places it is instead a time of violent chaos, deprivation and fear. War Child is doing every- thing it can to change that.'

In the past 10 years, War Child has worked with children and communities blighted by war in several countries including Rwanda, Sudan, Afghanistan, Angola and Iraq, where drop-in centres in Nasiriyah and Basra are being rehabilitated in order to provide a safe place for vulnerable street children and help them gain access to education and skills.

Some of the most horrific stories of child victims come from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In one incident last year, War Child prevented scores of child soldiers from being put on transport planes bound for the war zone. Demanding deadlines: Across the UK, artists worked through the night last night to get their songs recorded and sent to London for inclusion on the album.


7pm: The Manics are first to get their track Leviathan in from the famous Rockfield recording studio in Monmouth, followed by Razorlight with Kirby's House

8pm: Gua arrives from Emmanuel Jal, Hello Conscience from The Zutons and I want None of It from Radiohead

9pm: Maximo Park's Wasteland comes in from Newcastle

10pm: The Coral send in It was Nothing from Liverpool, and Hard-Fi finish their as yet unnamed track

11pm: The Eight Stations of the Cross Kebab House by Belle & Sebastian is sent in from Glasgow


2am: Keane and Faultline get their cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in

6am: Gorillaz finish off their tune, which remained unnamed last night.

7am: Kaiser Chiefs submit I heard It Through the Grapevine from Berlin

8am: Gone are the Days arrives from Magic Numbers

9am: Boy George and Antony & the Johnsons submit Happy Christmas (The War is Over), followed by The Present from Bloc Party

9:30am: Tinariwen's track arrives.

10am: Cross-eyed Bear by Damien Rice comes in from Dublin, as well as Mylo's tune from the Isle of Skye

11am: Go! Team finishes Phantom Broadcast in Brighton

1pm: Last track Snowball comes in from Elbow in Manchester

2pm: The album is available to download for 99p per track at www.warchildmusic.com

MONDAY, September 26

Help: A Day in the Life will be available in shops nationwide.