V4Velindre fundraising album
Written by Gavin on 29th September 2021
V4Velindre, a 50-track fundraising album compiled by music journalist Kevin McGrath, is set for digital-only release via Bandcamp on the 1st of October. All profits from the album will go straight to Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, where Kevin continues to be cared for as an outpatient following an operation to remove a tumour from his spine on Christmas Eve 2012 at the University Hospital Of Wales.
As Kevin was recuperating from major surgery, he resolved to devote more time to his journalism, having previously written gig reviews for Plugged In magazine. Over the past decade, Kevin has become a regular contributor to Wales Arts Review, New Sound Wales and Buzz magazine, as well as penning more than 200 articles for his blog redsoapbox.tumblr.com. He briefly wrote for PopMatters and is presently a juror for the Welsh Music Prize (WMP). His DIY book Pop Hack: Selected Reviews and Interviews From The Beach Boys to Boy Azooga was published in 2020, with all of the proceeds going to Velindre.
For V4Velindre, Kevin asked musicians to “donate” a track old or new, released or unreleased, to a project aimed at raising funds for the hospital that had saved his life. The response was overwhelming, led by the past three winners of the WMP – Boy Azooga, The Gentle Good and Adwaith. V4Velindre also features brand new songs by Silent Forum, Armstrong, Burning Ferns and Y Dail, as well as previously unheard versions of songs by The Wedding Present, BOB, oblong and Head Noise.
The album has been warmly received by critics:
‘A brilliant, lovingly compiled album that showcases a lot of superb new music from Wales’ – John Harris
‘A Stellar line-up’ – Pete Paphides
‘All kinds of goodies… Kevin McGrath has done a fantastic job’ – Adam Walton
‘What is certain is that some things will never be the same post-covid. If music and culture can offer warmth, light and hope in this situation, then this project is a definite source of all. From start to finish, this is a superbly crafted compilation’. – From the Margins
‘Kevin McGrath has curated a brilliant charity compilation’ – God is in the TV
Kevin said:- From the minute that we are born our lives intersect with the National Health Service. We all have stories (happy and sad) of the crucial role the NHS plays in our very existence. Nothing, though, could have prepared us for the sacrifice that NHS staff all over the country made to keep us safe during the COVID pandemic. Just between March 2020 and December 2020 883 NHS staff members died from COVID doing their duty and so much more. As the NHS, and the nation, seeks to rebuild in the wake of the pandemic we need to come together and make our contribution. As Nye Bevan famously said, ‘the NHS will last only as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it’. That fight comes in many measures – some will work for the NHS, some will vote for the NHS, some will protest for the NHS, and some will help finance its upkeep through jumble sales and sponsored walks. Please consider purchasing V4Velindre, every single penny of the proceedings that comes to me from the sale of this album will be passed straight to the Velindre Cancer Centre. A huge thank you to the artists involved in V4Velindre who decided to fight for the NHS by creating and donating.
Listen to Kevin chat to GTFM’s Gavin here:- https://soundcloud.com/gtfmpodcasts/kevin-mcgrath-v4lindre?si=9393a57ab2204d74916b0b8a68a96381