Barnstaple band launches Christmas song for the troops

Joseph Bulmer

Jonny Black joins forces with Southmead pupils for festive ballad in aid of Help for Heroes

BARNSTAPLE rock band Jonny Black have teamed up with pupils from Southmead School in Braunton to help raise money for the troops.

I’ll Be Home for the Holidays is now available from iTunes and while the soft ballad might not be usual Jonny Black material, it has real meaning for the 12 Year 5 pupils who sing backing vocals on the track.

They and many others at the school who have parents serving at RMB Chivenor, most of whom will be departing for another tour of Afghanistan this spring.

The band and all involved in creating the single hope to sell enough to be able to make a contribution to the Help for Heroes charity which supports injured service personnel.

The song was launched at The Voice radio station in Barnstaple on Friday. The music was composed and arranged by band member Jason Matthews, with lyrics by fellow band mate Scott Linn. It was recorded at the No Roads Studio and Southmead, with Toby Parker from the band and local singer Becky Oscroft. It is published by Orpheus Music Management Limited.

“I wrote the music a year ago and was always toying with the idea that it would be cool to record it with the band, bringing in people like Becky and the school,” said Jay, who works at Southmead at lunchtimes in between touring with Jonny Black.

Toby added: “It’s a good thing to do, especially at this time of year. This is something a bit ‘East 17’ I guess - it will take people by surprise and that’s what we wanted.”

Southmead headteacher Sarah Gillett said many children at the school had a parent going off to Afghanistan in March: “We know what a pull that is on family life, especially around Christmas and I think this recording reflects that perfectly.”

Jonny Black will be playing at The Aggi in Braunton on January 21, with a new line up and new material, joined by several local bands.

A You Tube video of I’ll Be Home for the Holidays can be found at