A group of singing legal eagles who last year decided to pool their untapped musical talents and make a charity CD, have so far raised over £1,000 for cancer research.
The team from Hull and Beverley-based James Legal Solicitors are the driving force behind the project, in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Three of the band’s members – Chris Hutchinson, Gary Swann and Tom Owens – work for the firm. Chris is helping with songwriting and backing vocals, while Gary plays a major role as both a songwriter and guitarist. Meanwhile, Tom, currently the youngest member of the group at just 19, sings the lyrics on the third track ‘Hometown’, which was written by Chris’s eldest son Pete.
Pictured above: Pete Hutchinson, Teana Hutchinson, Tom Owens, Gary Swann, Gaz Richardson, Chris Hutchinson
On 1 December, they released an EP consisting of five tracks, including a Christmas song, which has been sold at James Legal’s offices and a range of pubs and other venues throughout the region. It is also available on download.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support people have shown us,” said Solicitor Chris, one member of their specially-formed group, The Elusive Mandarins.
We are delighted that it has been taken up by local radio stations and tracks from the EP have been played on BBC Radio Humberside, Beverley FM and Lincs FM.
“We didn’t really know how much money we’d manage to raise but are delighted to have passed the £1,000 mark, and are selling more copies of the CD by the day.”
Not content to rest on their laurels, they are already on with recording a full album, which will be released in December 2018, and will feature up to 20 unique tracks, once again written and performed by members of the group.
The project was made all the more meaningful because two members of the group – Chris and Teana Hutchinson – unexpectedly lost a much-loved family member to cancer while recording it.
The group had already started work on the CD when Chris discovered that his younger brother Damian had terminal cancer. Damian sadly passed away the following month, in August, and Teana, his wife, performs a track called ‘The Journey’, which she and Gary wrote, dedicated to his memory.
Both the current and future CDs are being produced by Gaz Richardson, MD of established local firm Richardson Electrical (UK) Ltd, who is a great musician himself and has his own recording studio.
“We were so fortunate that Gaz Richardson was so enthusiastic about this project and gave us the use of his recording studio for free,” added Chris.
Chris said: “The project started as a chance discussion between Gary and I about our shared love of music and has really ballooned from there. As we progressed the idea, we discovered there was all sorts of latent musical talent among our James Legal colleagues, extended family and friends network and even the Holderness villages where many of us live.
“So many people have offered to get involved and give their time to the project for nothing, spurred on by the thought of helping such a worthwhile cause, and recording the songs has proved such a special, memorable experience as a result.”
And the diverse range of musicians united by this project also include Derek Ward, now in his 70s, who played guitar with Jimi Hendrix at the Bag O’Nails club; was a bass player with the John Evans Band, who became Jethro Tull, and also the bass guitarist on The Casuals’ recording of their classic track ‘Jesamine’.
Chris’s wife Hazel, a teacher at a Hull school and amateur artist, has designed the EP cover, and is to design the full CD cover.
Copies are available to buy from James Legal’s offices at Planet House, Hedon Road, Hull, and Lairgate in Beverley; The Music Academy, also on Hedon Road; Burton Pidsea Garage and the Roos Arms pub in Roos.
It can also be downloaded electronically by googling Bandcamp and searching for ‘The Elusive Mandarins’, and can also be found on iTunes.
The net proceeds from the sale of every EP and CD bought will go to Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Alex Green, Relationships Manager at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We’re very grateful to the group members for all the effort they’ve put into this project on our behalf and the fundraising total so far is just fantastic.
“The money they’ve raised will help fund vital research and community health initiatives to improve the diagnosis, treatment and care of cancer patients living in Yorkshire.”
Anyone who would like to donate to our efforts for Yorkshire Cancer Research can also do so via Chris’s Just Giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Hutchinson9