Coronavirus prompts Norwich pedestrianisation song

Image source, Youth Killed It
Image caption,
The band Youth Killed It (lead singer Jack Murphy, centre) was asked to write songs about Shrek

Musicians have been finding novel ways to keep busy during the coronavirus lockdown, including an online challenge that led one band to write a song about pedestrianisation.

Indie-punks Youth Killed It hosted an online two-hour songwriting session involving about 400 fans.

One asked for a song about the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre.

This was a reference to a line uttered by fictional DJ Alan Partridge in 1997.

Steve Coogan's character posed the question "What do you think about the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre?" during an intimate scene in I'm Alan Partridge.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Alan Partridge appeared in his beloved Norwich city centre at the 2013 premiere of film Alpha Papa

Youth Killed It, a gigging five-piece band from Norfolk, has seen a major tour and five other gigs postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The group's live songwriting session was held on Facebook and Instagram on Saturday - the same day a cancelled Alan Partridge festival should have been taking place in Norwich.

The songwriting event raised more than £350 for East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Frontman Jack Murphy, whose girlfriend's life was saved by EAAA in 2006, said fans logged on to suggest the style of music and subjects for songs the band would then have two hours to write.

"It was a great experience. We had to write five songs in two hours. They asked us for a reggae song and a punk song and a metal song," he said.

"The song suggestions were really strange. They wanted one about a pizza, one about the pedestrianisation of Norwich, one about Noel Edmonds and one about Shrek."

The new songs will be released on the Bandcamp website to raise more funds for EAAA.

Image source, David Booth
Image caption,
David Booth and his wife Paula are living and working at home

Musician David Booth, from Bedfield near Framlingham in Suffolk, runs a recording studio but has been busking online.

He said: "My living is entirely from music and most of my clientele have got no money now, so I thought 'What can I do? I can record my songs in my studio space and people can make donations via PayPal.'

"I only started last week with my own songs and there has been quite a nice initial reaction."

He and his wife Paula have been living and working at home and looking after their daughter Niamh, 10, and son Finn, 13.

Image source, Sink Ya Teeth
Image caption,
Sink Ya Teeth features Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, who produce all of their music from their Norwich homes

Gemma Cullingford, of post-punk dance band Sink Ya Teeth, said lots of their festival bookings had been cancelled.

"I'm spending a lot of time listening to music and a lot of time writing," she said.

She said her other source of income was from ukulele lessons which she would now conduct online.

Image caption,
Norfolk's Shackleton Trio played the main stage at the Cambridge Folk Festival

Before additional restrictions were imposed on Monday, Norfolk folk band The Shackleton Trio were able to host a special concert in a garden with the audience keeping a safe distance from the band and each other.

"It was a little garden concert that some people asked us to do, but with everyone cordoned off for safety," said Georgia Shackleton.

She also set herself the challenge of playing a tune each day on her fiddle on Facebook, while the band's mandolin player has produced an online mandolin course.

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