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SocietySeptember 11, 2015

Society: Charity Single Wars – Which Song Will Win the Fight to Save Our Children?


New Zealand’s music charts are suddenly awash with charity singles. The teams are: Guy Williams and Scribe, Crowded House and every other non-dead New Zealand musician. Calum Henderson surveys the Charity Single Wars.

The Pigeon Song

Cause: KidsCan

Stars: Guy Williams, Scribe

Rival charity song composer Joseph Moore described the charity single wars as the biggest chart rivalry since Britpop. If that is the case – and who’s to say it’s not – then Guy Williams and Scribe must surely be the Oasis to the Cure Kids’ racket’s Blur. Hard to say which is Liam and which is Noel – the more I think about it Williams is probably both and Scribe is actually Bonehead.

Team Ball Player Thing

Cause: Cure Kids (Batten disease)

Stars: Lorde, Six60, John Shihad, Nice’n’Urlich, The Dobbynator, every other living member of APRA

Feel like this veers dangerously close to being that truly dire person who crawls out of the woodwork any time there’s a big sporting event to tweet “is there a sportsball game on? why did the man kick the ball? everybody i know seems to hate me?” Could it be deliberately satirising this dreadful brand of smug faux-naivety? I’m choosing to read it as such – New Zealand’s grandest, most elaborate subtweet in song form – in which case it’s very clever and good.

Help is Coming

Cause: Save the Children

Stars: Crowded House, Benedict Cumberbatch

Crowded House have announced a late entry into the Charity Wars with the rerelease of this lovely rarity from 1999. If the Pigeon Song is Oasis and Team Ball Player Thing is Blur then this is… probably Crowded House. Neil Finn and co have foregone the powerful lure of viral novelty factor in pursuit of the Serious Music Listener charity dollar. This means that while Benedict Cumberbatch does make a guest appearance in the video he does NOT perform a rap.

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