Helensburgh Heroes Experience

A Scottish community is set to release a version of the classic David Bowie track ‘Heroes’, on 1st August 2009, which is the end product of six months hard work by over 100 local singers and musicians.

“Heroes”, by the Helensburgh Heroes Experience, will be premiered and released on Saturday 1st August 2009. In an attempt to raise awareness of both the talented and inspirational people that have hailed from the area, and the desperate need for a permanent arts and leisure centre, a group of local people hit upon the idea of creating a ‘Live Aid’ style community recording of the song. Once record company clearance for the project had been obtained, the recording process commenced on Saturday 24th January 2009, when 70 singers aged from 7 to 80 turned out en masse to take part in the mass choir recording session for the track, under the musical direction of Alan Craig, Head of Music at Langside College, Glasgow. The backing track had already been put down by Kenny Hyslop and his production team at Glasgow’s Carlton Studios, using local musicians. Kenny, a professional drummer with Scots bands such as SLIK and Simple Minds, was born in Helensburgh and was the project’s first volunteer. Kirsten Easdale, a professional recording artist and Helensburgh resident for the past 18 years, lent the project her considerable experience and expertise by mentoring, rehearsing and directing the lead vocalists. Kirsten is certainly no stranger to the music world, having performed at major international festivals and events, and supporting artists like Shane McGowan and Donnie Munroe, as well as recording over 15 albums, including 4 with top Celtic band ‘Calasaig’. Kirsten stated: “Working with the vocalists has been an extremely rewarding experience for me and it has fully endorsed my initial view that this was a worthy, positive, and inclusive project to be involved with. I have had the pleasure of working with a dedicated group of vocalists who have given everything they possibly could to ensure that our final product is as good as anything released by professional artists.”

The track was then finally edited and mastered by Kenny and his production team to produce the final recording. The artwork for the CD was created by 3 Helensburgh primary school pupils who won a local competition to design a cover for the project, which attracted over 200 entries. Phil Worms, the project’s Executive Producer, stated: “This project has been a real testament to the power of community. Everybody from the artists to the film crew has given their time, talents and expertise freely in the hope that this record will be a catalyst for establishing a permanent arts facility within the area. Who knows, we may even get to see the town of Helensburgh featured in the charts! We believe that this recording will provide a focus for our large art community, to come together – to be inspired, to collaborate, to create, to be entertained, and to learn. Who knows? Maybe we’ll discover some new ‘Helensburgh Hero’ of the future, through this project. Music and the arts transcend race, gender, age, faith, and ability and we hope that we have proved that a community can come to together and unite behind a common cause. Hopefully the next time that we attempt such a project, it will be from within own local facilities. We owe it to the next and future generations to make this happen.”