Lancaster homeless appeal for album release

Ric French with some of the voices from Street Stories, at Lancaster District Homeless Action Service
Ric French with some of the voices from Street Stories, at Lancaster District Homeless Action Service

Homeless people in Lancaster have been working towards recording an album of songs – and they need your help to make it happen.

Street Stories and Other Tales is a joint project between More Music in Morecambe and Lancaster District Homeless Action Service.

It has seen some of the city’s homeless work together to produce a collection of “heartfelt stories” and songs following music workshops at the centre in Edward Street.

Musician Ric French, 38, has been working with service users there to write the songs, which the group is now ready to record, and eventually perform at this year’s music festival.

Ric said: “I first went in to do some guitar teaching, and they seemed to like me.

“It’s a very informal weekly session. I made friends, and then I got some people who were interesting in how to write a song.

“It was all about talking to people who thought they had a story, to tease it out of them and give it a go.

“It started with covers like Country Roads, some Michael Jackson.

“We did a performance under our band name Roaming Vox, at the Cornerstone Cafe at last year’s Lancaster Music Festival. We created a song book, all covers, and that’s where the idea for this project came from.”

Ric, from Heysham, a solo artist who also sings in the band Carpe, said the group have pulled together around 13 songs, and now needed to crowdfund to make recording it a reality. People have really opened up,” he said.

“Professional songwriters would struggle to go as deep as these guys have.

“A good lot of the songs are heartfelt stories and stories of hardship. At the moment the stand out song for all of us is called Molly’s Place.

“We wrote it after I asked ‘what was the last band you went to see?’ and ‘what was the last place you walked to for pleasure?’

“There’s a guy called Tony who came in at rock bottom, and now if you meet him he’s just transformed.

“He says that it’s changed his life and he figures that the music has helped in a massive way. We want to crowdfund for recording, production, mixing and mastering and then releasing the album.”

Ric said if the project is successful and enough money is raised, there would be a launch party.

He added that there would be incentives for donation including house concerts, digital downloads and tickets to the launch.

The album will be recorded at More Music in Morecambe.
The crowdfunding target is £3,500, and donations will pay for the expenses of professional musicians, studio time, CD production and the costs of the launch party.

Any money raised from sale of CDs will be put back into the activities programme at Lancaster District Homeless Action Service.

You can make a donation HERE.