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19th December 2011

Wootton Bassett Rocks makes a late bid for Number One

Wootton Bassett Rocks to muscle in among the big guns for this year’s Christmas Number One

The red-hot charity single produced and performed by over 1,000 residents of Royal Wootton Bassett is making a late rally to muscle in among the big guns for this year’s Christmas Number One.

Since its release last month, Wootton Bassett Rocks’ moving cover of Green Day’s ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ has become a global internet sensation, touching millions of followers and attracting celebrity support.

The video, filmed against the familiar and iconic High Street backdrop of the Wiltshire town, went viral on YouTube across 74 countries becoming the top five most watched video in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany and Australia. It has this week (December 19th) become available to download through iTunes for £1.29.

The single, recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire, has performed well in all the key charts, including the Official Charts Company, which decides the UK Christmas Number One. However, it faces fierce competition for that chart-topping festive accolade from X Factor winners, Little Mix, with their release of Damien Rice’s ‘Cannonball’, and the Military Wives Choir with ‘Wherever You Are’.

The project was the brainchild of Wiltshire mum-of-two, Tracey Rogers, whose brother Captain Mark Hale was killed by an IED while evacuating an injured soldier in Afghanistan in 2009.

Royal Wootton Bassett has become synonymous as the town which held the heartbeat of the nation, a focal point for more than three years of repatriation ceremonies for our fallen heroes. Although repatriations no longer pass through the town, the community of Royal Wootton Bassett continues to support families and soldiers by raising funds through sales of the single and video.

The Wootton Bassett Rocks team chose four charities which deliver support for bereaved military families. Combat Stress provides support for ex-servicemen and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the Royal British Legion and Sailors, Airmen & Families Association both offer long-term care for current and ex-service personnel and their families impacted by the consequences of conflict and the Undentable Trust is supporting Family Activity Breaks for Bereaved Military Families, who provide adventure-based holidays.

Kevin Hale, trustee of the Undentable Trust, which will be distributing funds to the other three charities, said:

“You have, as a community, not only shown tremendous respect for this country’s fallen heroes, but also provided support for the bereaved relatives in their darkest times, especially those who could not, for whatever reason, be present at the return of their loved ones. To know that an entire town was there in their place was of great comfort for them. For this, we will always hold close the people of Wootton Bassett, and wish them well as they continue to promote the welfare of our servicemen and women.”

The single, recorded using local musicians and singers, together with two choirs, also attracted support from well-known artists such as Rick Buckler, drummer from The Jam. “I really enjoyed the day,” he said. “Playing drums in the street was a rare treat and the atmosphere was very friendly. It was great to see so many people turning up to support the cause and sticking with it despite the rain.”

Production was completed at the world famous Abbey Road Studios and mastered by Christian Wright who said: “The mastering process is the final stage in the sound chain, where the mix is tweaked for correct playback. It is a small, but important part of the audio post production process. It was a real pleasure being part of such a huge community project that’s raising money for military charities.”

Celebrity endorsement for Wootton Bassett Rocks has been received from the likes of sports stars Dame Kelly Holmes and Sharron Davies, Christine Hamilton, actress Lynda Bellingham, and former EastEnders’ star Michelle Collins.

American rock band Green Day released ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ back in 2005, peaking at number six in the American charts and number eight in the UK. Green Day Authority is co-sponsoring a 20th anniversary for Green Day’s breakthrough album, ‘Kerplunk’ on Friday, January 20th. The sold-out event will provide a variety of entertainment, including live performances and a large video screening of the Wootton Bassett Rocks video. There are also plans to stream the event live through the internet to a much bigger audience.

Co-owner and site manager of the band’s fans’ website Tony Anastasi said:
“When I first saw the video to Wootton Bassett Rocks’ cover of ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’, it blew me away. It was inspiring to see a community come together like that for such a cause as this. It’s the kind of spirit and involvement that we try to encourage with the Green Day Community. The video itself really reminded me of the ‘American Idiot, The Musical’ version of the song. It’s extremely uplifting for a song with such a sad meaning behind it. Green Day Authority is delighted to be working alongside Wootton Bassett Rocks to help them achieve their goal of raising £1 million to go towards military charities for returning soldiers. Green Day fans all around the world can relate to the feelings of loss and despair that result from wars, and we want to help wherever we can to show our support for the people that make it home after putting their lives on the line fighting for their country's freedom."

More information is available on The official website here

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