Musician releases song in memory of brother

The The are releasing a new single to raise money for St Nichola Hospice Care.

(left to right) Gerard Johnson (Andrews brother), Jackson Johnson (Andrews nephew and godson), Eddie Johnson (Andrews father) and Matt Johnson alongside St Nicholas Hospice Care nurses.
The The are releasing a new single to raise money for St Nichola Hospice Care. (left to right) Gerard Johnson (Andrews brother), Jackson Johnson (Andrews nephew and godson), Eddie Johnson (Andrews father) and Matt Johnson alongside St Nicholas Hospice Care nurses.
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A musician hopes that his band’s first new song in 15 years will raise funds for a hospice that helped to care for his brother.

We Can’t Stop What’s Coming is THE THE’s first new song in 15 years.

It remembers Andrew Johnson, who was cared for by St Nicholas Hospice Care before his death in January 2016.

Brother Matt, whose father Eddie lives in Long Melford, said: “Andrew inspired this record. The words are about him, the song is for him, it’s all dedicated to him.

“After his death, as a consolation, I would spend time by myself just playing a small piano melody over and over again. That melody then grew into this song.

“Andrew had a great love for nature and animals, especially owls and crows, and, when he was at the hospice, they moved his bed closer to the window so that he was able to enjoy the garden – that made a big difference to him. It is a beautiful place.

“The hospice provided care and support, not just to Andrew, but to us as a family.

“We knew when we left him after each visit that he would be well looked after, which was a great comfort.”

A talented artist, Andrew designed much of band’s artwork over the years, including the We Can’t Stop What’s Coming sleeve, which features etchings from his sketchbooks.

Initially limited to 2,500 copies and released on Record Store Day at the end of April as a one-sided seven-inch, the song also features Matt’s former band mates Zeke Manyika on percussion and James Eller on bass, plus long-time friend and collaborator Johnny Marr on guitar.

Also featured on the track are Meja Kullersten on backing vocals, Chris Whitten on drums and Iain Berryman on keyboards.

With the record selling out quickly, Matt decided to release another 3,000 copies, 2,000 of which will be sold on his website (www.thethe.com) with half the profits from the sale of these copies going to the hospice.

To differentiate from the initial black vinyl release, this version is pressed in Old English white vinyl.

Matt said: “Zeke, Johnny and James all knew and liked Andrew and were very keen to be part of the song. They wanted to do it for him as well.

“When it went on sale during Record Store Day, there was a lot of interest from fans and it sold out within hours.

“The next day, copies were selling on eBay for £200.

“The song is for Andrew and I didn’t want anything to detract from that, which is why, when I decided to press extra copies, I wanted to refocus the attention back on him by helping raise funds for the hospice.”

We Can’t Stop What’s Coming also features in The Inertia Variations, an 84-minute documentary film directed by Johanna St Michaels, which forms part of a wider multimedia Anglo-Swedish project inspired by the poem of the same name by British-born, Los Angeles-based poet John Tottenham.

The Inertia Variations had its world premiere at Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX festival in March and will have its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 24.

George Chilvers, hospice community fundraiser, said: “We are so grateful to Matt for choosing to use his talents to raise funds for the hospice.

“The song is something which is very personal to him and we are privileged that he is sharing it to raise funds for the hospice.

“As a charity, we need to fundraise £11,000 each day to provide the services we do across the community – and we simply couldn’t do it without our fundraisers.”

Copies of the record are on sale now at http://www.thethe.com/shop/vinyl-boxset/we- can-t-stop-what- s-coming.html