I have always enjoyed that subtle mixture of vulnerability, innocence and perseverance in soul singer Candi’s Staton’s wonderful voice. Last week I went to the Royal Northern College of Music to see Candi sing some of her many hits. Just before I entered the auditorium, I quite unexpectedly saw one of my past students, Dan Keehan, who was pitching a album called Thirty One Songs in aid of CALM. Suicide is the single biggest killer of males under the age of 35 in the UK. The CALM acronym stands for the Campaign Against Living Miserably and the charity runs a help line for depressed men. I have to say, Dan is a model ex-student. He is extremely personable, enthusiastic about music, doing something fruitful with his life, aiming to make a difference. He remains a credit to his alma mater and I think he will go far in his career.
The Thirty One Songs album is sometimes ambient, sometimes downbeat and very Mancunian in orientation; hardly surprizing since CALM grew out of an initiative in Manchester and Merseyside. Anthony Wilson was a founding trustee.
Buy this album now and check out some big names and new Manchester artists like Ruby Ann Patterson. Even if you are undecided about Manchester music it’s be a tenner to a good cause. Good luck Dan – I hope the album goes on to even more success.