Punks show their caring side with Band Aid-style project to raise cash for the homeless

Volunteers and friends from The People's Kitchen recording with Tony and Karen. All pics: The Bigger Picture Agency.
Volunteers and friends from The People's Kitchen recording with Tony and Karen. All pics: The Bigger Picture Agency.
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Punk rockers from around the North East have shown their caring side by recording a Band Aid-style charity CD to help the homeless.

They have joined forces to record a new version of Ralph McTell’s Streets of London, to raise cash for The People's Kitchen in Newcastle.

The idea of a CD to raise funds for the charity was the brainchild of punk couple Tony and Karen Houghton, from Blyth.

Artists by day, by night the couple become Sewer Rat and Karen Khaos, fronting punk covers band The Pretty Anarchists, who play around the region.

Using their network of contacts, they recruited singers from other local punk bands to record a few lines for the reworked song, called Streets of Newcastle.

The CD also includes a punk version of Fairy Tale of Newcastle and a track written by Karen, with guitar accompaniment by Michael Oliver, about a real homeless person called Tommy No Shoes.

Robert McDonald of Sunderland punk band Spitfire Bullets.

Robert McDonald of Sunderland punk band Spitfire Bullets.

Members of Sunderland's Spitfire Bullets, Billingham-based Zeitgeist 77, Logoz from Ashington, The V's from Tyneside, All Out Attack from Cramlington and The Band For Disease Control & Prevention from Gateshead contributed vocals to the single.

Guest musicians include Richard Craig on accordion and Tony Machin on mandolin, and sponsors and representatives from The People’s Kitchen joined in with the chorus.

The tracks were recorded in studios in Newcastle and Bedlington, and every aspect of the recording was carried out free of charge by local businesses, so all proceeds from the sale of the CD go directly to The People’s Kitchen.

Tony and Karen hope the CD will sell well and raise much-needed funds to help the vulnerable people of Newcastle.

The Pretty Anarchists and Friends recording the CD, with the help of sponsors and representatives of The People's Kitchen.

The Pretty Anarchists and Friends recording the CD, with the help of sponsors and representatives of The People's Kitchen.

“When you see people sleeping rough in the snow and rain, it makes you realise how lucky we all are with our warm homes and well-stocked food cupboards," said Tony.

"I wanted to make people stop and think about the needs of others, and for them to buy the CD, so more funds can go to this deserving charity."

David Yellowley, trustee of The People’s Kitchen, said: "These guys have hearts of gold and everyone enjoyed themselves making this record.

We brought some of our friends with us who were once homeless, so that made this recording very poignant for us all.”

Chopper of Billingham-based punk band Zeitgeist 77.

Chopper of Billingham-based punk band Zeitgeist 77.

The CD, costing £5 for three tracks, is available from the bands, various record stores around the region and online HERE.

From left, Keith Newman of Highlights PR and punk presenter on Radio Northumberland, Peesh from Logoz, Tony and Karen from The Pretty Anarchists, Chopper of Zeitgeist 77, Robert MacDonald of Spitfire Bullets, and Lisa Etherson and Punky Paul Storey from the radio show.

From left, Keith Newman of Highlights PR and punk presenter on Radio Northumberland, Peesh from Logoz, Tony and Karen from The Pretty Anarchists, Chopper of Zeitgeist 77, Robert MacDonald of Spitfire Bullets, and Lisa Etherson and Punky Paul Storey from the radio show.

Tony and Karen with the fundraising CD Street of Newcastle.

Tony and Karen with the fundraising CD Street of Newcastle.