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Lennon Tribute: Dear John – War Child UK

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by David Keyworth (subscribe)
I’m a freelance journalist and published poet, based in Manchester. My debut poetry pamphlet is available at
Harmony to ease war wounds
KT Tunstall, Graham Gouldman (10cc), Maxi Jazz (Faithless) and John Illsley (Dire Straits) are among a line-up of music stars paying tribute to John Lennon and raising money for charity.

Dear John - Concert for War Child UK is a recording of the ex-Beatle's songs, from a virtual concert last year.

John Lennon, Graham Gouldman, Faithless, KT Tunstall, Dire Straits, War Child UK, music, The Beatles, music, Cutting Crew

The project is the musical baby of Sepp Osley. He was born in Iran in the mid 1980s. Along with his family, he escaped the war zones and, after a long and winding journey, they settled in Canada. Sepp formed Blurred Vision with Sohl, his brother and former bandmate.

Sepp hosted the first Dear John concert in 2019, in which musicians came together for a charity night celebrating Lennon. The second concert was hosted online, in mid-lockdown.

He said: "I began reaching out to artists around the world who I respected and admired. Before I knew it, an unbelievable roster of artists had signed up and were going to be a part of the 80th birthday celebrations for our mutual hero and help us raise money for the charity so close to my heart."

The tracklisting has a slight bias towards Lennon's Beatles songs. Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew performs Norwegian Wood from the 1965 album Rubber Soul. Blurred Vision dip into Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) songbook with A Day in the Life. They also perform Don't Let Me Down from Let It Be (1970) - the Beatles final studio album. They are joined on the track by actress and singer Mollie Marriott.

They also pair up for Instant Karma, also from 1970 but credited to Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band.

KT Tunstall opts for Gimme Some Truth from the Imagine album released on 9 September 1971.

War Child was founded in 1993 by film-makers David Wilson and Bill Leeson. On assignment in the former Yugoslavia they were horrified by the violence and ethnic cleansing they witnessed, especially its impact on children.

In 1995 they persuaded Paul McCartney, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead and others to record an album called HELP . Recorded in just three days, it went to the top of the charts.

The £1.25 million it raised helped build the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar—a project that used music therapy to treat traumatised children from all sides of the conflict.

The album Pavarotti & Friends for the Children of Bosnia was released in 1995 and Pavarotti & Friends for War Child came out a year later.

Watch Album Promo

Full tracklisting for: DEAR JOHN – CONCERT FOR WAR CHILD UK

1. Strawberry Fields Forever - Blurred Vision
2. Real Love - Blurred Vision feat Laura Jean Anderson
3. Don't Let me Down - Blurred Vision feat Mollie Marriott
4. Across the Universe - Graham Gouldman of 10cc
5. Norwegian Wood - Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew
6. Power to the People - Maxi Jazz of Faithless
7. Tomorrow Never Knows - Gowan of Styx
8. Dear John - Blurred Vision feat Nick Van Eede
9. A Day in the Life - Blurred Vision
10. Gimme Some Truth - KT Tunstall
11. I'm Only Sleeping - John Illsley of Dire Straits
12. Instant Karma - Blurred Vision feat Mollie Marriott
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Why? Great music for a great cause
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