Callum’s band unite for NHS while playing apart

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Fewer people film a full music video with an orchestra all from different locations to raise money for the NHS. But that’s what former Victoria College head boy Callum Gillies’ swing/soul/Motown big band Down for the Count have done.

Mr Gillies, an NHS worker himself, is the frontman for the group which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. It has just completed a UK-wide tour and has played in Paris, Marrakesh in Morocco and in Jordan. The band were due to play at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho on Easter Sunday.

‘It was really a challenge to put together as we only had drums and a skeleton keyboard track to play our individual parts along with. Hopefully it can make people smile and raise some money,’ said Mr Gillies, who works as a proton therapy physicist at University College London Hospital. Proton therapy is used to treat some paediatric cancers.

The band covers Nat King Cole’s Let’s Face the Music and Dance in the music video and features Down for the Count supported by the City String Ensemble and other guests.

It features musicians playing in their kitchens, in the bathtub and pokes fun at the crazy times we live in.

In total, more than 40 people were involved in making the video. To date, it has been viewed more than 60,000 times.

Mr Gillies (28), is the son of crooner Stuart Gillies who started in Jersey as ‘the singing coach driver’. He was a favourite during the tourism heyday in the 1970s and 80s, performing at venues such as the Watersplash and Swansons Hotel. He won the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks for seven weeks in 1971 and released a series of singles in the 1970s.


Callum Gillies said: ‘We are just trying to raise as much money as we can. Those on the frontline are doing an amazing job.

‘If you enjoy watching the video, please consider showing your support to NHS staff (and other healthcare workers around the world), who are going to such efforts to keep us all safe.’

A link to donate can be found on the Down for a Count Facebook page.

Jersey does not fall under the remit of the NHS.

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