Rock legends Van Morrison end Eric Clapton have collaborated on a new single to raise money for those in the live music industry who have been affected by lockdown measures.
The track, entitled Stand and Deliver, will be released next month in support of Morrison’s Save Live Music campaign.
Proceeds raised will go to the Financial Hardship Fund, an initiative started by the Brown Eyed Girl singer to help musicians whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns.
Stand and Deliver, written by Morrison and performed by Clapton, complements other recent anti-lockdown tracks from the Northern Ireland-born star, including No More Lockdown and Born To Be Free.
Speaking of the project, Clapton said: “There are many of us who support Van and his endeavours to save live music; he is an inspiration.
“We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.”
Morrison added: “Eric’s recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations.
“It is heartbreaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry.”
Morrison has been a firm critic of the government’s approach to handling the pandemic.
In a post on his website titled Save Live Music, the singer-songwriter declared “pseudo-science” is to blame for many COVID-19 safety measures and he urged other artists to speak out.
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He wrote: “As you know, we are doing socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Gosforth Park, Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium. This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs, this is to get my band up and running and out of the doldrums.
“This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward.”
Stand and Deliver will be available for download and streaming music platforms from 4 December.
Watch: Van Morrison’s anti-government lockdown music