Who are we, and how is this happening?!
Dirty Mavis are a band from Buckinghamshire who've been playing together for over 10 years. We all have 'day jobs', but meet religiously every Monday night to play our favourite music and have a laugh. We gig around 6-10 times a year usually private parties, fundraisers and local pubs.
Martin Davis - Lead Vocal & Guitar
Our infectious fun loving attitude never fails to rub off on the audience, and we always get people up dancing and having fun, and we love that.
Then, one day in the summer of 2011, our lead singer Martin Davis (a bit of a closet tunesmith) bumped in to one of the organisers of the anti HS2 protest on a dog walk and offered to write a song.
And this is it - 'The Oak Tree Lament' - we knocked up a quick demo, and it was so well received we were asked to debut the song at the Speen Festival - captured here:
So far all quite normal - just us playing in a pub. But in the audience that day was Joe Rukin - leader of the official National Stop HS2 Group, and a few days later he sent us an email with a rather ridiculous idea: "How about we release it as a single, and try to get it to Christmas Number 1?"
Of course, we thought he was barking mad (the jury is still out by the way), but after about the third or fourth email, we realised he was serious, and he had a pretty credible plan - and of course hundreds of thousands of people very much against the HS2 to call upon... This could raise money and, critially, awareness for the Stop HS2 campaign.
So we realised we had to give it a shot. We needed to get a decent recording done very rapidly, so we went 'in house' and recorded and mixed the song in our drummer Martin's garage studio. We sent the final mix for mastering to someone who knew what he was doing - James Thomson from sound designers Sonicouture (many thanks James), and found the web site dittomusic .com to release and distribute the song digitally to all the well known online stores. So within a couple of weeks, and with no budget, Dirty Mavis had released their first single! And here is the finished song:
The single comes out on 19th December, and we are basically going to go mad trying to get as much exposure as possible. We'd be over the moon if it made the top 40 - and who knows what might happen?
We've already got some great exposure in local press and even on Channel 4 news...
The most amazing thing would be if this song did actually influence the decision on the HS2. We are not hugely political by any means, and although we all live near the proposed route, and appreciate the natural beauty of the area, the more we've found out about the HS2, the more we realise the current plans would be a huge mistake for more reasons than just ruining a lovely spot. It's been ill thought through, is going to blight the lives of many people, cost the earth (far more than £32bn we bet), and be of no benefit to the huge majority of the country. And the worse thing is there seems to be nothing we can do to make the politicians come to their senses.
Or is there?
Imagine if this song did make number 1. Imagine if the government couldn't ignore that and decided to step back and think this through a bit better. Imagine if we changed something with music. Not with demonstrations, or with violence or arguing or rudeness, but with song... Wouldn't that be something?
Pre-Order on HMV
You will see there are two versions - if you buy both, it will count as 2 sales for the charts - and you will also get double the listening pleasure!
Pre-Order from your Phone
Just text TRACK 7655 to 80818 (Texts cost £1, which includes operator revenue share. UK only.) You will receive a reminder text on 19th Dec 2011 to download the track straight to your phone, and the the sale will count towards our position in the Christmas charts.