1D Harry up early for Band Aid date

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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One Direction heart-throb Harry Styles woke up early today to take part in his second big charity performance in a matter of hours when he joined stars recording the Band Aid 30 single.

The 20-year-old, who performed with his band in EastEnders’ Albert Square during the Children in Need television extravaganza last night, was among the first to arrive for the session at a studio in London’s Notting Hill.

But despite the early hour, dozens of fans were there to greet the star, whose hits include The Wake Up Song, with at least one bursting into tears.

Chart-topping singer Rita Ora was the first star to arrive after making a high-speed dash to the studio.

There had been fears that her commitments to BBC1 talent show The Voice, which is filmed in Salford, would have prevented her from taking part as the Band Aid artists assembled in London.

But she arranged to rush to the recording studio as work began on the track this morning, allowing her to head back to Salford to continue working on The Voice later in the day.

Styles was the second star to enter the studio after Ora but neither spoke to the huge gathering of reporters and photographers.

Midge Ure, who with Bob Geldof organised the original single, did speak on his way in, telling reporters that organising the new recording presented the “same old challenges”.

He said: “Trying to get to the artists is always interesting.”

But he added: “The response we have had from the artists has been phenomenal so far.”

The new recording of Do They Know It’s Christmas?, marking the 30th anniversary of the song which was originally put together with an all-star cast to help raise funds to help with famine relief in Ethiopia, will be released on Monday and is expected to raise millions to ease Africa’s Ebola crisis.

Ure said the timetable would also be challenging.

“It’s always a tight turnaround.

“Ask me tomorrow morning when I’m bleary-eyed leaving here when it’s hopefully finished and ready to go.”

The production team aim to get the track, which features lyrics reworked to reflect the Ebola crisis, completed in time for its first public performance during tomorrow night’s edition of The X Factor.

The new lyrics appear in the second and third verses of the song and refer to the risks of cross-infection from comforting Ebola victims.

Geldof has said of the track: “It really doesn’t matter if you don’t like this song. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t like the artists, it really doesn’t matter if it turns out to be a lousy recording – what you have to do is buy this thing.”

He also revealed that Chancellor George Osborne has agreed to waive the VAT on sales of the song, meaning that all the proceeds raised will go straight to charity.

Speaking outside the studio, he said: “I spoke to the Chancellor about five minutes ago and he agreed to forgo the VAT on the record.”

He added: “Amazing, that the Government has just said ‘Fine, keep the tax’.

“The record, it’s a song, it’s a track, but it’s an event,and the next stage now is to turn this into a phenomenon like it was in the ’80s, and the only way to do that is to get people to buy the thing.”

And he revealed that, while many of the pop stars taking part were bleary-eyed at such an early start, they were all “excited” to be there.

Asked what the atmosphere was like inside the recording studio, he said: “It very much reminds me of 30 years ago. Everyone is bleary – pop singers, as George Osborne said, they are not very good in the morning, are they?”

Geldof added: “It is cool. People are excited and that excitement builds. They are glad to be here.”

Styles’s One Direction bandmate Niall Horan arrived to loud cheers from fans gathered outside the recording studio.

He said: “To be involved and get invited by Sir Bob to do this is just insane, so it’s a privilege to be here.”

Asked what he hoped to achieve, he added: “Hopefully it gets to number one and it raises a lot of money for a really worthy cause.”

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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