Focus: Campaign of the week - Stars lined up for War Child album

Anita Pati, anita.pati@haynet.com

Artists are flocking to support War Child's latest fundraising campaign, Help: A Day in the Life, in which bands such as Keane and Radiohead hope to record an online download album at record-breaking speed.

The Kaiser Chiefs, the Magic Numbers, Mylo, the Manic Street Preachers and Razorlight are also part of the growing cluster of at least 20 acts that have signed up to be part of War Child's tenth anniversary album release on Friday. They hope to record the album in a single day.

Money raised from the downloads will go towards educating Iraqi street children caught in conflict zones and moving them away from the daily violence that they experience.

War Child hopes to repeat its coup of a decade ago, when its original Help album, recorded on a Monday, had topped the charts by the following Saturday. In 1995, contributions came from the cream of the Britpop scene, including Blur, Suede and Oasis.

This time, artists will record new tracks from midday tomorrow (Thursday 8 September), to be completed by Friday lunchtime. The tracks will then be available for download at 99p each, of which at least 70p will go directly to the charity.

As well as increasing income, organisers aim to boost War Child membership by at least 500 per cent. The original campaign, which raised £1.5m, was strictly a fundraiser, but War Child hopes this project will reposition the charity and attract new members in a "continuous and enlightened way".

"The aim is to use Help as an accelerator for our membership platform," said a spokesman. "Having engaged people with the album, the hope is that they'll continue to support us on a long-term basis." He said the charity was not putting a figure on how much it expected to raise, but indicated that it hoped to at least match the £1.5m raised by the original album.

The campaign has been promoted on radio stations including Xfm and BBC Radio 1, 2, 4 and 6, in music magazines such as NME, as news coverage in tabloids and nationals, and on television channels including MTV.

War Child has also snared the talents of record producer Mark Stent, who will make the individual band contributions ready for download and release. A CD release will be available a few weeks later.

Help: A Day in the Life will be released on west London-based record label Independiente, which has also worked with Travis, Martina Topley-Bird and the Tears.

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