Johnny Campbell wears his cause on his sleeve – usually that of an outdoor jacket made from breathable but waterproof material. The causes closest to Campbell’s heart are those of the great outdoors, most often when the right to roam is pulled from under the feet of the common people.
Hence the announcement of his new single, titled (just in case you were at risk of missing its purpose), ‘A Right to Roam’. It follows, both thematically and sequentially, last year’s ‘Winter Hill Trespass‘; both singles commemorate mass uprisings in the name of the public right of way. This year’s release coincides with the anniversary of the Kinder Trespass, now 90 years young, and is a collaboration with the Commoners Choir and Skelmanthorpe Brass Band.
While the song is not traditional, it does take a lot from the local tradition. Having heard the track, we can tell you that it’s something of a hymn – a hymn for the church of nature, and a hymn to the musical traditions of his beloved Yorkshire. Indeed, it seems to be a good time for brass banding, what with Martin Green’s recent Radio 4 series on the same subject, and the combination of that solemn and stirring swell, alongside the massed voices of the Commoners Choir, make this Campbell’s most moving composition to date.
Once again, the singer has elected to launch the track through Kickstarter, aiming to raise the necessary funds by April 23rd, when he’ll perform it at a release gig at Small Seeds, Huddersfield.
Backers of this campaign can luxuriate in a myriad of knickknacks to commemorate the release. Too few folk singers sell tea towels, so that’s what we’ve gone for. You can back the campaign and order yours from the link below, giving you the right to roam off with what must surely be one of the must-have merch items of the year.
Johnny Campbell’s new single, ‘A Right to Roam’, is currently in Kickstarter mode, with anything purchased due to be shipped in May, should he reach his desired target of £2,000. Find out more about the song by clicking here.