A St Helens music blogger hailed people power after generous music fans clubbed together to produce a CD for a mental health charity.
Mike Lindley, who writes online under the name Ralph’s Life, saw enthusiasts from around the world pledge more than £5,000 to ensure a double album will go into production to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness.
The two CDs feature 40 tracks by a host of up-and-coming indie bands, including St Helens groups Titor’s Insignia and Stilia and Leigh acts Great Reckoning and The Ninth Watch.
Mike, of Greenfield Road, raised the cash needed to crowdfund the album after a huge effort from music fans from around the world on social media to ensure enough pledges were made before the deadline on January 3, with a couple of marathon days of fund-raising and encouragement ensuring the CD will go ahead.
Mike, 57, said: “I’m absolutely elated to have reached the target. With 48 hours to go I still had about £2,000 to raise so I got home from Scotland after the new year and just started tweeting messages.
“I’ve had donations from Australia, the USA, Germany and France, and the radio station where I have my weekly show donated more than £400.
“It’s just snowballed and to have raised this amount is absolutely amazing, I can’t thank everyone who pledged enough.”
Around 1000 copies of the Ralph’s Life CD will now be produced in time for a series of spectacular launch events in major UK cities in March.
The celebrations to mark the CD’s production will begin at a venue in Camden Town in London , with both St Helens based likely to be heading down to the capital to perform. Further events are yet to be confirmed but will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Liverpool.
Mike says he is hoping there will be enough interest in the CD for a second printing to support Rethink Mental Illness, a cause he says has struck a chord with many of those donating.
He said: “They want to make mental illness something which it is more acceptable to talk about. It isn’t talked about enough and that’s one of the biggest problems.”
Mike says he is also planning a second volume of the Ralph’s Life CD, which will raise money for a music therapy charity.
To find out more, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ralphs-life/