Rising ska-punks Buster Shuffle have been using the coronavirus lockdown to record a very special new single, with a little help from their friends.
The East London band have been growing their fanbase throughout a decade-long career, and the last year has seen them taken on tour by the likes of Flogging Molly, Mad Caddies and, most recently, The Interrupters.
They were due to hit the road for a UK tour of their own in April, but that had to be shelved when lockdown was enforced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Undeterred, the band have today released Unsung Heroes, a double-A-side available as on 7in vinyl and download which consists of two songs featuring two real-life heroes.
The idea was inspired by the unprecedented times in which we find ourselves, and the people who are putting themselves at risk every day for the greater good – from doctors and nurses to delivery drivers.
Buster Shuffle singer Jet Baker said: “While on lockdown at home I kept thinking ‘there must be something we can do’. Both my sisters work for the NHS on the frontline, so I needed to do something other than just sit at home and do nothing.”
The single – available digitally now, with vinyl pre-orders being taken here – features the tracks You Spoke Louder Every Day and Young But Strong Like No Other. All profits from vinyl/MP3 sales will be going to the World Health Organisation.
The powerful, thought-provoking songs are about two brave people who, in their time, faced extreme danger and huge challenges to make changes in the world for others.
You Spoke Louder Every Day was inspired by Iqbal Masih, who, at the age of four, was sold into slavery by his parents to the owner of a carpet factory. After many years of forced labour he eventually escaped.
He decided to help more than 3,000 Pakistani children who were in ‘bonded labour’ to escape to freedom and made speeches about child slavery throughout the world.
He was regularly threatened for speaking out, but continued to give speeches, regardless of the danger to himself. After receiving many awards for heroism, Iqbal was murdered – at just 12 years old.
Young But Strong Like No Other pays tribute to Ruby Bridges, who, at the age of six, became the first African-American student to integrate into an elementary school in the USA’s deep south.
She and her mother were escorted by four federal marshals to school every day for a year, walking past crowds who screamed vicious slurs at her. Undeterred, she didn’t miss a single day of school, despite all the abuse and physical threats she received.
“If we sell 300 then great, if we sell 1,000 then even better, as it’s more money for the World Health Organisation,” said Jet. “It’s really down to the ska-punk community on how much money we will raise. It’s a good community ,so I’m hoping for a positive response.”
The single was recorded in total isolation with figureheads of the ska-punk music scene spanning the globe making their contribution, all while on lockdown in their homes.
Contributors include members of Die Toten Hosen, Donots, Flogging Molly, Hepcat, Mad Caddies, The Toy Dolls, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Talco, The Infadels and the UK’s queen of ska, Rhoda Dakar.