Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Sweet charity as Cake Sale goes global

It’s the charity record that keeps on giving. Now comes news that The Cake Sale album is to be released in Britain and the US. A fund-raiser for Oxfam Ireland’s Make Trade Fair campaign, the album features a heavyweight selection …

Fri, Jun 29, 2007, 09:58

   

It’s the charity record that keeps on giving. Now comes news that The Cake Sale album is to be released in Britain and the US.

A fund-raiser for Oxfam Ireland’s Make Trade Fair campaign, the album features a heavyweight selection of Irish and international musicians including Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Damien Rice, Bell X1, Josh Ritter, Glen Hansard and Neil Hannon.

Bell X1′s Brian Crosby is the main driving force behind the album, which has sold 34,000 copies in Ireland since its release last year.

“It has completely exceeded expectations,” he says. “We hoped it would go gold to cover our costs. Instead, it has already raised about €200,000 and the royalty cheques are still coming in.”

Unlike many charity records, all the publishing royalties accrued by the release also benefit the charity. “We negotiated worldwide rights and set up a label, Oxfam Publishing, to administer the royalties,” he explains.

Crosby believes it has been an eye-opener for the charity.

“Oxfam Ireland didn’t have any experience of any of this at the beginning so they left it to us to drive the project and they helped us out initially in any way they could.

“Traditionally, I think charity records are a hit-and-miss affair, but everyone was blown away when the first sales cheque came in. It has also raised the charity’s profile and they’re now really excited about releasing it abroad because they see the potential.”

The Cake Sale will be released digitally in Britain on September 10th, while the album will be released on the Yep Roc label in the US on October 16th.

Plans for a Cake Sale live show, though, have been nixed. “We’ve had a couple of attempts at organising it,” admits Crosby, “but we really need everyone there. There are some busy bands in the line-up, and touring schedules always seem to clash. But we’re open to doing it in the future.”

According to Siobhan Elsom from Oxfam Ireland, proceeds from the album go into the charity’s “unrestricted fund” which supports projects in 10 African countries including Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda and Sudan.

“One of the partners we work with is the Tanga AIDS Working Group,” explains Elsom. “They’re a local organisation in Tanzania who provide everything from education and counselling to testing and holistic medicines.”

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