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Country rock band release new single to raise funds for the NHS Charities Together

Despite having to postpone the release of their first EP due to the coronavirus, a country rock band has spent their time recording a charity single for the NHS instead.

Stef Judd, the band leader of Flatland Kings, said the group has also helped to raise £1,500 for Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital over the last two weeks through an online gig and sponsored head shave.

Mr Judd, 41, who lives in Terrington St Clement, said the band met through online video communications to release the single called ‘What Really Matters’.

Flatland Kings pictured at Bawsey. Photo: Andrew Sizeland
Flatland Kings pictured at Bawsey. Photo: Andrew Sizeland

“We wrote the single a while back but it fitted lyrically and we have tailored it around the current situation,” Mr Judd said.

“What matters at the moment is looking after each other and that is the message of the song. We do not know what we have got until it’s taken away from you.

“We wanted to do something to show our support for the NHS as we are very grateful for all the key workers.

Liam Madison, Sam Ellis and Stef Judd of Flatland Kings. Picture: Andrew Sizeland
Liam Madison, Sam Ellis and Stef Judd of Flatland Kings. Picture: Andrew Sizeland

“The only way we could play a part in helping them during lockdown was through writing music.”

The father of two is a freelance music teacher who plays multiple instruments including the drum and guitar.

Flatland Kings was thought up as a name last year due to its connotations to West Norfolk and Skegness, where the other two band members reside.

Stef Judd with his wife from Debbie at a gig for The Fused. Picture: Andrew Sizeland
Stef Judd with his wife from Debbie at a gig for The Fused. Picture: Andrew Sizeland

Mr Judd explained: “We were thinking something indigenous to the local area which describes the Wash area. It’s very flat around here, and having grown up in Sutton Bridge and lived in Lynn, I thought we could put this area on the map with a bit of country music.”

The band, who formed in July 2019, were scheduled to perform a launch gig at the White Hart Pub in Lynn to coincide with the release of their EP.

Scheduled for May, this has been postponed due to the coronavirus, however the band were played on UK Country Radio on Tuesday.

Speaking about the challenge of recording from home, Mr Judd said: “It has actually worked well technology-wise. The internet connection is not that great out in the fields of Terrington but we have managed.

“We are so used to writing music in one room and bouncing off each other but for this NHS single, we were completely separate.

“We have had a few group phone calls but it’s hard because when we are face-to-face, we can see from each other’s facial expressions and body language if something is working or not.”

Mr Judd had guitar lessons at the age of nine and has “not stopped since”, becoming a full-time musician at the age of 20. Along with his wife Debbie, Mr Judd regularly gigs with Lynn-based party/rock band 'The Fused'. During lockdown they have been performing live on their Facebook page from a studio at their home on Saturday evenings at 9pm.

And two weeks ago, they teamed up with Lisa Todd and her husband Garfy who were raising money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Garfy was willing to shave his hair and beard for the cause, and coupled with online performances, the group have so far raised £1,575. The target was £500.

The charity single ‘What Really Matters’ can be purchased for £1 at www.flatlandkings.com. All donations will be sent to NHS Charities Together.

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