The National Trust has announced the four unsigned music acts chosen for “The Forthlin Sessions”, a chance to visit, write and perform at the childhood home of Paul and Mike McCartney. The house, which the charity now cares for, is known as “the birthplace of the Beatles”, as it is where around 30 of the iconic band’s songs were written and rehearsed, including Love Me Do, Please Please Me, I Saw Her Standing There and When I’m 64.
The National Trust is now asking the nation to also help inspire the new music that will be written by singer-songwriter artist Serena Ittoo from Enfield, contemporary folk duo Humm from Bath, singer-songwriter Emily Theodora from Richmond and songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dullan from Wrexham. The charity is calling on the public to share stories of what the music and creativity sparked at the house over 60 years ago has meant to them using #TheForthlinSessions. This could be a memory, a favourite song or how music, photography and art gave them courage to follow a different path in life. Contributions will be shared with the four unsigned music acts as further inspiration, following their visit to the house.
Radio, TV presenter and writer Annie Nightingale CBE has kindly shared what the music that came forth from Forthlin Road means to her. Annie says: “We all have had dreams and hopes and optimism. Paul with John, George and Ringo lit the fuse. Made us all realise that we too, from our plain, functional modest homes (like theirs) could leap into a bright, exciting future, and become whatever we wanted to be. I have spent all my life trying to say thank you to the Beatles, who made succeeding generations believe that, yes, you can achieve your dreams. There were no trappings, no luxury in the young McCartneys’ home, in Forthlin Road. But there was music, and inspiration. They were saying…if we can make our dreams come true … so can you.”
Mike McCartney, says: “It’s wonderful that the two-up, two-down we grew up in is hosting a new generation of musicians, over sixty years on. From an ordinary house in an ordinary street, amazing things happened because of being given the opportunity to express ourselves creatively and we’re passing that on. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story of Forthlin, and what the public shares, sparks new music from these four acts, and more widely. We want our little house to keep inspiring people for generations to come.”
A new survey commissioned to coincide with the announcement - and the call for the public to share memories - reveals one in three Brits¹ say the Beatles’ songs have influenced their lives, or their families’ lives. Around 5%¹ of Brits have been inspired to play a musical instrument¹ as a result too.
The research also highlighted that a Beatles song has played a part in a key life event - such as the birth of a child, a first dance, a first kiss or walking down the aisle - for more than one in ten Brits (12%¹). And the impact of the band’s music has even been seen in our names - with nearly 1 in 5 people (19%¹) knowing someone named after one of the band or their songs: “Paul” being the most popular moptop-related moniker.
The National Trust’s Celia Richardson, was part of the judging panel for “The Forthlin Sessions” alongside music writer, DJ and founder of Needle Mythology Records Pete Paphides. She says, “We know from talking to people who visit 20 Forthlin Road that the music sparked there has had a massive impact on peoples’ lives over the years. We want the stories of the places we care for to keep inspiring creativity among new generations and we can’t wait to see this next chapter in the Forthlin Road story.”
“The Forthlin Sessions” will be played on 17th June and broadcast via the internet. To find out more, please visit nationaltrust.org.uk/the-forthlin-sessions