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2nd August 2017

On July 5, Hull College students past and present gathered together to record charity single version of the classic Steve Harley hit ‘Make me Smile’ for the Mick Ronson Foundation, and now the single is gearing up ready for its release at Hull’s main music event.

Hull College’s “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) 2017” features a “Who’s Who” of local musicians performing at HSS 2017 and will be officially released on Saturday 5 August as a digital download, with all proceeds going to the charity that helped make this happen.

Some of the bands featured on the single include The Talks, The Holy Orders, La Bete Blooms, Fire (TUF), Black Delta Movement, The Mighty and the Moon and Of Allies, as well as a staff choir and students from Film Making and Media, Technical and Theatre Production, supporting the shooting of the music video.

The official unveiling of the single will take place at Hull College’s Music Marquee at Humber Street Sesh, recognising the partnership with the festival and Hull’s year as UK City of Culture.

The single is endorsed and fully supported by Steve Harley himself and will raise funds for The Mick Ronson Foundation, giving recognition to the charity that supports local musicians and who recently granted Hull College a unique set of funds available as bursaries for music students.

Craig Steer, Hull College Music Tutor said, ' Make Me Smile 2017 has been a wonderful project. It has brought together players and producers from the last 20 years at Hull College, and everyone participating gave their time and energy in support of the next generation of young artists. Working with the Mick Ronson Foundation not only pays tribute to Mick's legacy but shows the true generosity of Hull’s finest musicians.”

The song was originally a number 1 hit for Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel in 1975, going on to sell more than 1.5 million copies worldwide, and now Hull College’s version will join the impressive list of official cover versions by bands such as Erasure, Duran Duran and The Wedding Present.

After hearing the track Steve Harley said, “It’s really good – very tidily produced. Love the various lead voices, and the Rap is a definite “plus”…first time ever!"

“Thank them all for me, please, and pass on my congratulations on a fine piece of work.”

The Hull College Music School has a long history of nurturing musicians, singers and bands, and providing the city with a large percentage of its musical talent, and “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) 2017” epitomises community, collaboration, and creativity at Hull College’s Music Department.

This provision has now been recognised with the award of a prestigious and generous funding scheme from the Mick Ronson Foundation (MRF).

The MRF, a charity established by Mick’s daughter Lisa, famed songwriter Steve Harley and local promoters Gary Marks and Paul Greendale of GJM Promotions, is working in partnership with Tutors Craig Steer and Patrick Gradwell at Hull College to offer financial backing to local musicians in need of initial investment, in the form of annual bursaries.

Pat Gradwell, Hull College Music Tutor said ‘The bursary is a fantastic opportunity; many of our students have real talent but lack the backing to move forward in their careers. The Mick Ronson Foundation bursaries will bridge that gap through the support of new equipment, training and production costs. We are very excited to work with the MRF to support Hulls next generation of musicians’.

Hull has a fantastically rich history of popular music. From David Whitfield‘s million selling records in the 1950s to the recent international success of Callum Scott, the city has nurtured a terrific array of musical talent. None more than Mick Ronson, legendary guitarist, producer and arranger  whose glittering career included David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars band, the recording of Lou Reed’s Transformer album and  work with Bob Dylan on Hard Rain. Recently Hull has paid tribute to Ronson with memorials in East Park and with concerts held at Hull City Hall. And now his legacy will help to support young talented musicians in the Hull region through the collaboration of the Mick Ronson Foundation and Hull College Music.

You can hear the single and see the video at this weekends’ Humber Street Sesh, where Hull College will have a large presence. Proud to once again be a sponsor of the festival, Hull College is presenting the Ambiente Acoustic Stage and Hull College Music plan to run a ‘Pop-Up Studio’, where anyone can pop in and try their hand at recording a track of their own.

It is in this Pop-Up Studio where Hull College Music will be screening the official music video for people to see what went on during the recording of Make Me Smile 2017 and for details on how to download the track on iTunes.  

Watch the trailer below and keep your eyes peeled for the full music video coming very soon!