Passengers on some of the UK’s light rail systems may have been surprised to hear some familiar voices in an unlikely setting on Thursday 15th June, as part of the celebrations for BBC Music Day. One of the more unusual events saw a diverse selection of singers provide the vocals for on-board announcements on trams in Manchester, Birmingham and Blackpool.
The idea was to have a well-known local singer provide the recorded announcements on board a number of British light rail systems. So, for one day only, opera singer Alfie Boe replaced a local radio presenter as the ‘voice’ of Blackpool’s Flexity2 trams, whilst in Manchester, Happy Monday and Black Grape main man Shaun Ryder’s voice could be heard on the Metrolink fleet. “Its coming up, its coming up, its Anchorage!” was amongst his announcements – a reference to his vocal contribution to the number one hit single ‘Dare’ which he performed with the band Gorillaz.
Having already seen his name unveiled on a tram, Brummie rock legend Ozzy Osbourne also offered his voice to the Midland Metro trams for the day, having been named an ambassador of the ‘Music Day’, which he described as “better than Christmas”. Finally, singer-songwriter Miles Kane was the voice of Merseyrail. The day of celebration also saw numerous blue plaques unveiled recognising important places in the history of British popular music.
Its not very often your writer gets to indulge his interest in music on this website, so thank you to the BBC for providing the basis for this most unusual news story!