Shropshire Star

'Watch out Mariah Carey!' Meet the villagers launching a festive hit for charity

A kind-hearted group of Albrighton musicians are taking on the Christmas song heavyweights with their own festive single.

The Pop Next Door group

Richard Evans, Mark 'Griff' Griffiths, Emelye Evans and Chris Coss have come together to pen ‘Pop Next Door for Christmas’, a musical ditty to combat loneliness and mental health issues and to celebrate the village’s community spirit.

The collective is looking to hit the high notes after launching its video on YouTube on Friday, with people encouraged to donate to The Albrighton Trust, Moat and Gardens – a centre that offers educational and recreational activities for people with disabilities, special needs, and illness.

Listen to the song here:

It is hoped that more than £1,000 will be raised through the fundraiser and by selling a range of commemorative merchandise, including T-shirts, baubles, and badges.

Richard, who leads on vocals and bass, said: “Albrighton is a very special community and we wanted to put the village on the musical map with our festive hit.

“We’re very fortunate that we can call on the musical talents of lots of local artists and the sensational wordsmith that is Griff.

"Christmas is a great time of year but can also be very lonely for some and we wanted to address that through a song that gets people to say hello to strangers and ‘pop next door’ to socialise.

The musicians are taking on the Christmas musical heavyweights with their own festive single.

“As a community-based idea, we thought it would be great to raise some funds for a local charity and the decision was made to support the Albrighton Moat, Trust and Gardens, a fantastic resource that does so much for hundreds of people every year.”

The Christmas single was the idea of Sally Hall, owner of Next Door Bar on Station Road.

A massive supporter of local music, the bar owner floated the idea with some of the regular musicians and before you knew it the wheels were in motion on the lyrics and the soundtrack.

It was then decided to host the music video at the bar, with more than 30 regulars invited to spend a festive night celebrating, dancing, and ‘trying’ to sing.

Sally said: “We love Christmas, and we love live music, so it seemed like a perfect combination to get a few of our favourite musicians together to write their very own festive single.

“Next Door Bar is one of the real hubs of the local community and the song is all about making people feel welcome and checking in on those that may be lonely. In addition to our main artists, we also had guest appearances from The Dirty Rockin’ Scoundrels and Kevin Ruby-Astin.

“We’re urging everyone to get behind it and raise money for a fantastic charity in the process. Watch out Mariah Carey, we’re coming for you!”

See the fundraiser at