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"Ghost of the Somme": Tribute album to WWI ANZACSs

"Ghost of the Somme": Tribute album to WWI ANZACSs reunites Kooh de Tah's Leon Berger and Tina Cross

A new album to commemorate the ANZACs role in the Battle of the Somme has been released, coinciding with the 97th anniversary of the end of WWI this Wednesday (11 November), as well as 100 Years Gallipoli.

“Ghost of the Somme – a Tribute to the Great War” reunites two renown and highly accredited veterans of Australian and New Zealand music: Sydney based singer, writer and producer, Leon Berger, and singer, Tina Cross, an icon of the New Zealand entertainment Industry with a career spanning four decades.

Leon Berger and Tina Cross first met as core members of the 1980s techno pop band, Koo de Tah. The iconic Australian/New Zealand band scored a top ARIA hit with their debut single, "Too Young for Promises".

Over a compelling set of 12 songs, “Ghost of the Somme” follows the story of a young ANZAC soldier from the early war days when he leaves his family behind and departs for Gallipoli, before moving on to the Fields of the Somme, where he is killed in battle.

Berger and Cross perform songs written by Allan Watt and Leon Berger.

Allan Watt, a former New Zealand soldier and now a Sydney-based expert in forensic computing. Allan’s is an unlikely background for a songwriter but for him it is deeply personal: his maternal grandfather, Phillip Charles McBarron, was shot and wounded in the fields of the Somme in August 1918.

Leon Berger, whose roots go back to the European battle fields with his grandfather and father fighting in the World Wars of the 20th century, lost a generation of his in these Wars, which swept away the lives of millions.

Both writers are touched and scarred by these historic events, described in this musical journey into the past.

Watt’s and Berger’s compositions bring to life the heroic exploits and horrors of the Somme battlefield, summed up by the Australian War Memorial: “Shrapnel tore men to pieces, high explosive blew them to bits and destroyed trenches, smoke covered the turned-up, stinking ground. Added to this were gas shells. It was the worst artillery shelling in the entire war.

Some dramatic 'pages' of this album vividly describe these horrors in the lyrics, while others reflect on the inner personal world of the ordinary people , drawn into the world mayhem and torn away from their loved ones.

As lots of them found their eternal resting place and peace in these fields, the album carries the title, commemorating that historically important episode for the two nations on both sides of the Tasman.

The album is designed as a tribute not only to the ANZACs but for the millions who fought in the Great War 1914 – 1918.


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