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Band accuses John Lewis of copying song and urges donation to charities

 

John Lewis dismissed the claim

John Lewis is being urged to donate the proceeds it made from its Christmas advert to charities.

Art-folk duo The Portraits accused the department store chain of copying their version of a song used in its latest Christmas advert.

The musicians are now calling on John Lewis to donate to charities.

John Lewis was criticised by The Portraits for replicating their 1985 electro-pop classic Together in Electric Dreams - a cover of the Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder classic.

John Lewis said there is “no substance” to the claims, pointing out that it is a famous song which has been covered many times.

The department store also said it supports “numerous” charities.

Lorraine Millington from The Portraits said she would like John Lewis to “do the honourable thing” and donate to both Mind and Cruse Bereavement Care “in the spirit of Christmas”.

The Portraits said they sent their 2020 cover of the song to the retailer – then found the “feeling” replicated.

John Lewis has denied all allegations.

The ad, titled “Unexpected Guest”, tells the story of a friendship between a boy and an alien visitor, set to a soundtrack of a slowed down version of Together in Electric Dreams, with vocals by 20-year-old singer Lola Young.

However, a similar version of the song was released by the Portraits as a charity single last Christmas.

The Portraits said they contacted John Lewis in March this year to ask if their arrangement of Together in Electric Dreams would work for the company’s Christmas advert, but received no response.

John Lewis said the person the Portraits addressed their email to left the business in June and was not involved in this year’s Christmas ad campaign.

 

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