Band Aid has come under attack from an aid worker while Bob Geldof urges people to delete it and buy it again
A British aid worker who survived Ebola has ripped into the Band Aid 30 single which was released to combat the virus in west Africa.
Will Pooley, who contracted the disease in Sierra Leone, lambasted the song for being “cringeworthy”.
He said: “It’s Africa, not another planet. Stuff about Do They Know It’s Christmas? It’s just like, actually people live normal lives here and do normal things. That sort of cultural ignorance is a bit cringeworthy. There’s a lyric about “death in every tear”, it’s just a bit much.”
Pooley, who has returned to Sierra Leone following his successful treatment for the disease, added: “I would say that it’s a good idea to read as much as you can about what’s going on in west Africa, and if you feel so inclined then donate some money to one of the charities, like King’s, that are working out here, directly caring for Ebola patients.”
Pop stars such as Emeli Sande, Damon Albarn and the rapper Fuse ODG have voiced misgivings about the new Band Aid.
However, Bob Geldof, the driving force behind the single and its various incarnations over the past 30 years, was unrepentant.
Instead, he has urged people who have downloaded it to delete it – and then buy it again.
The single’s 99p download price is significantly cheaper than the £3.50 charged for the original vinyl single in 1984.
Geldof reckons that, despite shifting 312,000 downloads of the new single, the project still has some way to go to match its ‘80s counterpart, which raised £8 million for famine relief in Africa.
He said: “We need to sell 300% more than we did than in 1984 to even begin to make up the cash figure. That worries me. Even if you already have it, delete, download again.”
A CD version was released on Monday, priced £3.99 and it is hoped this will eat into the shortfall.
The Westminster government has waived VAT on the single, meaning all profits will go to fighting Ebola.
Band Aid 30’s performers include One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Bono, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Chris Martin, Guy Garvey, Roger Taylor, Sinéad O’Connor and Sam Smith.