Tim Wheeler, frontman of the band Ash, has recorded a debut solo album about losing his father to dementia.
The album ‘Lost Domain’ contains 11 songs which chart the progression of his father’s condition, the battle he went through to come to terms with his death and the strength of his family.
Mr Wheeler, who was behind a string of 90s chart hits including ‘Girl from Mars’,’Oh Yeah’ and ‘Shining Light’ has been supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative since May this year.
He co-produced the music for the Dementia Friends TV advertisement, which features a host of celebrities including Lily Allen and Coldplay’s Chris Martin singing along to the Beatles classic ‘I get by with a little help from my friends’.
He said: “I started writing the songs for the album during the time when my father was first in hospital and his dementia was progressing. I came home one day from visiting him and I began to write the song ‘Medicine’ as I was trying to understand what I was seeing, the experience I was going through and what my dad was going through. It was a really hard time but the closeness within my family made it a powerful bonding time as well.
“After losing my father to dementia, I felt the need to personally do something to fight the condition. My friend Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy’s father also has Alzheimer’s so we put on a concert in Belfast in November 2011 with The Divine Comedy, The Undertones and Ash to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society.”
He added: “Since then I’ve had close links with Alzheimer’s Society and this year am involved with their Dementia Friends campaign. I’m proud to be a Dementia Friend and continue raising more awareness with the album Lost Domain.”
Mr Wheeler is donating 10 per cent of the proceeds from the sales of ‘Lost Domain’ (out on 10 November) to Alzheimer’s Society.
Alzheimer’s Society’s chief executive, Jeremy Hughes said: “It is great to have an artist as talented as Tim raising awareness of dementia through his music. The album touches on the huge range of emotions people often go through when a person close to them has dementia and seems a fitting tribute to a man who clearly meant so much to him.
“Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the UK but through the Dementia Friends programme we are able to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion.”
Dementia Friends is a joint initiative with Public Health England funded by the Cabinet Office and Department of Health which helps people to understand a bit more about dementia and the little ways they can help. Find out more about the campaign and how to become a Dementia Friend at dementiafriends.org.uk.
To buy the album go to http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/timwheeler