Bikers’ charity chart effort wins backing of Proclaimers

A group of motorcyclists has received the blessing of pre-eminent folk duo The Proclaimers and now look set to launch one of the year’s most unlikely attempts at making the pop charts.

The Boundary 500 Motorcycle group has enlisted the help of North-East band The Happy Cats, fronted by ex-Lindisfarne vocalist Marty Craggs, in re-recording I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers’ signature song.

Sales of the song will raise money for two of the region’s best-loved charities, the Great North Air Ambulance Service and Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice.

The lyrics of the song have been changed to reflect the bikers’ dedication to the two causes, and the song itself has been given the new title I’m Gonna Ride (500 Miles).

Brian Laverick, leader of the Boundary 500 group, said: “It’s been a lot of hard work putting this together, but the end product is something I think we can be really proud of. We even got the thumbs up from The Proclaimers themselves. Song sales of about 3,000 in the week should see us enter the top 40 which would be a phenomenal achievement in itself, but would also raise lots of money for these two great charities.”

Mark Guidery, chief executive at Zoë’s Place, said: “Brian and his group continue to amaze us with their fundraising efforts. We hope residents of the region get behind the group’s latest efforts and provide a real boost to our fundraising in the run up to Christmas.”

Grahame Pickering, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “The charities get a donation for every single sold, so we are hoping all our supporters get behind this fantastic fundraiser.”

The Boundary 500 was established to support GNAAS and takes its name from the approximate distance around the boundary area of the air ambulance charity. Every year, bikers from the group ride the 500 mile journey to boost fundraising. It has raised more than £300,000 for GNAAS and £100,000 for Zoë’s Place since it began.

In a statement, Charlie and Craig Reid, of the Proclaimers, said: “Our very best wishes to the Happy Cats’ fundraising campaign and to everyone participating in the 500 mile ride, well done to all.”

The song is available for 79p via iTunes now (click here to be redirected) and in CD and DVD format for £3 at

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