Craig and Poppy are hoping to follow in Frank and Nancy's famous footsteps!

Date published: 11 December 2023

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A talented musical father and daughter duo from Lees are hoping to become only the second in history to record a number 1 hit, after Frank and Nancy Sinatra way back in 1967!

Arriving home after a hard day’s shopping one past Christmas Eve, Craig Fletcher found himself nursing a stiff drink whilst sitting at his piano.

He reflected on the day’s events as he played and the music for his song ‘December 24th’ began to take shape.

Craig sent a demo to Clive Gregson, his band mate in The Guilty Men, who added lyrics to complete the song.

‘December 24th’ captures the day and night before Christmas in the frozen north of England.

A drunken night out on the town partying for some… and for others, a more tranquil night sitting in front of the TV and early to bed.

The song, with The Guilty Men being joined by Craig's daughter Poppy, has now been released, as you can see on the video (below).

Northern lad Craig had fronted various local bands before becoming the bass player in John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest 25 years ago, a gig which has taken him all over the world playing sold-out concerts.

Clive led 80’s cult band Any Trouble, then formed a successful partnership with singer Christine Collister.

He has toured and recorded with many artists including Richard Thompson, Nanci Griffith, Eddi Reader and Dennis Locorriere.

10cc drummer Paul Burgess, keyboard player Jez Smith (also from Barclay James Harvest) and guitarist Neil Cossar (The Cheaters) complete the Guilty Men line-up. 

In traditional style, the new Christmas song was recorded in the middle of a heat wave in the summer of 2023!

Will Roberts added the brass band parts and as the studio engineer flashed up images of roaring log fires and snowy blizzards on the large screen in the control room, Paul added the ultimate festive touch - sleigh bells. 

Somebody suggested that the song might make a great male/female duet, so that's when Craig played the track to his daughter Poppy, who is also a professional singer.

Poppy loved the song and was soon in the studio, recording her vocal.

Craig was quick to point out that if the song does become a number 1 hit, they would be only the second father and daughter duo to achieve this, after Frank and Nancy Sinatra back in 1967!

Every year the coveted Christmas Number 1 song attracts interest and debate.

There have been plenty of novelty hits, duets and old favourites topping the chart on December 25.

Maybe this year it’s the turn of the new Frank and Nancy?… Craig and Poppy from Lees!

You can download the song by clicking here

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The Guilty Men featuring Poppy Fletcher play 'December 24th'