One of Dundee’s best-known local musicians has released a new song inspired by his traumatic brush with Covid-19.
Lenny Sylvester was rushed to hospital a year ago after succumbing to coronavirus and spent five days in Ninewells, struggling to move from his bed and having difficulty breathing.
Although still experiencing some after-effects of the virus, Lenny, who normally fronts his own band Buffalo Soldiers who have played all over the area, including the ever-popular WestFest, used lockdown to create a home studio and began writing and recording some new songs under the name of BacQayard, the first of which is released digitally today.
Entitled 2019 (Ahh Wah Me Ago Do), it’s a take on the past year of Covid (2020) and Covid (19).
Lenny explained: “After I came out of hospital I just wanted to get my feelings about it down and I started writing the lyrics.
“Being in lockdown and not playing music for so long actually inspired me to build a studio in the house and I’ve been using the time to write and record some new songs. I’ve got enough to release an EP in the summer.”
Lenny says he first started feeling ill in March last year when he developed a cough.
After I came out of hospital I just wanted to get my feelings about it down and I started writing the lyrics
“I contracted the virus at the early stage of the outbreak when there was little or no known treatment or cure.”
“The scientists, doctors and the authorities could not figure what treatment was best.
“I don’t know how I caught it but the cough just got worse and worse and after about nine days I felt like I had the flu, I could hardly walk and I was breathless and was getting dizzy spells.
“I phoned NHS 24 to get a prescription and they said to phone an ambulance if it got any worse. We eventually did and they gave me oxygen and took me straight to hospital.
“That night was horrendous, but really I was lucky, I wasn’t in ICU, it was relatively mild.
“The ward was full, a lot of people were in induced comas and thinking back now it was really serious and I just think how lucky I actually was.
“I still feel some effects from it, if I walk long distances I do get a bit breathless, I’m not quite right yet.”
Lenny, originally from the Caribbean island of Carricou, part of Grenada, came to Dundee in the late 1970s to join the hugely popular local band The Flamingos, after arriving in the UK a decade earlier aged 7 or 8 as part of the Windrush generation.
He met his wife Margaret, who also performs vocals on the new single. As well as starting a family, the couple have played together in various bands over the years and previously owned music venues The Bond, Lennons (Legends) and Redd.
Lenny wrote, performed and produced the catchy, reggae-fused song while the couple’s son Monty mixed it.
2019 (Ahh Wah Me AGo Do) is available to download from this link today on Spotify, iTunes and all social media platforms.