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Duo on track thanks to Fiat web ad; Million listen to song.

Byline: Nathan Bevan

A BLUES rock duo from the Valleys are aiming for the big time after one of their songs was listened to more than a million times on a new online advert.

Henry's Funeral Shoe have had their track Dog Scratched Ear chosen to back the ad for the Fiat 500 Abarth, featuring Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen.

In it, Sheen, complete with electronic tag on his ankle, is seen driving the car around his mansion. "I love being under house arrest," he grins at the camera as a bevy of scantily-clad supermodels parade in the background.

Aled Clifford, the Ystrad Mynach band's 33-year-old singer and guitarist, said: "It's had more than a million hits on YouTube within a week of being uploaded and goes on US telly next week, which means a lot of people who would have never heard of us otherwise will now have access to our music."

Dad-of-one Aled - who performs with his drummer brother Brennig, a decade his junior - has already had music featured on a US legal thriller called Puncture and an episode of BBC supernatural drama Being Human.

Any money coming from the advertisement deal will go straight back into the pair's musical coffers, he said.

"Our second album, Donkey Jacket, got great reviews but didn't sell as many as we'd like, so maybe now we'll shift more - maybe even enough to put a single out and land us some more gig bookings."

And laughing off accusations that bands who license their songs for adverts are "selling out", Aled added: "Selling out? There's too many skint geniuses in the world to be thinking in those terms.

"I never want to be one of those old bores at the bar going, 'Oh, when I was younger I could have done this and I could have done that.' "An opportunity like this doesn't come knocking often and you'd be mad not to grab it with both hands when it does."

He said: "When I was growing up, you'd get bands like Stiltskin and Babylon Zoo using their music to plug Levi jeans on the telly and those campaigns would be so high profile they'd become saddled with the tag of one-hit wonders.

"But now there are so many more channels and everything's so much more transient that it's become far less of a possible albatross around your neck.

"Ultimately though, I simply can't be too precious about it - I've got a young lad to look after and bills to pay and the only way to do that is by playing music."

* See the advert at www.youtube.com/watch? v=jjYxE2VD7VE

CAPTION(S):

* Ystrad Mynach band Henry's Funeral Shoe, above, have had one of their tracks used in a Fiat advert starring Charlie Sheen, right
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 10, 2012
Words:462
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