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Musicians Against Homelessness  have just launched the biggest and best campaign so far to raise funds for homelessness charities already having raised more than £100,000 to date. To kick off the campaign for 2018, rock legends James have recorded an exclusive video of their hit ‘Sit Down’ to show support and raise awareness and vital funds.

This new version was filmed in December with composer Joe Duddell and features a string quartet at the Albert Hall, Manchester.

Tim Booth said:

‘ ‘Sit down’ is a song about empathy, so we are really honoured and happy that this beautiful version, arranged by Joe Duddell, is being used to raise money for the homeless. We seem to be living in times of increasing inequality where all the safety nets that my generation took for granted have been taken away. I don’t know how a person can hold their life together if they don’t have a home, a cave, someplace safe they can call their own. It is too easy for us to look the other way. Thank you to the kind souls who are running this charitable organisation for not doing so.’

We are excited to share that this grass roots rock music movement will run two months of fund-raising gigs later this year to ensure that the fundraising and awareness-building continues.

This year’s campaign includes:

Two months of MAH gigs this Autumn.

MAH are appealing for people to join their ever-growing team of event managers and venues to put on gigs in every village, town and city throughout September and October. Every genre of music is encouraged from rock, punk, choirs, jazz, grime, classical, and indie and every type of venue is relevant.  (Sheffield promoters and bands should get in touch with Kate and Rachel for more details on contact@northern-exposure.co. There are already plans underway for Sheffield gigs so keep your eyes peeled for more announcements soon!)

MAH will have stages at all of this year’s Foodies Festival events. Headline acts The Hoosiers, Toploader and Dodgy will be joined by more than 300 bands at festivals in Brighton, Bristol, London, Birmingham, Cheshire, Edinburgh and Oxford.

Celeb Soccer Six kick off their 2018 events supporting the project with a star-studded football tournament and live music stage on 29th April at Mile End Stadium, London.

Lindisfarne Festival is supporting the cause and will also feature an MAH acoustic stage showcasing up- coming talent.

Star Shaped Club, champions of the Brit Pop era, will partner MAH with festivals in the Autumn featuring Ocean Colour Scene, Black Grape and more.

Unbelievably, more than 1,000 bands have played around 250 gigs for MAH since it launched. Their support to the cause has enabled MAH to grow in to what is becoming a powerhouse for change.

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, the latest big name to become an MAH ambassador, said:

“Homelessness has gone from being the dominant issue in our society to an unfolding crisis and national disaster. I’m proud to be an ambassador for this fabulous organisation – but there’s no longer the luxury of time to sit back. I encourage the UK to get right behind this and support Musicians Against Homelessness in any way that you can.”

MAH patron Alan McGee said:

“Since we launched this project in 2016 I’ve been shocked to see the numbers of homeless on our streets rapidly increasing. We’re living in an inhumane society where suffering is common place and solutions are not forthcoming. Thousands and thousands of people are homeless or living in abject poverty. We can’t ignore this and hope that it goes away or fixes itself. It’s a sad indictment of society that we’ve become so desensitised that so many will just walk past people who are literally dying on our streets. These people don’t have a place, or a voice.”

Co-founder Emma Rule added:

“Musicians Against Homelessness was not set up to just shake buckets or play on sympathy, it was born of an idea to bring together thousands of musicians and music lovers to promote and support the cause through shared interests and talents. Our aim was to keep the subject in the news. We’re proud to support Crisis in their work to end homelessness, for good.”

In 2016, Crisis reported that at any one time across Britain:

9,100 people were sleeping rough
68,300 households were sofa surfing
19,300 households were living in unsuitable temporary accommodation 37,200 households were living in hostels
26,000 households were living in other circumstances, including:

8,900 households sleeping in tents, cars or on public transport 12,100 households living in squats
5,000 households in women’s refuges or winter night shelters

… and these numbers have just grown over the last two years.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis commented:

“We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Musicians Against Homelessness this year. The work the MAH volunteers have done since the project started has been truly inspirational, raising vital funds that have helped us continue our work to end homelessness across the country. We’re incredibly grateful for their support, and to all of the volunteers, musicians and bands who have dedicated their time to the cause. Now more than ever, we need to shine a light on the issue of homelessness and come together to end it for good, because everyone should have a place to call home.”

MAH is run purely by volunteers as a not-for-profit cause with every penny going into homeless services. Since launching, MAH is set to be the biggest musicians-led campaign operating exclusively in the UK since Rock Against Racism in the 70’s.

Big names, including Russell Brand, Shaun Ryder, Liam Gallagher, Cast and the Buzzcocks, have previously publicly backed the campaign.

We hope that you will find a way to be involved – can you play or attend any of these gigs? Stay up to date with news and to find out about running an event in September or October in your area, or to apply to perform, visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mahgigs/

We echo the band James when we ask all Northern Exposure fans to support MAH with a text donation to Crisis, details can be found on their video:

https://JamesOfficial.lnk.to/SitDownMAHPR

*https://www.crisis.org.uk

RACHEL BROWN AND KATE O’BRIEN

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