Help! Takes Place This Weekend In Newcastle

Musicians Come Together For A Beatles Themed Refugee Crisis Fundraiser

Some of the region’s most prominent musicians and artists will unite this weekend in Newcastle as part of a two-day Beatles themed family live music and visual art spectacular to raise funds and awareness for the on-going Syrian refugee crisis.

Taking place at The Cluny on Saturday 26 September from 3pm and Ernest HQ on Sunday 27 September from 2:30pm, a collaborative recording of Beatles classic HELP! featuring stars of the North East music scene will be unveiled, along with live music performances of the Fab Four’s hits from Hannabiell and the Ladies of the Midnight Blue, Baghdaddies and neo-psychedelic rock outfit, Them Things.

The track - recorded at Loft Studios in Newcastle and produced by Detroit Social Club’s David Burn - features local artists such as Frankie and the Heartstrings, Hyde & Beast, Gallery Circus as well as South Shields chart toppers Little Comets. It promises to deliver a powerful message and a show of respect for the thousands of people who have fallen victim to the horrors of war and the dark side of humanity.

Inspired and tormented by the recent events in Syria and in Europe, Tyneside based photographer and artist Tanya Smiles decided to do something about it took to Facebook to see if her friends in the music and art world wanted to do their bit and host an event.

She said: “As a photographer and parent, seeing the image of little Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old boy who was washed up on the beach was horrifying and my late mother always told me that if you can help someone, help them. I posted on Facebook and tagged a few of my friends. I didn’t really know if anyone would take notice but I couldn’t have been more wrong!

“I was bombarded with messages in just two weeks we’ve managed to create a truly wonderful event and have recorded two beautiful tracks of two very powerful songs.The Beatles are timeless, children to grandparents know their songs, they have a positive vibe, and that is what we want to keep going here. The world could do with some peace and love right about now. The Beatles were a perfect choice and I urge everyone to get behind the weekend’s gathering and show solidarity and support for a lot of people out there who need our help.”

As well as live music, HELP ‘North East Musicians Unite’ Refugee Fundraiser, will also feature many other positive highlights including live DJs, a special piece of work from legendary local graphic artist Jimmy Turrell and a first screening of a video created by rising local video artist Alannah Lamb.

Speaking ahead of the event, Detroit Social Club’s David Burn, said: “I think everyone has been shocked by what is happening in Calais and Syria. I think the whole situation has transformed from a political issue to a humanitarian one. We know that what we’re doing will hardly scratch the surface, but it’s not just about making a few quid for them. It’s about raising awareness, and I have seen the difference in people’s attitudes.

“The people that have got behind this wanted to do it. It’s a brilliant endorsement for the spirit of the North East people and I’m sure the weekend will be a memorable one.”

Fellow event organiser Kristian Atkinson, from the North East’s only fully immersive pop-up cinema group Screenage Kicks, added: “I’ve been shocked and disgusted by the size of the negative response to the crisis and I think many of us have lost their humanity. There is hope though and small things like Help! and the work that Tanya has put in can make a difference.

“The regional music community is connected and supportive of each other, so it wasn’t too hard to pull the recording together, it’s been an incredibly fun project despite the serious nature of the reason behind it. We’re all looking forward to Saturday and Sunday. Come on down!”

HELP ‘North East Musicians Unite’ Refugee Fundraiser takes place this Saturday 26 at the Cluny, Byker and Sunday 27 September at Ernest, Newcastle.

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