CHARLEY FARLEY (PHOTO CREDITS: MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY)
Nambucca, Holloway Road, London hosted an evening of some of the finest UK Rock, Metal and Blues acts joining forces to raise awareness for mental health issues and suicide, and raising much needed cash for SANE - the mental health charity.
Before the music got underway, Steve Göldby (MetalTalk.net) opened proceedings by reminding us why we were there. Encouraging donations to the cause and talking about the acts we were going to see, before handing over to Adrian Garcia from SANE. Adrian talked passionately and with conviction about what drove him to bring some good out of the tragic suicide of his brother. It was incredibly moving for us to hear Adrian have the courage to be able to open up to a group of complete strangers.
With most of Voodoo Six being out of the country, we were treated to an acoustic session by ‘Voodoo Two’ to open the musical side of things. Their songs stripped back and emotional were a perfect way to start the night. Nik Taylor-Stoakes and Matt Pearce were brilliant in their self confessed 1st acoustic set. Talking to the guys after they admitted they felt a little exposed without the “wall of noise” that they usually have. They closed their set with a tribute to Tom Petty which Nik said seemed appropriate.
Cairo Son, particularly Magdy Abdel-Rehim were instrumental in putting the evening together. They surprised many people by being second on stage, rather than headlining - typically wanting the event to be about the charity and not themselves. Wearing SANE tee shirts, they gave us a blistering set with songs illustrating Magdy’s own personal battle with mental illness. One track in particular - ‘My Brain’ combined with the death of Chris Cornell were the seeds for tonight’s fundraising event. Magdy is quite open about his mental health, and encourages everyone to ’talk about it’. Talking will help people understand.
Next up, late addition to the line up London Blusion a band who manage combine funk/swing/jazz and blues in an entertaining mix. At one point, Magdy joined them on stage to assist on vocals and explains that Mete Ege (Guitar/Vocals) is his other hero and was the person that taught Magdy to play guitar at the age of 14.
Raffles and auctions are a great way to raise money. Everyone had been encouraged to buy tickets and judging by the number of tickets that were in people’s hands as the numbers were drawn it was not a surprise to learn that a massive £180 had been raised through ticket sales. The prize winners were picked during the next stage change. There were superb prizes, including a Virgin Experience Segway day donated by one of the staff at the venue. All the bands had donated merch and there were also prizes donated by Yamaha music London and Slim Jims Liquor store. Warr’s Harley-Davidson London donated a days hire which raised another £115.
Following the brief interlude was Jawbone. They are a southern sounding blues/rock band with more than a hint of Black Stone Cherry in their sound. The final act of the evening was Romances - Alt rock act from London who performed a great set and finished off an incredibly successful evening.
Speaking to Magdy at the end of the night he was so thankful of all the support that had been given to the night, from everyone. He wouldn’t be drawn into committing to organising similar annual events but for sure, if he did, they would gain support from many quarters.
Overall, the night was a total success, opening peoples eyes to the personal battles that are being fought on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. There is help out there but there is not enough done to promote where it can be found. Events like tonight and the amazing work that charities like SANE do can really make a difference. After everything has been accounted for, SANE have gained £1400 to put towards giving people the help they so badly need.
Donations to SANE can be made via their website www.sane.org.uk/how_you_can_help/donate
**PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY / DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA**