On Tuesday night Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush, London was host to a night of live performances in support of Shelter and the horrific tragedy which struck Grenfell Tower, located close by.
Many have died with numbers still rising, people cannot and will not remain silent about this. Artists including The Boxer Rebellion, Olugbenga of Metronomy, Bastille and Jack Savidge came together with Shelter, TimeOut and Bakery Boy music to raise funds for those affected by Grenfell, in the hopes this money will make some difference to those who have had their live’s irrevocably changed.
Of course money will not fix everything, something noted by Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, Bastille’s drummer. We must stay angry and present; we cannot let this become a blip on the radar of the many awful things that have happened during 2017.
The audience generously parted with hard earned money to assist others. The venue staff, the artists, the sound engineers, the PR teams- everyone involved gave up their hard earned time, as noted by the compere for the evening, Ray Jones from TimeOut London. Everyone understood the gravity of the housing crisis the UK is currently in, the horror that so many face due to the Grenfell tragedy, and music brought us all together for one night only so we can work towards change in the world.
The night was started by The Boxer Rebellion, an indie band formed of one gent from Tennessee and a couple of English lads. Their unique stripped back, acoustic set, something they don’t often do, ended with a song they had never played live.
The Boxer Rebellion were followed by Olugbenga, a solo artist known for his bass playing in Metronomy. Olugbenga’s 30 minute set focused on the need for hope, the resilience of London and its people, and how we will all overcome what has occurred. Despite standing alone on the stage armed only with a guitar, Olugbenga commanded the attention of the room and left the audience visibly moved.
The headline act, London based indie band Bastille were next. They treated the audience to a stripped back set consisting not only of hits from their two studio albums, but lesser known songs such as ‘bad_news’ and their TLC/The xx mashup ‘No Angels’. It takes a special sort of band to sell out the O2 arena with an immersive visual and audio experience, it’s even rarer to find a band that can do that and perform in a tiny venue with nothing but a handful of instruments at their disposal, and still completely rock it.
Bastille were followed by a DJ set by Jack Savidge, ending the night on a rather high note.
A love of music and a desire for change made this night happen. Music is far more than a few beats and some vocals, it’s a tool for change, positivity, love and anger. This show proved that point more than ever.
Please donate generously to the London Fire Relief Fund.