MUSICIANS Against Homelessness (MAH) this week launch their 2017 campaign to raise money for the homeless charity Crisis.
The Happy Monday’s Shaun Ryder and Cast are backing the cause, which looks set to have an even bigger impact this year. Former Oasis guru Alan McGee launched the campaign in 2016. It was publicly supported by celebrities such as Lilly Allen, Liam Gallagher and Irvine Welsh and more than 500 bands played over one hundred MAH benefit gigs around the UK.
McGee said: “Last year the response was incredible but more people know about us now.
“We are getting people talking and taking action on homelessness in the best way we know how, through music and community.
“This problem will not go away. Statistics show a significant rise in the people sleeping rough on British streets – 4134 in January in England alone- which is an absolute disgrace.”
Shaun Ryder said: “To see so many people in this day and age homeless and hungry is unbelievable. This is not Victorian Britain!
“As usual it’s the people who are not in a position to speak for themselves or be heard who get left behind and ignored.
“It’s become so common to see homeless people on the streets that maybe it’s not a shock when you walk past. Or maybe it’s so shocking that you have to look away, and try not to think about it?”
John Power, lead singer with Cast, said: “It’s great to be asked to be involved with the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign again.
“With so many ongoing problems in the world today it’s sometimes easy to forget the ones in which you come face to face with everyday in the towns and cities up and down the UK.”
“Homelessness is a massive problem and one we can’t just step over and ignore.
“Let’s help bring awareness to the ever increasing problem of homelessness on our streets today.”
Alan McGee said: “The homeless situation in the UK is sickening and shocking but there is a growing awareness of the desperation people at the bottom have to endure, thanks to Ken Loach’s film I Daniel Blake and the musicians who back us.
“The safety nets people have relied on are slowly and consistently being taken away.
“Cuts to benefits and unfair sanctions are callously putting the most vulnerable at risk of homelessness.
“I know people who have jobs but have to ‘couch-surf’ because they can’t afford to rent or get on the housing ladder.”
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “I’m delighted that Musicians Against Homelessness will be supporting Crisis again this year with what promises to be an even bigger and better programme of gigs and events in the Autumn.
“Homelessness remains an unsolved problem across the UK, so your help and support in what will be our 50th year, is much needed, and greatly appreciated.”
To apply to play, host or organise a MAH gig visit Musicians Against Homelessness on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mahgigs/
Gigs will take place throughout September this year.