Stars from the Blues and Roots community give up their time for free to come together and raise money for the people of Ukraine in an afternoon of music not to be forgotten anytime soon.
Image: Tony Cole
Stars from the Blues and Roots community graced The Harlington in Fleet on Sunday afternoon for the All We Are Saying fundraiser concert for Ukraine.
Accompanied by Redtenbacher’s Funkestra, the audience (in person and via livestream) were treated to performances by the likes of Jo Harman, Martin Harley, Elles Bailey and Dom Martin, all of whom gave up their time for free to help the cause.
One of many stand out moments was a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, led by Jade Like The Stone on vocals. The track gave every musician on stage their chance to shine, and shine they did.
After the concert Jade Like The Stone said: “Music puts into expression what you can’t put into words and adds all those layers that you can’t quite put into any language I don’t think.
“I would imagine the people [in Ukraine] they have spirit and any musicians that are there are going to be doing the same thing, either expressing or trying in some way to process what’s going on.”
The musical masterclass continued throughout the afternoon, no less than when Mike Mayfield and Nat Martin had a jaw dropping riff-off in the middle of Jo Harman’s ‘Through The Night’.
Speaking about the event, Harman said: “It’s only a very small thing that we can do, it’s tiny really and we can’t really do much, we can’t change anything, but I think it’s more just about standing shoulder to shoulder with people who have been affected by such a tragedy.”
The message that the event was being held in aid of the people of Ukraine ran clear throughout the afternoon, particularly through the performances and the song choices.
New York’s Sari Schorr performed two highly emotive tracks, aptly named ‘Ordinary Life’ and ‘Freedom’, dedicating both to the people of Ukraine and expressing her sincere hopes that those impacted by the conflict have their lives and freedom restored.
Jana Varga also shared a personal connection to the war in Ukraine before her performance of ‘Foreigner Face’. Varga is from Slovakia, a country that shares a border with Ukraine, and one which has had its own freedoms constrained in the past. Through sharing this background, Varga’s performance was all the more poignant and reminded the audience of the severity and proximity of the current conflict.
Sunday’s hugely successful event was organised by Hampshire promoter Alan Bates and BiGiAM’s Mark Ede who joined forces to secure a venue and line-up within the space of three weeks.
Ede said: “The community came together and basically made it easy because everyone was committed to it, everybody pulled their weight, everybody just did what they needed to do, nobody complained and it was just a great team spirit.”
Bates said: “My faith in the human condition was never really eroded, but the actions of so many good people yesterday gave it a complete overhaul, polished it and sat it on a pedestal.
“We will keep the momentum going and are currently looking at a number of possible projects; soonest being a release of the recorded livestream.”
The concert ended with the words of John Lennon ringing out from everyone in the room: “All we are saying is give peace a chance”- a message I am sure would be echoed by all in the music industry and beyond.
The livestream of this concert is available to purchase here with all proceeds going to the Disaster Emergency Committee for Ukraine.