On Friday March 13th, three very different musical artists are coming together to play a benefit for Crisis at Oxford’s Old Fire Station. The gig is the brainchild of Aliens founder and frontman, Tim May. He vividly remembers how on his daily early morning walk to Oxford station he’d encounter the same people struggling to survive on the city’s streets. He wrote a song about it called Desolation Angel, which swiftly became a BBC record of the week, and decided then that Aliens would support charities working to alleviate homelessness.
Crisis was the obvious choice and The Old Fire station the place to do it, as Development Officer, Justine Malone explains: “The Old Fire Station is home to two charities: Crisis and Arts at the Old Fire Station. Crisis help people experiencing homelessness with housing advice and practical support, and the Arts side put on great shows and exhibitions. What makes the OFS unique is that the two charities work closely together, so people who are homeless actually help to run the arts centre. In doing so, they can shake off the label of being ‘homeless’ and become audience, volunteers, artists, staff and trustees.”
Aliens was created as a music/film collective by Tim and fellow Oxford musician Iain Harvie, best known as the rock guitarist for million sellers, Del Amitri. They were soon joined by Helen Turner from Paul Weller & Style Council on keys, Martyn Barker from Shriekback on drums, The Bible’s Leroy Lendor on bass, and guitarist Calum MacColl, son of folk legends Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, and half brother of Kirsty MacColl, who has worked with artists as varied as Nadine Shah, Rufus Wainwright and Eddi Reader.
Support comes from Hayley Ross, (right) with songs from her acclaimed debut album The Weight of Hope. And fast rising star Indira May(top) whose mix of Soul, Jazz and Hip Hop is gaining her audiences on stations as diverse as Jazz FM and Radio 1.
Tickets are on sale now from the Old Fire Station box office and online. All proceeds the gig will be split 50/50 and go towards both charities, and the unique way they work together to make Oxford a better place.