And so to Hebden…
…Hebden Bridge that is. Fresh from two solo and two band gigs at Chorley Live, we are delighted to be opening proceedings for Oxjam Calderdale at 2pm on Sunday 29th October. This is about more than just the music. It is humbling when music you have created can be used as a vehicle to encourage people to support good causes, especially at a time when funding for a whole range of community and charity activities has either been paired to the bone or cut altogether.
Oxfam itself is a global movement that fights poverty and campaigns to improve the lives of the world’s poorest communities by supporting them with the provision of good sanitation and clean drinking eater, better education, in times of crisis such as drought and other natural disasters, and in times of war and conflict. The Oxjam movement started in the UK in 2006 and raises money to help Oxfam to continue their good work. You can find an Oxjam gig near you here http://oxfamoxjam.nutickets.com or you can even start your own!
We were really pleased to be invited to play the opening set at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge for Oxjam Calderdale, and have chosen Dry The Life as the opening song. Dry The Life is about world water shortage. It astonishes me that more people are not acutely aware of it. It is the biggest threat to human existence. California has suffered five years of drought, South Africa has become a nett importer of foods that until a few years ago it grew itself, the water courses of south east England are drier than parts of Morocco and Tunisia (that is from the UK Environment Agency, not me), and London is drier than Istanbul.
Water shortage is not a problem solely for the developing world, and in recent years multinational companies have recognised that this vital human resource can also be used for commercial gain. The desalination plants that are peppered around the drier parts of the world are frequently used to sustain industry and agriculture or to service retail malls in preference to providing the life force that might keep local communities alive. Water has become commoditised, and we are at the top of a very slippery and potentially disastrous slope. We may already be some way down it.
The answer to insanitary drinking water is not bottled water. That is just a temporary fix, and actually contributes to this growing problem. It is a little known fact that according to the bottled water industry itself, it takes 1.5 litres of water to make every plastic litre bottle of water. Some environmental organisations believe that actually the figure is ten times higher. You can argue which of the two camps is right until you are blue in the face but the inescapable fact is that its production is largely a nonsense and that bottled water should only ever be a temporary solution to the problem of water shortage. Clean, safe drinking water should be an absolute human right for us all.
So “Come along and join us…” in good time for our set at Oxjam Calderdale. Listen to the music and its messages. Come and have a chat and support this amazing event and all the other fabulous performers who are giving their time, energy, and talent for free.