Shanghai Treason play Fulford Arms in Alan McGee fundraiser for homeless charity

Yorkshire folk punks Shanghai Treason: playing December gigs in aid of Crisis homeless charity

YORKSHIRE folk punk five-piece Shanghai Treason will play the Fulford Arms, York, on December 28 on a five-date Christmas tour to raise money for the homeless charity Crisis.

Joining them will be Lyon Estates and Sisters & Brothers for a gig presented in partnership with Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH), whose #MAH2019 campaign has seen former Oasis guru Alan McGee team up with local bands in York, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Sheffield and Bristol.

“I am delightedthat bands of this calibre want to be part of this campaign,” says McGee, who launched that campaign in 2016, since when more than 1,000 bands have played 500 MAH benefit gigs around Britain.

“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 the musicians who back us,” adds the 59-year-old maverick Scottish businessman, music industry executive and co-founder of the Creation Records label, who managed Oasis and continues to oversee The Jesus And Mary Chain, Happy Mondays, Black Grape, Cast and .

Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder, Cast, James, Dodgy and many more have supported the cause, while Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy’s Boyzlife, Scouting For Girls, The Hoosiers and the Neville Staple Band are among the acts who will be taking to MAH stages in support.

“The response has been incredible and the campaign has gone from strength to strength,” says McGee. “The support has been inspiring and it’s fantastic that so many quality bands have come forward.”

Shaun Ryder says: “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?”

Ryder continues: “The sad thing is, it’s not the public’s problem, but they’re the ones most likely to actually help the homeless than anyone in government.

“I’ve been through some difficult times in my life, but fortunately I’ve always had a roof over my head. If I found myself in a desperate and vulnerable position, where I’d have to trust the decisions being made in Parliament, I’d be seriously worried.”

“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 the musicians who back us,” says Alan McGee

Cast frontman John Power says: “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 every day 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.”

Musicians Against Homelessness concerts have been running throughout the year, from local venues to festival main stages. Jon Sparkes,chief executive of Crisis, says: “I’m delighted that Musicians Against Homelessness are supporting Crisis again this year. Homelessness remains an unsolved problem across the UK, so your help and support is much needed and greatly appreciated.”

McGee, meanwhile, believes the MAH campaign gives new bands a platform in the way that Rock Against Racism did in the 1970s. “Music brings us together regardless of politics or social standing,” he says. “It’s a great leveller and a vital tool for change.

“Although our primary concern is to combat the scourge of homelessness, it’s vital that the MAH gigs also give upand-coming combos a chance to play to larger audiences.”

Shanghai Treason are grateful for that platform, playing five MAH gigs this month in breakneck folk-punk style, complete with banjo and accordion.

“It’s fantastic to have the support of the Musicians Against Homelessness team for this tour,” says lead singer Sam Christie. “We’ve been lucky to have so many sensational local bands come forward to be part of the shows in each territory and we’re looking forward to sharing the stage with them, while hosting some fantastic concerts raising money for a good cause this Christmas.”

Shanghai Treason’s music will more than likely appeal to fans of The Roughneck Riot, The Walker Roaders, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, The Rumjacks, Levellers and The Wildhearts.

The Yorkshire band will be promoting their first single Devil’s Basement, released on November 22 on Kycker Records. “It’s a fierce firecracker of a debut, marking our intent early on,” says Christie. “We’ve been working on this project for the best part of a year, so to finally have it come into the light is a total joy. 

“Lyrically, the song is about those nights out which get a bit out of hand, where it feels like anything is possible. We hope to have a few of those while on tour for Musicians Against Homelessness this December. Join us!”

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Charles Hutchinson