The goal of Hartlepool-based charity Music v Cancer, as founder Tony Larkin puts it, is simple: “To raise as much funds as possible to make a real difference in the ongoing fight against the many forms of cancer but predominantly bowel cancer.”
Research conducted by Cancer Research UK in 2015 brought about some daunting figures, with the charity stating that one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives; so it’s extremely important to support charities like Music v Cancer in the battle against such a horrific disease.
Tonight’s event was set in a rather suave function room, with the first artist of the night, Dawson Reeve, noting: “I’ve never played in a venue with chandeliers before”.
Dawson ingeniously used his fantastic vocal range to produce beatbox tones and, with the use of a loop pedal, created complex layers of sound. His original track, ‘Pollution’, was my highlight of his set as it told a personal story, with Dawson noting: “This is a song about my brother who got in with the wrong crowd”, and the song included touching lyrics such as: “Making the same mistakes, again”.
The second artist of the night, Sonny, had a rockabilly/blues look to him with his slicked-back hair and denim-clad attire. The South Shields acoustic artist had a powerful voice, hitting both high and low notes with complete ease, with all in attendance watching on in complete awe as you could hear a pin drop during his performance.
Before headliner JJ Rosa’s performance, an auction took place, with signed guitars, CDs, and photos all for sale – I must admit, I was surprised to see a signed James Blunt CD go for so much, but it was all in the spirit of the occasion. And possibly the most important moment of the evening then took place as staff at North Tees Hospital presented the charity with a £54,000 cheque, a cheque which Music v Cancer would then match, with the full £108,000 going towards the refurbishment of the chemotherapy wing at the hospital – fantastic.
So the atmosphere was electric as JJ Rosa made their way onto the stage and the three-piece uplifted spirits to a whole new level as they played an inspiring set which included multiple genres such as pop, hip-hop, funk, dance, world music, and soul. Frontwoman, JJ Rosa, is such a talented guitarist and I have to admit, I was mesmerised during her cover of Prince’s iconic track, ‘Purple Rain’ – I just wish she’d included more guitar solos in her original songs.
The charity has attracted the support from artists such as Jack Savoretti, Turin Brakes, The Temperance Movement, Majic Numbers, Broken Witt Rebels, Nizlopi, The Blow Monkeys, Jon Allen, Scott Matthews, David McAlmont, Black (Colin Vearncombe) and many more as they truly understand the philosophy of Music v Cancer and what they’re trying to achieve – and we at NE Volume will continue to support the charity for the foreseeable future.