Choir project prompts Haiti benefit

Simon ParkinNorwich-based artist John Hirst visited Haiti along with fellow artist and former KLF star Bill Drummond in December as part of their 17 Choir project. After the devastating earthquake, they've organised a benefit event.Read more about The 17 Choir in HaitiRead more about The 17 Choir in HaitiDonate to the Unicef Haiti appealDonate to the Unicef Haiti appealSimon Parkin

Norwich-based artist John Hirst visited Haiti along with fellow artist and former KLF star Bill Drummond in December. They went to attend the first Ghetto Bianalle held in the Grand Rue area of Port-au-Prince, one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest cities in the world.

There they created a performance and recordings by The 17 Choir with local children and residents in a school. They were amazed by the commitment and good humour in the face of such abject poverty.

John and Bill returned to England on 19 December and as we all know last Tuesday Port-au-Prince was hit by a catastrophic earthquake, Haitian officials are estimating deaths of up to 200,000 people. Five of the small group that John and Bill worked with have been confirmed dead with almost all the others unaccounted for.

It's a small gesture, but John Hirst has organised this benefit. Performing will be The Neutrinos (acoustic set), Death Of Death Of Discotheque and BK and Dad with possible guest slots.


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Art rock blues mavericks The Neutrinos are set to release their new album later in the year and recently contributed the music to TV documentary The Trials of Amanda Knox.

Death Of Death Of Discotheque feature Jay Barsby from the ashes of the much missed Ray Brower and perform energetic but literate rock/dance tunes to appeal to the feet, the brain and the inner lout. BK (Balaclava Kid) and Dad contribute their gloriously off-beat post rock jazz noise.

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John Hirst said: 'I have never seen poverty like I saw in Port-au-Prince before the earthquake, I can barely imagine what it must be like now.

'I met people with a seemingly unbreakable spirit who were committed to helping each other in whatever way possible. Please help us to send whatever we can to the Earthquake appeal.'

Neutrinos singer Karen Reilly added: 'Please come along to support the appeal on Sunday. Every little helps in a disaster of this scale.

'That people that our friends John and Bill worked with so recently are either dead or missing really brings home that behind the headlines and the massive death toll this is about individual people dying or suffering, people with friends, families, lovers and lives.'

Admission is free but we urge everyone attending to donate as much as they can. There will also be a raffle with prizes including the star prize of 2 seats in the Aviva Box at Carrow Road with a three course meal including drinks thrown in for the 30 January League 1 fixture. More prizes, large and small are being confirmed right now and are likely to include London theatre tickets, donations from business in Norwich and much more.

t Haitian Earthquake Appeal Benefit, The Playhouse Bar, St Georges Street, Norwich, January 24, 8.30pm, admission free but donations encouraged.

Read more about The 17 Choir in HaitiRead more about The 17 Choir in HaitiDonate to the Unicef Haiti appealDonate to the Unicef Haiti appeal

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