Accomplished performers and budding artists have signed up to take part in the nationwide gig, Busking Cancer, in aid of Cancer Research UK. It will run for a week from September 6 to 13 and involves bands, musicians and singers from all over Britain.
They include a Johnny Cash tribute act from Glasgow, an all-girls school in Marylebone, London, a Banbury man who plays the shawn – a medieval instrument that sounds like the bagpipes, a Fleetwood folk club, a circus performer from Rochdale, and a little boy from Milton Keynes who recently lost both his great grandparents to cancer.
Hundreds of other bands and musicians have signed up to busk – many of them because they have family members affected by cancer.
The event is supported by Fender guitars and aims to raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.
Suggs – real name Graham McPherson – had a string of hits with Madness, including Baggy Trousers, Our House and It Must Be Love.
He said: “Playing music is such a joyful thing and it’s the soundtrack to all of our lives.
“I’m lucky enough to make my living from it but many people just play for the sheer fun of it. That’s the joy of busking – you can just stand up and sing or play anywhere. People love to stop and listen.
“And to do it in aid of Cancer Research UK – to help anyone whose life has been touched by cancer – is just fantastic. I’d urge everyone to get out on the streets of Britain from September 6 to 13 and have one big party. Have some fun – and raise some money that might just help save someone’s life.”
Thom, most recently in the charts with The Devil’s Beat and who had a number one single with I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair), said: “Busking Cancer is fun, young and positive.”