HOPING Politics. Would we be surrounded by our jungle of creatives if it weren’t for it?
This seemingly undefeatable tangle the establishment has and has always had us trapped in, of course brings activism, with activism brings passion and what lies under the umbrella of passion? Art, poetry, music.
Fighting against injustice and the unmerciful murder that takes place like clockwork in Palestine is somewhat of a forte for the guys at HOPING, otherwise known as as Optimism for Palestinians in the Next Generation.
It is also a battle close to the collection of creatives heart’s that graced the stage of The Roundhouse for the HOPING charity gig.
Already the venue was bursting with compassion, who better to be our composer than Patti Smith, an activist and poet who was made with the same magic as John Lennon.
“Why can’t we just make love not war? It’s all a fucking game.” This was no punchline, the passion that escaped Patti’s lips was meant to reek change and nothing more. Despite her protest song ‘People Have the Power’ being labelled ‘old fashioned’, as she proudly announced, her performance of the 1998 release was nothing short of a masterpiece.
After spreading the message of the importance of artists and activists, Patti Smith gave up the stage for comedian John Bishop, who had articulately yet hilariously introduced the next guest Eric Cantona, who’s ex-Manchester United striker-turned actor past had caused havoc in the now chanting crowd.
Cantona, from memory, recited the Palestinian poem ‘Enemy Of The Sun’, a poem that helps see through the eyes of refugees crossing boarders and risking their own lives to find safety.
The spirit of filthy, unfiltered and unapologetic rock/grunge had been injected by one half of Sonic Youth’s founders Thurston Moore, who thrashed around the stage, grinding the neck of his guitar against whatever he could, before jamming a screwdriver between his strings. Moore plummeted through harsh rackets of sounds before resurfacing with hypnotic rhythms, this pattern continued, leaving the crowd utterly mesmerised, trying to adjust to the extreme change of atmosphere, much like the a harsh task that many refugees face as they move from camp to camp.
As ever, flocks of fedora wearing music fanatics had anticipated The Libertines, it was of course a special show for the London boys to be back where their roots began, Camden.
‘The Delaney’ threw us into a time warp back to the 2000’s of Camden Town, as usual Peter and Carl had naturally bounced off each other, the band’s token sign of appreciation that was plastic cups being hurled at the stage, was a beautiful scene.
There had been quite literally no better band to close of the huge success of a night. The Hoping for Palestine fundraiser gig has no doubt secured already secured its place in a number of highlight of the year lists.
Whilst the cause is riddled with heartache and trauma, those fighting for it bring nothing but joy and more importantly, the help those in Palestine need.
Words by Ruby Tuesday