On Sunday, June 20th, IDLES bassist Adam ‘Dev’ Devonshire has organised an online event streamed live from Exchange in Bristol as a Gig Buddies fundraiser. With stand-up comedy from Stewart Lee, Seann Walsh and Josh Weller and music from Mclusky, Katy J Pearson, Willie J Healey, TV Priest, Fenne Lily, Dogeyed and Wilderman.
There will also be an online raffle and an auction of some seriously incredible prizes, so if you’re a die-hard Mogwai, Slowdive or Four Tet fan, here’s your chance to win something unique.
So what’s all this in aid of then? I hear you ask. Well, Gig Buddies are a charity in England, Scotland and Wales, with eleven offices around the country in Bedford, Bradford. Brighton & Hove, Calderdale, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Hull, Oxford, Mid Lothian, Portsmouth and West Lothian, plus a branch in Sydney, Australia.
The idea behind Gig Buddies is to enable people with learning disabilities and/or autism to enjoy all the great things going on in their community, especially live music. Gig Buddies is a project that pairs up people with and without learning disabilities (and/or autism) to be friends and to go to events together. The Gig Buddies project aims to make volunteering easier for people by enabling volunteers to go to gigs they’d already probably be going to anyway, but with someone with a learning disability. This means they’ll be sharing their passions and be able to fit their volunteering around their other commitments.
As a mum of a wonderful 8-year-old boy with Downs Syndrome and Autism, this is a cause close to my heart. I can’t wait for my boy to be old enough to come to gigs with me, but I’ll be 50 before that happens, and I can barely stand up through the support act without my back going these days. Not only that, while I may be a cool as fuck mum now (*side-eyes*), my son is not likely to think so. And in twenty-plus years, he’s not going to be wanting to go to gigs with his mother when I’m 64. He should be with people around his own age, with the same passions as his.
It’s this kind of thing that used to keep me awake at night as a parent of a child with learning difficulties. I hated the thought that my son wouldn’t be able to do some of the things other young adults do without a second thought. I never want him to miss out on anything, especially not live music. He loves Deftones, IDLES and Dolly Parton already. The boy will go wild when he can hear it all live, on stage, with the light shows and crowds of people sharing his energy. Knowing that a group of people exist who recognise this is important to people with disabilities, and their families is worth more than I could tell you. Just knowing that there are volunteers who want to befriend people with the same interests as theirs, and they don’t give two hoots about them having a learning disability and/or autism makes me feel a lot brighter about the future.
So, now we know what a great cause this Gig Buddies fundraiser is, let’s look at some of the prizes on offer in the auction and raffle:
Mogwai — Come On Die Young and Young Team test presses PLUS the flute they used on Mogwai Fear Satan.
Slowdive — Cassette demo from 1988, pre-Creation records. The first-ever piece of music with the name Slowdive on it.
Four Tet — A rare 12″ album that label scrapped and only handed a few copies out to fans. Never had a copy sold, according to Discogs.
Raffle (Easy read raffle list here)
- Fender Squire Stratocaster signed by all Gig Buddies live stream performers
- IDLES — signed Ultra Mono test pressing + artwork
- Radiohead — Kid A test pressing
- Slowdive — Guitar pedal used by Slowdive
- Mogwai — signed Bardo split, Rave Tapes boxed set + As The Love Continues boxed set
- Frank Turner — signed Be More Kind test pressing
- Florence and The Machine — signed book + record
- The National — signed photobook + accompanying record
- Fontaines DC — signed inlay photo
- The Staves — signed record
- The Lovely Eggs — signed I Am Moron record + CD
- Young Knives — original canvas by House Of Lords + signed record
- Sports Team — tee shirt x2
- Iain Sellar — Free tattoo + artwork print
- Laura Marling — signed inlay photo
- Metz — signed vinyl bundle
- Orlando Weeks — Original one-off artwork
- Big Jeff — Print
- Lee Kiernan (IDLES) — Print
- Sickboy — original artwork on IDLES gig posters
- Bristol Exchange — Five 2x ticket bundles to any show
- 2x tickets to Ritual Union 26/03/22
- 2x tickets to either Katy J Pearson show at The Louisiana 25/08/21 or 26/08/21
- 2x tickets to IDLES at Cardiff Arena
- 2x tickets to the sold-out Paul Weller at Bath Forum show 17/11/21
- BEAK> — Signed merch bundle
- JOHN — God Speed in The National Limit record + signed tour poster
- Traams — signed Grin record + test pressing of 4 Songs
- TV Priest — Signed Uppers record
- Environmental Studies Bundle ft. Julian Cope, John Paul + more
- Melvins — Limited edition signed screenprint
- Friendly Records — £30 store voucher + tee
- Life — Signed merch bundle
- Billy Nomates — Signed s/t RSD vinyl
- Supergrass — Strange Ones boxed set
- Mclusky signed setlists from Gig Buddies show
- 2x tickets to Ceremony Festival at Bedford Esquires
- Fender telecaster guitar
- Sharon Van Etten — signed merch bundle
- Thee Oh Sees — 2x packs of 4x signed records
- Young Fathers — Ltd edition blue vinyl of Cocoa Sugar + tote bag
- Declan Mckenna — 2x tickets to Brixton show 18/09/21
- Klämp — Signed record + 5 t-shirts
As you can see, every single prize on this list is amazing! So buy your raffle tickets at just £2 a pop and be in for a chance of winning something extraordinary, and support the Gig Buddies fundraiser at the same time. It’s a win-win. Not only that, but you can also get your ticket to Sunday’s hottest event streamed live from Exchange in Bristol. With stand-up comedy from Stewart Lee, Seann Walsh and Josh Weller and music from Mclusky, Katy J Pearson, Willie J Healey, TV Priest, Fenne Lily, Dogeyed and Wilderman. All that for a fiver! (though you are welcome to donate more).
I hope to virtually feel your presence there this Sunday (20th June) at 6 pm. Buy your tickets here: HEAD FIRST BRISTOL
To find out more about Gig Buddies work and how to become a volunteer, visit: https://gigbuddies.org.uk/about/