#LockdownSolidarity UPDATE

LockdownSolidarity

MASSIVE thank you to everyone who continues to support my ongoing #LockdownSolidarity campaign. The numbers are staggering, but still you keep em coming.

For the uninitiated, eleven weeks ago I began donating what money I make in merch sales to a different cause every seven days. Normally this wouldn’t amount to that much as I really aren’t that popular, but you lot have taken the campaign to your hearts and this is what has been accomplished so far…

WK1 £125 for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham
WK2 £130 for Teardrops in St. Helens
WK3 £540 for Dundee Food Bank
WK4 £532 for The Florrie in Liverpool
WK5 £501 for East Worthing Food Bank
WK6 £335 for Help The Homeless in Glastonbury
WK7 £346 for Kitchen For Everyone in York
WK8 £915 for Feed Newport
WK9 £635 for LoveGlasgowHateRacism
WK10 £453 for DN7 Food Bank

And WK11 already has £160 on the board for East Durham Trust as I type.

Incredible stuff folks. Thanks you all so much for the support, enthusiasm and encouragement.

If you would like to help too then everything I have is included, from tunes to t-shirts and tote bags at:

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

We SHALL overcome x

#LockdownSolidarity Campaign

LockdownSolidarity

My #LockdownSolidarity campaign has been a massive success so far and I really can’t thank you enough for supporting it.

Six weeks ago I decided the crisis out there growing, and We Shall Overcome unable to operate on any meaningful level, I had better get creative. I decided to help raise funds on a weekly basis by giving away all merch money until I can gig again. ALL merch is included- CDs, downloads, t-shirts and bundles- from my Bandcamp page at:

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

Here’s a rundown of the work done so far:

WK1 £125 for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham
WK2 £130 for Teardrops in St. Helens
WK3 £540 for Dundee Food Bank
WK4 £532 for The Florrie in Liverpool
WK5 £501 for East Worthing Food Bank
WK6 £335 for Help The Homeless in Glastonbury
WK7 £346 for Kitchen For Everyone in York

Week 8 is looking to raise some much-needed cash for Feed Newport, so if you’re short a couple of my records, or in need of a new t-shirt or tote bag please remedy that and help me help others.

Thanks folks.

Live From T’Shed #2- No Pasaran!

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Last night’s ‘Live From T’Shed #2’ raised a fantastic £1000 for Black Country Food Bank and I can’t thank you all enough for tuning in and supporting the event.

It was a night with my ‘No Pasaran’ album and the stories behind the songs, and the support I received from the first second was simply overwhelming. Live streaming is tough as a musician but you are making life in lockdown not only bearable, but a successful continuation of We Shall Overcome work we are currently unable to do with live gigs.

‘Live From T’Shed #3’ will take place on Saturday June 20th, and will be a performance of my Miner’s Strike album ‘Never Be Defeated’. I’m hooking up with the annual Orgreave Rally to present a day of speeches and music of which my live stream will be the evening session. Can’t wait.

If you missed the ‘No Pasaran’ stream, it is now available on YouTube here:

Thanks again everyone. Your support is keeping me going through these troubled times, and is helping me help others.

Solidarity
Joe

Happy Birthday We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome is five years old today.

It’s five years since Stephen Goodall galvanised us into action with the words:

“What we need is a night of musical protest all over the country. Let’s pick a date.”

Five years since Matt Hill, Tony Peter Wright, Jamie Bramwell and meself ran with it, and quickly joined by Pauline Town, Pete Yen, Val Colvin and Steve White created a movement whose motto ‘A Raised Fist & A Helping Hand’ perfectly sums up our anti-austerity, pro-community agenda to keep people fed and housed and supported in spite of successive governments abandoning them.

Course that was just the committee.

What set WSO apart was that it was not top down but ground up grassroots front line activism by real people in real communities, targeting resources where they were most needed. It took THOUSANDS of people- volunteer organisers, willing promoters, poster designers; musicians, poets, writers and creative genii up and down the land- to make this happen, and every single one made a vital and valuable contribution to the cause.

That is the lesson of We Shall Overcome. That there is no such thing as an insignificant gesture, because added together, all those seemingly insignificant gestures become something very significant indeed.

From the first gig and that first donation of a bag of shopping, We Shall Overcome has built and built until it now stands at 1100+ events, in 150+ towns and cities and has raised an estimated £500,000 in groceries, cash, warm clothing, toiletries and hands-on help going straight to the front line of need in the town which raised it, helping food banks, soup kitchens, crisis centres, homeless outreach, youth projects and refugee support.

And we’ve got more than 400 people off the streets and into a new home and a fresh start.

Lockdown has stopped the physical gigs but we were pro-active and on Easter Saturday ran WSO ISOLATION FESTIVAL- SAT APRIL 11th 2020 a 12-hour online gig featuring the likes of Billy Bragg, Grace Petrie, Phil Odgers, Attila the Stockbroker and The Wakes. The event raised almost £28,000 securing our central operations in Greater Manchester until such times as we can gig again. A further £2000 was raised from t-shirts and is being divided up among our most active regions according to the levels of need.

Going forward times are set to get harder still, and WSO will be needed more than ever. As long as governments fail their people we will be needed to highlight and protest that failure while doing our best to keep folk alive.

If you want to get involved join our organising group at WE SHALL OVERCOME 2020 and run a gig or volunteer to help at another. EVERYONE can bring something to this.

We lost our comrade, brother and friend Stephen Goodall a few weeks ago.

We Shall Overcome is his legacy.

And what a thing to leave behind you.

RIP Ste. Long live what you started.

Live From T’Shed #2- No Pasaran

The next ‘Live From T’Shed’ gig will be a performance of my ‘No Pasaran’ album on Saturday May 16th from 8pm sharp.

Rather than just play gigs repeating the same songs I want to use lockdown to mix it up a bit and play songs that don’t make a standard setlist, and the three history albums- ‘No Pasaran’, ‘Never Be Defeated’ and ‘Headscarves and Hurricanes’- are individual gigs, each with a back story ripe for the telling. ‘No Pasaran’ is first up.

To watch this, and ALL ‘Live From T’Shed’ gigs, you need to join the Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

and be there at 8pm on the 16th.

Simple.

And yes, I will be playing the bonus tracks on the Special Edition reissue.

The gig is raising donations for Black Country Food Bank and there’s a dedicated GoFundMe page here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/joe-solo-live-from-shed-fundraiser

See you there ✊❤️👊

Live From T’Shed #1- STORMED IT.

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Last night’s ‘Live From T’Shed’ fundraiser was amazing, a truly memorable night that no-one was at but everyone was there.

I spent 2 hours and 47 minutes singing songs going back 29 years, all requests from you lot, and many way off my beaten track in terms of gig set lists. I absolutely loved every last second and the 1400 comments on the Facebook thread suggested I wasn’t the only one.

More importantly we smashed it for the cause.

My replacement laptop long ago covered by the fantastic response from you guys, on the night we raised £1435 for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham whose community outreach work is feeding up to 300 families a week; and the merch sales inspired by the gig pushed this week’s #LockdownSolidarity total to £540 for Dundee Food Bank.

Incredible.

Here’s some of the feedback:

It was such quality. There are a million and one livestreams out there at the moment, and some of them are very good and some of them are utter shite (like real life gigs), but that was as close as it gets to reconstructing an actual emotional-engaged gig. Whereas you’d normally get 30-40 mins, we got best part of three hours of pure storytelling gold. I have no idea how Joe managed to replicate an audience relationship built on emotion, through the medium of livestream, but fuck me he did. That was something powerful and meaningful and spot on right there. Superb.”

Next ‘Live From T’Shed’ gig will be a performance of the ‘No Pasaran’ album from 8pm on Saturday May 16th where we’ll be raising funds for Black Country Food Bank. 

#LockdownSolidarity this week will be supporting The Florrie in Liverpool. All merch is included so PLEASE bag a CD, download or t-shirt from Bandcamp and all money will be donated to The Florrie next weekend.

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

And if you want to watch my ‘Live From T’Shed’ gigs, just join the Facebook group at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

Last night’s live stream is there to catch-up.

Thanks for your continued support, folks. Never has it mattered more.

No Pasaran Poster

 

 

THIS SATURDAY- Live From T’Shed!!!

Live with times

This Saturday I’ll be live streaming a two-hour set from t’shed from 8pm sharp, and I’d love it if you can make it.

Easy to get in. You just join the Facebook group HERE:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

and be ready for an all-requests show going back through almost 30 years of my songbook. It will be quite an emotional journey and I’m proper looking forward to it.

The gig will be raising donations for Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham as part of We Shall Overcome #WSO2020. Rachel and the team there provide vital grassroots community outreach work there putting together 300 emergency food parcels per week.

You can donate here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/joe-solo039s-emergency-laptop-appeal

or here:

paypal.me/joesoloWSO

But most of all please support the gig and interact with likes and comments. And if you want a shout-out let me know during the set.

Can’t wait.

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#LockdownSolidarity

Being in lockdown has brought many things into focus for me, but perhaps the most troubling has been how to meet the growing need in our communities when my main source of fundraising has been cut off.

The need out there is greater than ever. With unemployment set to explode and a ‘furloughed’ workers trying to stretch 80% of their wage into 100% of their bills, demand on already stretched food banks has soared; and when that is coupled with a closure of support services, a grassroots emergency is unfolding invisibly, hidden by the emasculating presence of the international health crisis dominating the headlines.

Thankfully, the success of #WSOisolationfest last weekend has secured our operations over in Ashton-under-Lyne, allowing Pauline Town the freedom to continue daily food parcels to the homeless, the elderly, and those with crippling physical and mental health problems struggling so much to provide the basics of existence for themselves. Knowing Pauline is safe has been a massive weight off my shoulders this week, but that is one town, and the question I’ve been asking myself is how do I help the next?

Well, my ‘Live In T’Shed’ gig on Saturday May 2nd began life as a fundraiser to replace my poor stricken laptop, which bid a final farewell to the world in the dying minutes of last week’s festival; but your generosity has meant I have that covered already, so the donations over and above that are now heading to Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham, a place delivering emergency food parcels in the Midlands much as Pauline is doing in Greater Manchester. Turning this live stream from t’shed into a fully-blown We Shall Overcome event makes sense, and if it’s a success I will broadcast a monthly show from there until we’re out of lockdown and I can get out and gig again.

To donate please click:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/joe-solo039s-emergency-laptop-appeal

And to watch the gig join the group at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

But what else could be done?

Well, I decided yesterday to extend the #NotOnOurWatchCampaign from the ‘We Shall Overcome EP’ to include ALL Joe Solo CDs and backdate it to last Monday, so every penny raised from CD sales online will be donated weekly to a cause in urgent need. This will continue indefinitely, or at least until we can gig again and I can step up the help physically once again.

All titles are available from:

http://joesolomusic.bandcamp.com

and you can bag a CD knowing your contribution will have made a direct difference to someone’s life.

So there you have it, #LockdownSolidarity in a nutshell. Donate to the live stream, buy a CD, and you will be helping communities up and down the UK to combat the poverty restrictions of movement are inflicting on hundreds of thousands of people, because behind closed doors, this is the as yet invisible effect of Covid-19, and ultimately it could well be a bigger killer unless we fight it too.

Thanks folks x

Live From T’Shed

Originally planned as a fundraiser for a replacement for my poor defunct laptop, I will be live streaming a two hour gig from t’shed on Saturday May 2nd into a dedicated Facebook group.

The all-requests gig has now become a We Shall Overcome show, as thanks to the generosity of your support I quickly met the funding target so any money raised from today will be donated to Mesopotamia Cafe in Nottingham, a vital resource for those suffering in the local community and beyond.

Your requests span 29 years of songwriting, so I have my work cut out remembering some of it, but it will keep these idle hands occupied for two more weeks of lockdown, and beyond that, who knows, maybe they’ll let us out to play again.

Though I’m not holding my breath.

If you’d like to watch the live stream it will be into the Facebook group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/joesololivefromtshed/

And if you’d like to make a donation to the cafe, then the GoFundMe is here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/joe-solo039s-emergency-laptop-appeal

Thanks folks.

Best get rehearsing.