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Musicians put their heads together for mental health charities

Event at Islington Academy, along with album release, follows former stage-hand Ian Sephton’s personal struggle

16 August, 2018 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Squeeze’s Chris Difford is among the acts confirmed for the Music Minds gig

A FORMER stage-hand’s aim to overcome mental health struggles will culminate in a special charity concert in Islington later this year.

Musicians are getting together to perform at Music Minds, to raise money and launch a special album in support of UK mental health charities.

The gig, at Islington Academy on World Mental Health Day (October 10), includes a line-up of more than 10 established acts and is launched by campaign co-ordinator Ian Sephton, who worked in the music industry as a stage-hand before embarking on a career in IT, and who suffered a breakdown in 2011.

He spent 10 weeks in a secure ward and had ECT shock treatment, struggling until August last year to overcome his condition. Ian decided a charity album for mental health would be a useful rehabilitation project and the seeds for October’s concert were planted.

Amongst the 11 acts confirmed for the night, which will be MC’d by comedian Steve Furst, appearing as the fictional Mayor of Kentish Town, are: Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders; Squeeze’s Chris Difford and Matt Deighton; Liverpool’s Thomas Lang, Philip Rambow, My Darling Clementine; Gypsyfingers featuring Mike Oldfield’s son Luke and Nick Judd, Niall Kelly, John J O’Sullivan, Les Glover & Pete Riley.

Ian Sephton

Ronan MacManus, who appears on the line-up and is the half-brother to Declan MacManus – aka Elvis Costello – has been sober for more than nine months after realising that drinking alcohol while performing was causing his depression, which affected his mental health and his creative output. He has also contributed song Satellite to the Music Minds Volume One album and will be appearing at the gig with his band Brand New Zeros.

Funds raised from the event will go to four chosen UK charities: Mind, Samaritans, Nordoff Robbins and Music Support.

More than 50 songs from established and new artists were contributed to the campaign, which may explain why the album to be launched in October is labelled Volume One. Many of the tracks are rare, unreleased or specially recorded.

The 11 acts performing on the night have each contributed a song and songs have also come from the likes of 10cc’s Graham Gouldman, Nik Kershaw, Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, The Christians’ Henry Priestman, Tom Robinson, Mari Wilson, Connie Lush, Rumer, Ian Shaw, Steve Rodgers (son of Free and Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers), Lily Garland, J.Chambers and Mumbai’s ONEmpire.

The CD boxset will be on sale at a special pre-release price on the night, ahead of its official release on Friday, October 12. An animated cartoon, showing tips for healthier minds, has been released on the Music Minds YouTube page to the soundtrack of a new version of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day with arrangement and instruments played by Steve Nieve and vocal performances by many of the contributing acts.

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