With the war in Ukraine that Putin and his followers have started and have been brutally pursuing, there have been many people in other countries who have felt the need to support the victims of this war. One of these people is Ed Hallwood who is also known in local circles as Gramski, a freestyler. Never having put on an event before, his first was the fundraiser We Play for Ukraine.
It was an evening of varied music and poetry, local artists volunteering their services to Ed in order to make this happen. The audience were also varied and all were very friendly and welcoming. Despite the acts not being my normal cup of tea I enjoyed the majority of them and would like to see some again.
I rocked up at for doors at 7pm, to have a quick chat with Ed to get permission to shoot the night. I found one person already there waiting for the opening too. Neither of us had factored in “Brighton Time” which delays most things as soundchecks and other preparations overrun. We got chatting with the door person, friendly and helpful as most are nowadays. Eventually we got let in and found our way to the bar, where we chatted more. I found out that he was from Belorussia, one of many who had had to leave to escape their country’s despotic, Putin allied, leader. We both managed to chat with Ed and he was quickly added to the bill and I was let loose with the camera.
One of Ed’s friends, who had come along to support him is one of my students, and she was the only person I knew there. By the end of the evening I had made new acquaintances of most of the performers and a large number of the audience.
I only got to shoot the upstairs acts, downstairs there was an open mic, which I completely missed. Acts I shot were: Gramski (promoter, compere and performer); Shinanigators (band); Zhenya (last minute Belorussian addition – led the audience in singing a traditional Ukrainian song); David Pascoe (guitarist); Spliff Richard (poet); Alice Denny (poet); Teej (looping musician); Queen Mab (singer); AshKat (singer and all round lovely person); Ben Jammin (freestyler); Uffte (DJ); Freear (DJ); Tawny Facepunch (DJ); Fearful (DJ).