Southbound raises funds for bush fire victims

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The annual Southbound festival had to be cancelled due to the massive Waroona bush fire, but that didn’t stop the organisers and some of the best bands on the line-up coming together to raise money to help those affected by the fires.

The Southbound Fire Fundraiser saw local bands Koi Child, Birds of Tokyo and San Cisco team up with international headliners Bloc Party, Django Django and Disclosure to put on an outstanding show at HBF stadium.

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Local bands Koi Child and San Cisco warmed up the crowd. San Cisco, high on the success of their second album were warmly welcomed by the home town crowd, but it’s when Birds of Tokyo took to the stage the show really kicked off.

Walking on stage to the theme of Star Wars, Birds of Tokyo worked their way through their greatest hits. Front man Ian Kenny reminded everyone why he has a stack of WAM ‘Best Male Vocalist’ awards under his belt.

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The band had some fun with the crowd adding a cover of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ to the set list, but it was their emotional delivery of ‘Lanterns’ that was the highlight of the night.

Backed by a projected images of firefighters and volunteers battling the blaze it left no doubt about who the true stars of the night were.

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For London’s Bloc Party the charity show allowed them to finish off their Australian tour. Lead singer Kele Okereke told the crowd the band was grateful for the opportunity to see their Western Australian fans and finish the tour in WA.

The band showcased tracks from their new album ‘Hymns’, which will be the band’s fifth album.  The show also marked the first WA appearance for new  band members Justin Harris and Louise Bartle. The bass player and drummer joined the band in 2015.

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Kele Okereke told the crowd that the band hoped their contribution helped, if even in a small way.

“When we saw news reports of the devastation caused by the fires we just wanted to help in some way if we could, so when the idea of the benefit concert was put to us it didn’t need a seconds thought, we just hope it will help in some small way,” Okereke said.

The night was closed off by electronic music duo Disclosure who provided a DJ set.

The event raised over 150,000 for the relief effort. Sunset Event’s director Dave Chitty thanked all the partons and businesses that showed support for the event.

“We were utterly overwhelmed at the willingness of local businesses, suppliers, staff and our local and international artists who dropped everything to make this event happen last night. The people of West Aus wasted no time throwing their support and money behind this event to help out our friends in the South West through this devastating time.” Mr Chitty said.

VenuesWest Chairman Richard Muirhead said it was wonderful to see so many people rallying to help fellow West Australians affected by the devastating South West bush fires.

“To put together a concert for 3,500 people in under two days is an amazing achievement. I commend everyone involved.” Mr Muirhead said.

“Staff at VenuesWest were overwhelmed with offers of support from businesses across a range of industries, without their support this event would not have been so successful”.

Ticket provider Moshtix are providing an option of people who had tickets to the festival to donate their refund to people affected by the fires. Donations can also be made via the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Fund

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Images: Graeme Watson Update: Monday 11th January 2016, 11:55am information on the amount of money raised was added to the story alongside quotes from Mr Chitty and Mr Muirhead.   

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