Bill Drummond sets up Haiti benefit concert in Norwich
John and Bill feel they may never see many of the Haiti students again
Norwich artist John Hirst and Bill Drummond from band The KLF organised a free Haiti benefit gig at the Norwich Playhouse on Sunday, 24 January 2010.
Norfolk acts The Neutrinos, Death of Death of Discotheque and BK and Dad played at the fund-raising concert.
John and Bill visited Haiti in December 2009 to record music with local children before the January earthquake.
"I had never seen poverty like I saw in Port-au-Prince and that was before the earthquake," said John.
"I can barely imagine what it must be like now. I met people with a seemingly unbreakable spirit who were committed to helping each other in whatever way possible," he added.
Bill Drummond, who is known for his solo work and music created with The KLF and K Foundation, along with John Hirst created a performance and recordings of The 17 Choir - made up of local children and residents in a Haiti school.
They were both amazed by the commitment and good humour of the participants in the face of abject poverty.
"This school was for the poorest of the poor and yet they were all bright eyed and enthusiastic performers," said Bill.
"They were smart, intelligent and had a thirst to learn. They were welcoming of us and open to all the ideas that we were working on," he added.
The human death toll of the Haiti earthquake quickly reached 200,000 people during January 2010 and the rate shows little sign of slowing into the coming weeks.
Karen Reilly, singer with The Neutrinos, urged people to come along to the concert and donate what they could during the show, to help the recovery operation in the earthquake-stricken republic.
"The fact that the people John and Bill worked with so recently are either dead or missing really brings home the message behind the headlines," she said.
"This is about individual people dying or suffering, people with friends, families and lovers," she added.
The free Haiti benefit took place on Sunday, 24 January 2010 at the Norwich Playhouse.
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