A lot is being said recently about mental health crisis yet it still reminds a taboo. Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia) and addictive behaviours (drug use, alcohol dependence) carry a lot of stigma. People suffering from mental illness are often misunderstood, treated badly or even are subjected to prolonged abuse or bullying. hey are twice more likely to be physically or verbally attacked and receive less support in comparison to those who suffer from cancer or other long term illnesses. According to NHS, nearly 30% of all population of the United Kingdom suffers from or is declaring depression and mood swings. Almost 17% of women and 12% of men are prescribed medication for common and rare disorders. And while almost 80% of all females diagnosed with depression are seeking treatment, only 5% of men are doing the same. This has tragic consequences.
Boys are raised not to cry or show any emotions that could render them vulnerable. They have to be strong in every circumstances. If they are not, their masculinity and their worth are called into question. In a society where seeking help is considered a failure, man are dying. The statistics are shocking: three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35. 73% of adults who go missing are men. 87% of rough sleepers are men. Men are also three times more likely to abuse illegal substances in an attempt so self medicate.
On Monday, 24th of June, three of Manchester best bands: Cabage, Afghan Sand Gang and Thomas Haywood (representing The Blinders) came together to play a show at the legendary Night & Day Cafe in Manchester, to collect funds for the family of Liam Smith, a young man who lost his battle with depression in Australia.
The statement released before the concert read: “After the tragic death of our close friend and Mossley brother, Liam Smith, we Cabbage along with The Blinders and Afghan Sand Gang are hosting a fundraiser event at Night & Day Cafe on Monday 24th June. Liam lost his battle with mental health and took his own life on the other side of the world in Australia. This leaves his family in the predicament of an astronomical bill for his repatriation and funeral costs. So many people have been kind enough to donate a large portion of the 20k required to Liam’s Gofundme page, currently standing at £15,000. We are hoping our fundraiser can be the final donation required. Tickets on sale now from Gigs and Tours. A huge thank you in advance for anyone that can contribute and come along. This is also an urgent message to encourage people to speak out if they have any problems of their own and are suffering in silence. Cabbage x”
Tickets sold out within minutes and many people went to contribute to the donation page that is still open at: https://uk.gofundme.com/repatriation-amp-funeral-cost
If you’d like to donate, please do so as the family is undergoing an incredibly hard time and they will need a lot of support. Thank you!
Vanadian Avenue teamed up with Steve Hampson, Louder Than War magazine photographer to bring you a photo coverage of the event. We think that words are not necessary at all to describe what was happening. We want to show you the images taken that night. They speak for themselves. We would like to thank Steve for his images and for the ability to highlight this incredibly important event. We need to start talking about mental illness differently: without fear or blame. Only then, we can concentrate on fighting the common enemy.
Thomas Haywood (The Blinders)
Set list: “Ballad of Winston Smith”, “I Will Always Be Here Waiting For You” (original song), “Circles” (original song), “Phantom Lover” (third and last original song), “Ramona Flowers” and “Ballad of Tin Man” (Bob Dylan cover).
Afghan Sand Gang
Set list: “Mantra”, “Scribe”, “Envy”, “White Lies” “Glistener and Descension” and two new unnamed tracks.
Set list: “Uber Capitalist Death Trade”, “Arms Of Pleonexia”, “Terrorist Synthesizer”, “Dinner Lady”, “Kevin”, “Tell Me Lies About Manchester” (dedicated to Ray Boddington of the Piccadilly Rats), “Necroflat In The Palace”, “These Boots Were Made For Walking” (Nancy Sinatra cover)
Steve Hampson is one of Manchester’s premier music photographers. Music been a passion of his for as long as he can remember, since he was old enough to sneak into gigs down at the local pub. And his camera is something he’s never been able to live without. A Manc born and bred, Steve has been attending gigs in the city for over 30 years, and he is now following in the footsteps of outstanding photographers like Kevin Cummings. Steve loves nothing more than descending the steps into a dingy basement in the Northern Quarter and photographing the next big thing or one of the country’s most iconic acts. From The Who to The Courteeners, Alabama Shakes to Patti Smith, Steve is never far from the music.
Thank you to all who made this evening a success!