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Faulkner and Difford on board Busking Cancer’s big boat bash

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by Cancer Research UK | News

8 September 2010

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Singer songwriters Newton Faulkner and Chris Difford are the latest stars to join Rod Stewart and Suggs in backing a busking campaign for Cancer Research UK.
The pair are supporting Busking Cancer, a nationwide “gig” where bands, musicians and singers perform anywhere on the streets of Britain to raise money for the charity.

The flagship event in the Busking Cancer calendar is the Big Boat Bash on HMS Belfast on London’s River Thames on Friday September 10.

But Busking Cancer gigs, organised by supporters, are taking place all over Great Britain throughout September. More than 1,000 bands and musicians are expected to take part in Busking Cancer events during 2010. Anyone can take part, just register, organise an event – and play!

On HMS Belfast, Festival favourite Faulkner and Squeeze co-founder Difford will join a host of other bands and performers who will go back to their roots and play a largely acoustic set while the audience dances the night away in the shadow of Tower Bridge.

MC (Mistress of Ceremonies) for the night will be Absolute Radio’s Sarah Champion, recently named the “sexiest woman in radio”.

Busking Cancer started in 2006 with one man and his guitar under Waterloo Bridge and has since grown into a nationwide series of events that have so far raised more than £100,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Newton, who has had a string of hits including the massive Dream Catch Me and is a festival favourite, said: “I’m really happy to be getting involved in Busking Cancer. I like the concept because it’s so simple – play your music, raise money for such an important cause.

“I’ll be performing on HMS Belfast in London at the flagship event for Busking Cancer 2010. It looks set to be an incredible night of music and fundraising for a fantastic cause, Cancer Research UK, so please join me.”

Rod Stewart, who started his career busking and has himself undergone treatment for thyroid cancer, said: “Busking Cancer is not only spreading the music around but spreading the word about saving lives through Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. I’m a survivor of cancer, so the cause is very close to my heart.”

Suggs said: “If you love music, what better way is there to share it than by getting out there on the street and playing for a new and random audience?

“Music brings people together in a way that no other medium does so it’s a perfect way to unite people for this great cause.

“Every one of us is affected by cancer – if not now then we might be in the future – so it is worth the investment from all of us to ensure that we fight this thing together.

“Cancer Research UK saves lives – so get out there and sing about it with Busking Cancer!”

Suggs and Rod Stewart came on board as joint patrons of Busking Cancer and last year and attended the launch on HMS Belfast, along with other major musical names including The Feeling and Mutya Buena.

Busking Cancer 2010 involves four separate busking weeks and a fundraising target of £200,000.

Founder of Busking Cancer, Mark Warrick, said: “The combination of live music and a great cause is attracting a huge amount of interest around the country so we’re hoping that this year we will break through the £200,000 barrier.”

Co-founder Jamie Latty said: “The Big Boat Bash is the high profile event for the year and has attracted some fantastic names including Jamie West who was Young Busker of the Year last year and has just released his first single.

“But the real stars are the people for whom it’s not necessarily the day job and they just get out on the streets and do their stuff wherever they live. That’s the beauty of Busking Cancer – it’s so simple!”

Other performers at the Big Boat Bash include: Noemie Ducimetiere, Young Busker of the Year in the 2010 Rhythm of London Busking Underground competition and the lead singer of Gentle Mystics, beatboxers Layth and S30 and The Charlie Rivers Band.

More than 1,000 musicians, singers and performers have registered to take part in Busking Cancer gigs up and down Britain and beyond, this year.

As well as one-off acts, there are 130 Busking Cancer gigs scheduled and 40 schools taking part.

Busking Cancer is supported by guitar giants Fender and is thought to be the biggest event of its kind.

Tickets for Busking Cancer on HMS Belfast cost £15 and are available from:

For more information or to sign up to play a Busking Cancer gig, visit:


For further information contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 7061 8300