Punk icon gives gig cash to flood victims

Patti Smith
Patti Smith

Internationally renowned punk legend Patti Smith will aid Calder Valley flood victims by giving the proceeds of her one-off Hebden Bridge benefit concert to the relief fund.

The US icon is playing her smallest UK gig for decades next month at the Trades Club, which had its cellar flooded when the town was engulfed firstly by rising waters and then a devastating cloudburst just days later.

As soon as she heard of the damage the town suffered after the catastrophic floods Patti said she wanted all the profits to go to the Calder Valley Flood Relief Fund, said Trades Club entertainment boss Mal Campbell.

He said: “Patti has always made it clear this intimate gig would raise money for local causes, but when she heard about the floods that ripped the heart out of our town she told us the proceeds should go directly to help local people.

“The Trades are confident this sold-out gig will raise at least £3,000, which would double the money we have already raised to help our friends and neighbours who are rebuilding their lives.

“Patti has always been a generous supporter of worthy causes and we are touched a major star like her is making this generous gesture as people along the valley continue the recovery process.”

Chicago-born singer-songwriter Patti, 65, made her name with the landmark new-wave album Horses in the mid-1970s, which paved the way for the explosion of the New York punk rock scene. She had a worldwide smash hit with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Because The Night in 1978.

A long-time fan of the Brontes, she is playing the Trades gig after visiting Haworth, said Mal. Tickets for her gig on Saturday, September 8, were snapped up within minutes of going on sale.

Four weeks ago Trades Club bosses were thrilled to raise £3,000 with a benefit gig at which rocking ska band Owter Zeds and rhythm and blues outfit Mean Business gave their time for free.

The club revealed today that Welsh songstress Cerys Matthews would play two gigs on December 11 - Cerys by Candlelight - including a special matinee for children. See more details in next week’s edition.

l The Calder Valley Flood Relief Fund, administered by the Community Foundation for Calderdale, now stands at more than £115,000. The closing date for applications is next Wednesday, August 22 - to apply, those who have suffered hardship due to the flooding need to go through a referral agency such as Customer First (0845 245 6000).

You can make a contribution online at www.localgiving.com/cffc

Patti Smith is not the first international musician to have helped victims of the floods over the summer.

Folk rock artist Julie Felix signed four posters which were auctioned for the flood appeal when she played at Heptonstall Methodist Chapel on June 30 as part of Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.