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IDLES, Portishead and more to unite for Ukraine at Bristol War Child gig

The fundraiser is set for May 2, with Portishead playing their first show since 2015

By Joe Goggins

Artwork for War Child's 'HELP!' fundraiser, April 2022
Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack has contributed exclusive artwork for the fundraiser. (Photo: Press)

IDLES and Portishead lead the artists set to play an intimate show in aid of War Child in Bristol next month.

The show at O2 Academy Bristol on May 2 will see those bands on a bill that also includes Billy Nomates, Katy J Pearson, Heavy Lungs, Wilderman, Willie J Healey and DJ Boac 45. It will be Portishead’s first show in seven years, and their only appearance anywhere in 2022. Billed ‘HELP!’, the concert’s proceeds will support War Child’s ongoing humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

600 pairs of tickets will be made available via a prize draw, which opens here today (April 7) at noon, and closes at midnight on April 24. The recommended donation is £10, which would guarantee three entries into the draw – you can enter an unlimited number of times. All donations to War Child between now and May 31 will be matched pound-for-pound by the UK government.

Local trip hop legends Portishead, who remain comprised of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley, will take to the stage for the first time since the 2015 Latitude Festival; their last album was 2008’s ‘Third’. In a press release, they said: “We are really pleased to be able to support the people of Ukraine by performing a few songs at this event in collaboration with the amazing War Child charity.”

IDLES frontman Joe Talbot added: “We have been kindly invited to play this show for the benefit of War Child. Please donate or sign up to this charity. We believe that nobody should endure war, especially children. Thank you.” The ‘HELP!’ show will be the band’s only hometown gig of 2022.

The head of War Child Records, Rich Clarke, thanked the artists involved for coming together for the event. “War Child is hugely grateful to the artist community for coming together to create this amazing night of live music at O2 Academy Bristol,” he said. “So many people have donated their time and energy to bring this show together and help War Child stand up for the rights of children affected by war in areas like Ukraine.”

Explaining War Child’s mission in the war-torn country, Clarke continued: “We deliver life-changing services and support in communities affected by conflicts to keep children safe and help them to heal and learn for the chance of a better future. The impact of the situation in Ukraine will affect an entire generation and there will be acutely vulnerable children who need our help to stay safe. The money raised by this gig will make sure that we can respond quickly to children who need that support right now.”

All entrants to the draw for tickets will receive a link to watch the full, six-hour show streamed live. Ticket winners will be chosen randomly on April 25. Also contributing to the event its Robert Del Naja, aka 3D of Massive Attack, who has contributed artwork to a range of exclusive merchandise to be made available on the night. He is already selling a new art print to aid the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund.