Music

Refugee Rhythms 2016 Preview

What are you doing this Thursday? Got a measly fiver spare? Fancy being an activist from your own SU, simply by ‘avin a dance, and learning what a ‘Dabke’ entails?

Cardiff STudent Action for Refugees (STAR) are holding a night of music, dancing and eating at Y Plas this Thursday, all in aid of the work they do here in Cardiff every week. On the line up are Bass12 and Afro Cluster, as well as some refugees and asylum seekers performing. There’ll then be 3 DJ sets ending the night, including Jack Landers aka TRIN.

refugee rhythms full line up

Bass12 are a street brass band, and can create a magical energy anywhere from a scatty Cardiff alleyway to a room full of tired students. The band themselves are huge, and deliver covers of popular songs using only brass instruments, having enough of a party on stage amongst themselves that it will be sure to resonate through the falafel filled room.

Afrocluster are just about to release the EP ‘We Don Land’, made possible by being part of the Horizons launch pad scheme, so they’re clearly impressing the right people. If you’ve not seen this (huge) soul driven afrobeat ensemble before, you’re in for a treat. They’ve filled venues from pint-sized Gwdihw to Clwb Ifor Bach at Swn festival with dancing feet for some time, and they’ve got 6music’s Tom Ravenscroft behind their backs if we’re not convincing enough ourselves. They played last years smaller refugee rhythms venue and this year we’re expecting new material and another performance where you feel qualified to unashamedly use the word ‘groove’ in normal conversation for days afterwards. You can see our interview with them at Swn festival here.

We’re expecting another performance where you feel qualified to unashamedly use the word ‘groove’ in normal conversation for days afterwards.

Afro Cluster
Afro Cluster

Three DJs will then be rounding off the night, with medics-by-day Tom Downs and Aaron Harris first up, who are linked to the soul party that is the Club Tropicana night at Gwdihw every month. Then Jack Landers, an Undertone resident otherwise known as TRIN, will round off the night while your feet can still shuffle.

It’s hard to know how to make a difference in a time when daily you hear about the struggles that real people face trying to flee from persecution to relative safety.

It’s hard to know how to make a difference in a time when you hear about the struggles that real people face every day trying to flee from persecution to relative safety. STAR Cardiff provides a simple and yet incredibly vital service to refugees in our own community. STAR drop in teaching happens every Wednesday at the Trinity Centre on Newport Road for 2 hours, where students help to teach refugees the English that’s required to be able to get by living in an entirely new country. It’s not just the teaching that is invaluable at STAR, but the social aspect as well, with regular peace feasts, beach trips and similar events providing friends, comfort and normality for refugees and asylum seekers.

It is said that music is a great healer, and it has the ability to be so powerful, especially now. Through fundraising, eating good food, and having the funkiest of dances with friends, I think we’re in for the most memorable of nights.

Tickets are simply £5 and you can buy them from the SU website if you’re a Cardiff Uni student or by messaging anyone on the facebook event, and the gig is of course free to asylum seekers and refugees, so if you know anyone who’d benefit from coming along then bring them with the promise of some fine falafel!

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