This Sunday sees the likes of Erol Alkan, Caribou, Damo Suzuki and 2ManyDJs take over XOYO in support of Japan's tsunami and earthquake victims
The newspapers might not put it on their front pages anymore and it's not the lead story on the TV news these days, but the humanitarian crisis in Japan is still very much happening; dead bodies are still found, the list of fatalities constantly grows, due to the escalating nuclear power plant crisis, thousands of people are living in makeshift homes, waiting to be allowed to return home. It's important that these people, even though they're not breaking news today, are not forgotten.
It was in that spirit that Robert Green, Kenichi Iwasa, Will Sweeney and Ayako Terashima started organising Stand Up For Japan straight after the catastrophe in March. The project's culmination, this Saturday at London's XOYO, is a club night with a stellar line-up, all of them donating their time and talent for the cause. Guests include 2ManyDJs, Andrew Weatherall, Damo Suzuki (live), The Horrors(DJs), Caribou DJ set, Erol Alkan, Skull Juice (live) plus many many more. We spoke to Robert Green about disaster and what can be done to help...
Dazed Digital: What's the skinny on the evening in question and the line-up?
Robert Green: We've managed to wrangle some amazing DJs and great bands – plus legendary Can vocalist, Damo Suzuki – into performing for us. We've focused the event so both floors cater for most tastes, but there's a crossover that makes sense to us as "curators". Except for the 'big names', there's Spider and the Flies (not sure they've even played live before) and Damo backed by Zongamin & Kenichi iwasa. Upstairs are Connan Mockasin and A-Line playing acoustic live, plus brilliant Rock'n'Roll, Soul, Psych, Mod, Punk, Latin, expect-bloody-anything DJs... In terms of line-up, it's a dream come true for us.
DD: How and what kind of impact do you feel this will have on Japan and its people?
Robert Green: It's totally horrendous and heartbreaking. I'm talking to my Japanese friends here and over there daily. It's devastating, such a massive loss of life. They're carrying themselves well, but everyone is obviously concerned because their infrastructure is in turmoil – there's daily quakes and tremors, power cuts – Japanese industry, imports and exports are crippled, tourism and jobs are drying-up ... there's food and medicine shortages in parts of a country that up until two months ago, when it was overtaken by China, was the world's second largest economy.
DD: Do they still need our help?
Robert Green: Ecologically and economically, I don't think a lot of people in the West have put two and two together. We just have to help Japan. People keep saying to me, "Do the Japanese need money?". Well yes, they do. So far the estimate is 25 TRILLION Yen to reconstruct, and Japan's been going through a quite a major recession. Plus no-one actually knows what's happening, or what will happen, at Fukashima – the area has been hit by three or four quakes over magnitude 6 since Friday. It's potentially extremely serious.
DD: How did the event come together?
Robert Green: I was watching the whole thing unfold on TV, online, listening to the radio just thinking ... "Holy F@*%!!!". I realised with, all the other crap going on in the world, at least we could make a gesture on this ... between my friends and me, we could round-up enough people to put on a decent night and make a few quid for Japan. I phoned Will Sweeney, Ayako Terashima,Kenichi Iwasa... the ball just got rolling. Like I said, it's only really a gesture. But so far we've raised a fair amount for Civic Force, a Japanese aid charity. Ayako spent a lot of time looking into this to make sure it didn't disappear down a bureaucratic black-hole at some massive NGO. They receive 100% of the £17 ticket face-value directly from sales through WeGotTickets.
Stand Up For Japan, XOYO, 32-7 Cowper Street, London, EC2, May 1, 2011, 5.30pm-1am