Music world puts on 'thank you' gig in solidarity with Occupy London

Radiohead, Massive Attack and UNKLE play in bank basement, and resulting 'pay what you want' album will help fund movement

Music stars put on a gig in the basement of a London bank to raise money for the worldwide Occupy movement.

The gig, which featured DJ sets from Radiohead's Thom Yorke and 3D from Massive Attack, along with members of the band UNKLE, was held in an abandoned complex owned by Swiss banking giant UBS in east London.

With an invited audience of 100, the gig was a "thank you" from musicians to the movement, said its organisers.

The complex was taken over by the Occupy London movement three weeks ago and transformed into the Bank of Ideas; it is being used by up to 30 groups who have faced cuts to their services.

Organisers added that the concert was recorded and would be put on an album and soon be available on a "pay what you want" basis from the Occupation Records label.

Money would be distributed to the UK Occupy movement and to encampments around the world.

Occupy spokesman Ronan McNern said: "Artists are doing this in solidarity with the Occupy movement. It's tremendous … and hopefully it will be the first of many concerts."

Poets, dancers and comedians also performed to a packed room, and during the electronica and dub set lasting for two hours the crowd held up a banner which read: "This is just the beginning". Yorke had had to cancel a previous gig for Occupy Wall Street in New York when the crowd grew too large for him to perform.

Concert organiser Adam Fiztmaurice said the show had taken a fortnight to set up, but was just one cultural response to economic injustice.

"Yesterday I was meeting with clergy, and today it is with rock stars. The Occupy movement has so many cultures and this is just a snap shot of what we are doing," he said.

The Bank of Ideas will discover on Wednesday out whether they are to be evicted when judgment is delivered in the court of appeal in the Strand in central London.

In recent months, other celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Russell Brand, Vivienne Westwood and Alan Bennett have backed Occupy protests in the US and UK.


Shiv Malik

The GuardianTramp

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