Music 4 Mental Health: Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, Ella Eyre, and more... | Roundhouse
WHOLE is an organisation providing mental health services in the creative industries, founded by one half of Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens. The organisation hosted a huge gig to support the cause at Camden Roundhouse’s main stage with an all star line up curated by Jordan himself.
Ed Sheeran opened the night, and was certainly the main pull of such a large audience who sold out the event in minutes. Performing his largest hits spanning his entire career from A-Team to Thinking Out Loud to Shape of You, as well as a special-occasion rendition of Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ which Sheeran penned himself, he delivered one of the most special sets of the night. But he never let his top notch music distract from the cause, and encouraged support of the WHOLE cause and ‘circle’ on the hand, which represents the charity’s slogan “#IAMWHOLE.” This was augmented by Jordan also interviewing the artists between their sets up about their experience with mental health and advice for the audience to take away.
Sheeran set the tone for what was to be a largely acoustic night, with pop stars like Anne-Marie, Ella Eyre and Olly Murs and James Arthur playing their biggest hits with merely an acoustic guitar and keys behind them. This encouraged the homely, gentle vibe the night aimed to have, where audience enjoyed their favourite hits, but not in a Capital Summertime Ball intensity, mental health being at the core of each performance as each artist took the opportunity to share their struggles.
Anne-Marie in particular, amongst performances of her hits 2002, Don’t Leave Me Alone, and F.R.I.E.N.D.S, did a particularly impactful performance of ‘Perfect,’ addressing her insecurities and her way of dealing with them, where the audience were asked to cheer every time they related with something she listed (“I eat my body weight in chocolate and ice-cream” had quite the uproar!).
Other performers included newer artists on the scene like heavier rock bands Nothing But Thieves and Louis Berry, and conversely, also featured spoken word artists and poets delivering more intimate performances.
The concert also had a private pre-event which saw a panel event with Jordan, Loyle Carner, Alex of Love Island who is also a doctor at an NHS hospital, Matt Campion, and members of the partner charities YMCA, The Mix, and CALM.
Music 4 Mental Health was an important and impactful event which hopefully not only raised awareness for a cause, but allowed the audience themselves to take away some important preventative tips for maintaining healthy mental health.
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