Fairtrade Awareness Gig;
Report and photographs by Boo
53 Degrees in Preston, 3rd October 2007
Further to previous successful evenings to promote the good work of The Fairtrade Foundation, Starsailor embarked on a mini tour of UK towns and cities that have already attained or are striving towards the status of 'Fairtrade Town'. The town status is attainted when the local community and governing councils have demonstrated an appropriate level of Fairtrade awareness, by meeting 5 Fairtrade criteria.
The 9 date tour started in Huddersfield on the last day of September and traveled to Edinburgh, Middlesbrough, Preston, Warrington, Chesterfield, Southampton, Northampton and concluded in Bath on 10th October 2007. Starsailor were supported by Scars on 45 who have supported them previously as Jeepster. The gig comprised two halves, an acoustic set with James on his own, followed by a full-on electric set with the whole band.
Fairtrade is a good thing ~ 10 reasons why:
- Sales of Fairtrade marked products have grown substantially year on year - topping £195m in 2005, six times more than in 2000;
- An estimated 5 million people in 58 developing countries now benefit from Fairtrade - as families of the 1 million traders and growers now directly registered;
- The UK represents the biggest Fairtrade market to date;
- There are now over 1500 Fairtrade marked products available in the UK, including rice, cotton, flowers, spices, fruits, wines, coffee and cocoa products and more recently, sports balls;
- MORI ascertained that 50% of UK shoppers now recognise the Fairtrade mark;
- Fairtrade not only ensures fair prices for independent growers of crops like fruits and coffee, but ensures better pay and conditions for estate workers on plantations (better housing and union representation) and helps set up contracts for independent growers to assist long term planning;
- To be fully certified as Fairtrade, a product must comprise at least 50% (by dry ingredient weight) Fairtrade components;
- Whole communities benefit from the increased prosperity of Fairtrade farmers and co-operatives; with water pumps, sanitation and support for local sports teams and schools;
- The environment is better protected by Fairtrade's environmental criteria for traders;
- The Fairtrade Mark is the only independent consumer guarantee of fair trade, working to a set of internationally-agreed criteria. Fairtrade worldwide is independently assessed and monitored.
The 2 minute gig summary:
- Support band Scars on 45 did a great opening set;
- James did a half hour acoustic set, including a spine-tingling Fever then Lullaby, Born Again and new song Wrong Side of Love;
- The band joined him for a further hour electric set, starting with the loudly audience-accompanied Poor Misguided Fool;
- New song Tell Me It's Not Over was very well received, as was the rave version of Four to the Floor;
- Barry was as elusive as ever - I seriously need to increase my payments to the lighting crew. Or grow 2 feet taller;
- James thanked the 'pissed up' members of the audience who manfully attempted to sing along to the new songs they'd never even heard before;
- The guest of honour was James's Grandma Mavis - A&R Grandma - she even gave interviews;
- Long-time Starsailor guitar tech Les had just become a Dad. Ah bless, congratulations to the family;
- James declared that it was probably the nearest thing to a home town gig for him, bearing in mind there probably wasn't a suitable venue in Chorley - I think that's the gist of what he said;
- James said the Preston gig was the best so far, but he'd better not slag off any particular town, as people would sign up to the message board to complain;
- We variously got snippets of covers Umbrella, Tomorrow Never Knows and Dancing Queen;
- James introduced In The Crossfire saying that it could well be about a Saturday night in Chorley;
- The set concluded with a thundering Good Souls with an encore of an equally thundering Silence is Easy.
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