Muse back War Child charity special Brit Award after celebrity-studded show

 

It’s a reliable guide that the more worthwhile the cause, the worse the accompanying charity record will be. But War Child, the charity which bucked the trend by encouraging Radiohead, Damon Albarn and Coldplay to record some of their finest work, will tomorrow be honoured with a special Brit award.

Launched 20 years ago as a response to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina which left thousands of children starving, War Child has since brought relief to 800,000 children caught up in some of the world’s worst conflicts.

The charity is currently engaged in providing “Safe Spaces” for Syrian children and their families who have fled over the border into Lebanon to escape the conflict.

But as much as its charitable achievements War Child, which forged a close relationship with musicians from the start, is being recognised amid the glitzy excess of the Brit Awards, for bringing credibility to the charity record.

Asked to provide a song for the 1995 Help compilation album, for which all the songs were recorded and mixed in a day, Radiohead produced "Lucky", which subsequently became one of the band’s most acclaimed tracks. Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher formed a supergroup, the Smokin' Mojo Filters for a cover of the Beatles’ "Come Together".

Lily Allen, Oasis, Gorillaz and Coldplay are among the stars included in a new compilation album of War Child’s finest moments. Coldplay, Bono, The Killers and Gary Barlow once joined forces for a War Child concert.

Last night, Muse, who contributed a cover of "House of the Rising Sun", played an intimate show at the O2 Shepherd's Bush for War Child, attended by Rita Ora, Harry Styles and fashion model Carla Delevingne.

The charity’s musical history stirs artists to up their game, said Muse bass player Chris Wolstenholme. “People want to be involved with it. They do great work for children in war-torn countries but it’s also a great charity because it’s got such strong ties to music,” he said.

“When artists are approached to do things they want to give something of quality back. You know if a CD is going to raise money for this charity, you want to give something that’s worthy of being on it. It has to be something people want to listen to rather than other charities where people might do something a little half-arsed.”

Ben Knowles, Fundraising Director for War Child, said: “There is cynicism about celebrities supporting good causes. Since the Help album showed we’ve had a real commitment to quality from musicians. It shows in the standard of gigs we put together. They want to contribute something remarkable.”

The charity works on long-term projects in strife-torn countries once the bigger charity relief agencies have left.  It is currently active in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Uganda and Afghanistan.

“Charities move out but unfortunately the impact on children is generational,” Knowles said. In Syria, War Child is giving children a break from living around traumatised adults and trying to give them some form of regular education.

Wolstenholme, whose band are nominated for two Brit awards and will play live at the show, understands the cynicism some people have towards musicians-turned-social activists. “I’m sure there are people who do things for charity but don’t necessarily shout about it. I understand why some people think maybe people use charities to boost their own profile but I certainly don’t think that’s the case with Bono,” the bassist said. “We know U2 fairly well and having spent time with him, he’s just a passionate guy who wants to help people.”

War Child also claims to be different in that it asks the children it works with what kind of help programmes they want to participate in. “We formed as a response to Bosnia,” Knowles said. “Children were starving to death in the streets, lives were devastated by the conflict. We got in there without massive amounts of bureaucracy.

“We got disused bread-making trucks and drove them from Hammersmith to Mostar. Otherwise they’d have been starving on the streets. No matter how terrible the conflicts seem you can radically change lives of people who through no fault of their own get caught up in them.”

  • War Child receives the first Special Recognition Award at the Brits – The Brit Awards, ITV, Wednesday 8pm. To assist the Syria appeal text PROTECT3 to 70444 to automatically donate £3
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor