Brighton homeless charity Off The Fence are teaming up with Hoosiers frontman Irwin Sparkes for what promises to be a barnstormer of a show this month down at the Hove Club on Fourth Avenue.
Charities like Off The Fence have become more important than ever before. One in 78 people in Brighton is without a home. One in 78. It should shock you. And on top of the cost of living crisis the looming reprise of government austerity measures are set to exacerbate the frankly dire situation still further.
Established in 1993 and now in their 20th year, Off The Fence have expanded their original range of support systems to include outreach into local schools and the newly opened Gateway Centre, a safe space on Portland Road focused on supporting women who are experiencing challenges in their lives.
To keep up their incredible work in the current economic climate – to keep on supporting the city’s homeless community and its most vulnerable citizens – what Off The Fence really needs are donations. The charity came to Sparkes’ attention earlier this year when he saw a film made by twelve-year-old local musician Scarlett Chapman as they performed a gig together. He reached out to Off The Fence and, luckily for all of us, offered to put on a show.
Given that Sparkes and his band can claim a string of top ten records, this intimate show promises to be something pretty darned special. And with The Hoosiers hitting the road for a UK tour this summer, what an opportunity to catch this most energetic of frontman as a solo performer! We’re hoping for a greatest hits selection and, perhaps, brand new songs from The Hoosiers’ soon-to-be-released sixth studio album.
Irwin Sparkes at the Hove Club 24th April 2023
Photo courtesy of The Hoosiers
Words by Kat Bailey and Jason Warner