TWO Richmond brothers spurred on by personal tragedy will hold a special charity gig next month to raise money for a suicide prevention charity.
Twins Psy and Dan Harrison, of alternative hip-hop duo Ceiling Demons, chose to fundraise for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) after three of their close friends took their own lives.
The 26-year-olds want to highlight the support available for people who feel suicidal - particularly young men who are most at risk - by playing a special tribute gig at the Bishop Blaize in Richmond’s Market Place, on Friday December 18 at 8pm.
Dan said: “We chose CALM because it represents a cause that is close to our hearts
“The North of England exhibits some terrifying statistics, with a recent report by The Office of National Statistics showing that regions in the North East and Yorkshire hold the highest suicide rates in England.”
The twins said losing their friends not only had a profound impact on their personal lives, but also on their music, which critics have described as “powerful and soul-stirring”.
“From an early age we are taught to ‘man-up’ and suppress our emotions”Dan Demon
Ceiling Demons was born out of bereavement, Psy added: “It was a catalyst for the project and is a cathartic outlet for us to pay homage to our friends while continuing to represent them.
“There is a vast amount of help available through charities and services such as CALM, Mind, PAPYRUS and the Samaritans.”
Ceiling Demons released their first EP in December 2012 followed by a video for ‘Lord, I Must Be Strong Now’ in January 2013, and also secured slots on BBC Introducing programmes in York, Teeside and Leeds.
Committed to the charity’s cause, last November the duo released a single called ‘Every Step is Moving Me Up’, in conjunction with fellow musicians ‘Fold’, with all proceeds going to CALM.
Dan added: “It may be hard to admit that you need help, but the true courage occurs when you actually seek it. These services can be a vital first step as they offer anonymous support and advice, which can be crucial to alleviating the strain from anybody suffering in silence.”
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics in January showed the North East of England had the highest suicide rate of all other regions of the country for deaths registered in 2013.
The region suffered 13.8 deaths per 100,000 population, almost twice as high as London, which had the lowest rate of 7.9 per 100,000.
Overall, the UK suicide rate was 11.9 deaths per 100,000 population, with the male level more than three times higher than for females.
Psy and Dan believe societal expectations mean thousands of men throughout the Northeast could be suffering in silence.
Dan added: “We all possess a deep-rooted fear of vulnerability, but for men, especially in our culture, there is an ingrained expectation for us to be able to deal with and overcome this fear on our own accord.
“From an early age we are taught to ‘man-up’ and suppress our emotions, leaving us with a mindset that makes many men unable to speak out and obtain the help that is needed when they’re depressed or in a dark place.”
Ceiling Demons are keen to highlight the support available for anyone suffering with suicidal thoughts, and hope their gig on Friday December 18 at the Bishop Blaize, Richmond, will raise awareness and feture sets from Rantin Richie, Outside Your House, Trinity Lo Fi and DJ Lazy Dave.
Entry to the event is free of charge and a raffle and tombola will take place to raise money for CALM.
For further information about CALM and how to donate visit www.thecalmzone.net and for more on Ceiling Demons find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CeilingDemons or at ceilingdemons.bandcamp.com