Each day in the United Kingdom, six teenagers find out that they have cancer. Cancer often spreads rapidly in teenagers on account of their growth spurts and it is the leading cause of non-accidental death in the UK. Teenage cancer patients are often put in wards with small children or the elderly where they are not amongst their peers and not necessarily treated by experts in teenage cancer.
Teenage Cancer Trust provide ten specialist units in NHS hospitals across the United Kingdom. With bright and colourful surroundings, the units are designed to be comfortable for both patients and their families. They can interact with their peers, play computer games, and watch TV while still being treated by specialists in the field of teenage cancer. The Teenager Cancer Trust aims to build enough units by 2012 so that every teenager in the UK will have access to the specialist care that they provide.
Each year since 2000, Teenage Cancer Trust has held a series of fundraisers at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Roger Daltrey of The Who explains that music is everything to teenagers and the whole music business is built on the backs of teenagers. But your life drastically changes when you are diagnosed with cancer. Teenager Cancer Trust exists so that the lives of young people with cancer are not defined or limited by their cancer.
The 2011 Teenager Cancer Trust gigs at the Royal Albert Hall ran from Monday 21 to Sunday 27 March and included acts such as Biffy Clyro, Roger Daltrey, Tinie Tempah, and Beady Eye. We went along on the evening of March 26 to catch Editors supported by I Am Arrows and Wolf Gang.
I Am Arrows
I was initially pleased to see a band I recognised in the supporting line up as I had seen I Am Arrows performing at Wembley. Unfortunately, they gave a lukewarm performance which was worsened by frontman Andy Burrows (formerly of Razorlight) grumbling at the crowd and condescending that no one there knew their music. Obviously Andy Burrows doesn’t realise that many music fans go to live events to discover new bands and three of my greatest music obsessions of all time started with me discovering them at live concerts (PJ Harvey, The Parlotones, and Kawasaki 3P).
Whereas I Am Arrows had been dull and boring, Wolf Gang were energetic and upbeat. They had a great attitude too and played their hearts out. Unfortunately, they weren’t very good at it. Fronted by Max McElligott, Wolf Gang are meant to sound like David Bowie or Talking Heads but just sound like a really bad, early-eighties tribute band with a dodgy sense of style. Top points for trying though and at least they smiled and seemed happy to be there.