Chart-toppers Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott will perform their postponed intimate Christmas benefit gig at Manchester Academy tomorrow [Friday 19 January] [1].

Organised by campaign group HOPE Not Hate and sponsored by GMB, the Hope for Christmas will once more encourage gig-goers to donate goods for distribution by local food banks.

The gig was originally due to take place in December, but had to be postponed due to illness of Jacqui Abbott.

The rescheduled event is taking place this Friday 19th January at Manchester Academy 2.

Keeping their promise to reschedule as soon as Jacqui was better, the pair are now looking forward to raising money for campaigning group Hope Not Hate.

The gig is again sponsored by GMB and Hope for Christmas III will once more encourage all gig-goers to donate goods for local food banks.

Last year’s gig saw generous fans drop off over 4,500 food items and toiletries at Manchester’s Academy 2 – which is hosting the rescheduled event on Friday 19th January.

Paul and Jacqui and the band had great success with their number one album, Crooked Calypso, in 2017 and a packed sell out tour throughout 2017.

Paul Heaton, who previously led massive hitmakers The Beautiful South and The Housemartins, said:

“There are people in this country, be they on benefits or be they on low incomes, who simply cannot meet the rising cost of living.

“It falls to us to put our community values into practice – to stand up for those people and in solidarity with those who everyday go out of their way to make a difference.

“I believe in the concept of solidarity, not charity.last year people turned up clutching bags full of both everyday necessities and those luxuries that helped make Christmas what it is.It was brilliant. We hope to build on last year’s humbling response to our call for donations.”

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:

“GMB is again sponsoring this great community event. Austerity and hardship is getting worse.Many people using foodbanks are in work, but don’t earn enough to feed themselves.This is not about charity, this is about solidarity with those in our communities.

“We were all disappointed when the original gig before Christmas was cancelled, but we are delighted that Jacqui is well again.January is usually a poor month for collections for the foobanks. We are hoping to beat the previous record of collecting of over 4,500 items from the generosity of gig-goers.We ask those that are attending to bring tins, staples, pet foods, and sanitary products, their help makes a difference.”

Tickets for the 900-capacity show are on sale via the Manchester Academy website. They are expected to sell-out quickly given the venue’s relatively small capacity.


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