Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Plight Of Refugees Addressed In Powerful New Song & Video By Brighton-Based Musician Oli Spleen

Musician Oli Spleen is set to release Refugee, the third single from his forthcoming album, Still Life. 
Credit Oli Spleen

Oli says of the single:

"The song is one of my first attempts at a protest song. It highlights the plight of refugees who are drowning in our seas. Twenty seven people drowned off our shores last November in the worst tragedy of its kind.

"The song puts the listener and their loved ones adrift at sea, fearing drowning. It also contains a midsection sung in Russian by the fantastic Polina Shepherd. 

"It is a critique on the xenophobia which certain papers whip up and an attempt to hold governments and politicians accountable for contributing to the refugee crisis in the first place. 

"It is also a plea of empathy for the plight of others."


Oli has been working closely with refugee charities, particularly Hasting's Refugee Buddy Project of which Alex Kempton, their Operations and Campaign Manager, helped with the subject matter for the single's music video

Alex Kempton added: 

"The current refugee crisis is, in fact, a global humanitarian crisis. Despite the framing by the UK media, the numbers of people seeking refuge in the UK is actually down on previous years – in the year ending September 2021, the UK received fewer applications than it did in pre-pandemic 2019. 

"What has changed is that the routes being taken by people seeking refuge have shifted toward small boats crossing the Channel, making them far more visible to the public. 

"The increase in Channel crossings is a direct result of insufficient safe routes for people to seek refuge. 

"There is no way to claim asylum in the UK from outside the UK; you cannot simply walk into an Embassy or Consulate and claim asylum, you have to be in the UK. 

"Were the UK Government to open effective safe routes, for example to open the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme promised in September 2020, then people would not make the dangerous journey across the busiest shipping lane in the World. 

"To quote Warsan Shire "no one would put their children in a boat unless the sea is safer than the land."

The track, which features musicians Merlin, Polina Shepherd and Tristram Arnold, was recorded at Nest Studios, in Brighton. 

Refugee is a free download on Bandcamp prior to its release next month. CLICK HERE to listen to the single and for links to local refugee charities. Oli Spleen's forthcoming album, Still Life, will be launched at Brighton's Hope and Ruin on Friday 4th March 2022.

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Head First Acrobats return to the Brighton Fringe Festival with two spectacular shows, Railed for adults, and PreHysterical for children.

Hastings Fat Tuesday have teamed up with The Marina Fountain and The Prince Albert to bring Primal Scream to the White Rock Theatre for a special warm up show ahead of their Screamadelica live dates.

After collaborating with Noel Gallagher on the single Where's My Family Gone, Brighton-bound Andrew Cushin picked up the support of another iconic rock 'n' roller when Pete Doherty signed him to his Strap Originals label.

Building on the sample-based approach of their classic albums Since I Left You and Wildflower, but stepping boldly into new terrain, We Will Always Love You is the latest offering from Brighton-bound The Avalanches.
Credit Leigh Simpson

Barrie Kosky's highly anticipated new production of Poulenc's powerful opera Dialogues des Carmélites will premiere next summer at the 2023 Glyndebourne Festival. It was originally scheduled to appear at the event in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tens of thousands of fans will unite in Brighton to watch the World Cup 2022 on huge anti-glare screens with a world-class sound system, food, drinks and a proper big game atmosphere. 

Actor Michelle Collins chats ahead of her starring role in the comedy thriller Cluedo, the new play, directed by Mark Bell (The Play That Goes Wrong), which visits Theatre Royal Brighton from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th June.
Credit Jim Stephenson

Syrian architects Marwa Al-Sabouni and Ghassan Jansiz will bring a unique architectural element to this year's Brighton Festival by building a temporary community arts venue on Hove seafront in the form of a traditional Arabic arcade.

Brighton-bound Canadian songwriter and musician Leith Ross shared their new single We'll Never Have Sex, alongside a self-directed and produced video, after finding viral fame. 
Credit Olivia Rose

Mercury Prize 2020 winning Kiwanuka looks inward and out, across widescreen sonic landscapes constructed in recording studios in London, Los Angeles and New York, and provides a showcase for the honey-poured mahogany of Michael Kiwanuka's voice.
Credit Summer Dean

Before Dylan Thomas drank himself to death at the tender age of 39, he and his wife Caitlin (née Macnamara) were the great lovers who boozed, binged and brawled their way through the bars of Britain in the 30s and 40s mixing with fellow artists and the bohemian in-crowd, living on tick, behaving scandalously and being forgiven. Their marriage was stormy, passionate and explosive.

Comedian Jason Byrne - who brings his new show to The Old Market, Hove, this October - has not only had his heart unblocked and been given a new lease of life, but his whole career has been unblocked too! 

The artist Maggi Hambling will present her first exhibition at Glyndebourne at the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival, with support from Marlborough Gallery.

Soulful Edinburgh-born newcomer Brooke Combe will be support for Miles Kane when he plays Concorde 2, Brighton, this week.

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd