Brit Row supports live community event, raising over £3,000 for charity

Britannia Row recently helped deliver sound for a community street party in Surrey, which raised over £3,000 for charities including Help Musicians UK and the Princess Alice Hospice.

Residents of Rythe Road in Claygate, Esher, came together to hold a socially distanced concert to mark the street’s centenary. Singer Annie Skates – Rami Malek’s vocal coach for the film Bohemian Rhapsody – and her husband, musical director Kennedy Aitchison (West End’s School of Rock, Susan Boyle, Riverdance) created a socially -distanced band to provide live entertainment and coined the weekend ‘Claygate Live’.  

Broadcast mixing veteran Toby Alington (The BRIT Awards, MTV EMAs) provided his services for free, as did the band and Brit Row, with the company’s Bryan Grant and Tom Brown assembling a small system, including an array of microphones, distro and cabling plus a package comprising 

L-Acoustics 112P Self-Powered Coaxial speakers for PA and vocal wedge monitors.

FOH and monitors ran in combination from Alington’s Yamaha DM2000 console. “It’s not really a PA desk,” says Alington, “but I know it so well it was quicker for me to use than try and teach an old broadcast/studio dog new tricks on a live desk.”

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Alington was tasked with mixing four 30-minute themed sets – Magical Musicals, Swingin’ Summer, Nashville Nuggets and Party Poppers. Attracting over 100 residents, the event raised over £3,000 for charity through raffles, auctions and donation buckets. The proceeds were split between Help Musicians – the independent UK charity for professional musicians – and the Princess Alice Hospice, which helps families coping with illness and bereavement.

Skates commented: “Help Musicians support at times of crisis and as all our musical colleagues are struggling with lack of income due to the effects of Covid-19, we felt this was a very suitable choice. The chosen hospice has cared for several residents from our road, so again we felt it was a very apt choice.”

Helping the weekender run smoothly, Brit Row’s Alfie Wilcox was on hand to assist. “Mixing from a position in the street wasn’t ideal, but it actually sounded brilliant,” explained Alington. “Alfie helped with the rigging and patching the system and was very knowledgeable and helpful – everything you’d expect from Brit Row.”