Homelessness is a complicated issue. It has neither a single cause nor a single solution and can affect anyone at any time.
FRAZER LOWRIE, self produced solo artist based in Nottingham, has just launched his much talked about EP Brittle Bones at Hockley’s much-loved Jamcafé. With all proceeds going to FRAMEWORK and EMMANUEL HOUSE, Lowrie is looking to raise money and awareness for these local charities who need our help.
Lowrie was introduced to Framework In November 2012, when he played at their event The Big Sleep Out. This locally founded organisation aims to change and save lives by preventing homelessness, stopping rough sleeping and providing new opportunities. To Lowrie's amazement, three hundred voluntary rough sleepers were out in the freezing cold, acting on their awareness by taking to the streets of Nottingham for the night, so that others didn't have to.
He had no idea how much he would be inspired, but this event allowed him to realise how big of an issue homelessness really is. Dismayed by his own ignorance and wanting to know more on the subject, he decided to do something more permanent to help. On following the event, Lowrie originally intended to make a documentary for his followers in the hope he could educate others about what he had encountered; on his search for answers, he found himself visiting Emmanuel House–the only full time day centre in the city.
This charity exists to support homeless and vulnerable people by providing acceptance, encouragement and daily support services; from hot meals and drinks, assistance in accessing benefits, community integration and getting help with finding a job, they strive without prejudice to support people on their journey towards a more stable life.
They were more than happy to help in answering his questions and correcting misconceptions with illuminating figures, as well as revealing the truth about street begging. The most alarming information was that of the financial constraints, also known as the council cuts. Having had their government funding withdrawn, they are now entirely dependent and barely surviving on donations from individuals, businesses and organisations. This as you can imagine is extremely difficult, considering the place costs about £300,000 to run a year.
Touched by the courageous and upbeat staff, Lowrie's visit left him with the motivation and determination to do something for them, and immediately decided to split any money raised between both charities responsible for his radical new perception. He doesn't consider his efforts as ground breaking, and he's aware that thousands of pounds are unlikely to be made, but he does hope that if nothing else awareness of homelessness is raised, and the importance of such charities is bought to the forefront of the publics' attention.
The EP itself, Brittle Bones, is a paralysing pitch-perfect playlist. Standouts being Brittle Bones and Lend Me Your Love, Lowrie's lyrics are poignantly heartfelt and therefore genuinely touching. Bringing every song to life with vigour, even in the simplest moments when it’s stripped down to his soothing vocals, the result is haunting. Both beautifully buoyant and bruised these emotive tracks successfully highlight the underlying issues in a downbeat manner and remains empathetic without being patronising; a real triumph. Tireless himself, and with the support he's been getting so far, one gets the impression that for Lowrie, this is just the start. These Nottingham musicians are proving to be worthy of the nationwide attention they are receiving.
This charity single is a product of Lowrie's personal reaction to an unbeknown cause, and was not just released to raise money but to speak out on the very real struggles that so many of us aren't aware of. His efforts alone are proof that anyone anywhere can help to make a difference. So put your hand in your Paypal pocket and take lead from Lowrie, make your difference today for a well deserving cause and help them continue the work they do. Now available from iTunes, Amazon or from his website.