The Super XLs (featuring dBs Plymouth’s Phin Head) haven’t let the constraints of social distancing get in the way of their work for charity.
The Super XLs are frequent fundraisers collecting money for charitable causes through public donations at their hugely popular David Bowie tribute concerts. Raising money this way started as a one off back in 2016. The concept later grew into an annual event collecting donations for St Luke's Hospice while celebrating the life and works of David Bowie. The band has since raised over £4000 for the charity.
The Super XLs
The band who comprise former dBs Music team members Mark Trewin and Leo Brown with Jon Stevens, Ben Nankivell and dBs Music's very own Phin Head are a grass routes act who usually play a selection of 70s & 80s covers and original material. Their core concept is simply celebrating great pieces of music live, with friends, for people to enjoy, ego free.
"At the first tribute concert the fundraising element was totally unplanned. During our normal gigs we often play 2 or 3 David Bowie songs alongside other Rock & Pop masterpieces from the 70s and 80s.
"In January 2016, shortly after Bowie passed away, we played a full tribute for the second half of a set which went down really well. With the show being so busy we decided to have a 'whip round' to donate to St Lukes. Having raised a substantial amount we saw the potential to help a cause that is close to us and it tuned into an annual event", explains dBs Plymouth tutor and band member Phin Head.
Having already hosted their annual Bowie event in January 2020 The Super XLs were booked to play a normal show in late March when social distancing restrictions were enforced. Not being deterred by the constraints of social distancing, the band felt compelled to remain creative and wanted to do something to help people during the lockdown period.
"A time of global upheaval, like the current COVID 19 outbreak, forces us to reappraise the values we place on people in society. We are in a situation where the treatment and value of frontline care workers has now been highlighted. We are now aware that frontline workers, like the staff at St Lukes, need of our support more than ever.
"For me it's quite personal because my niece is a frontline care worker and I also have a dear family member who is terminally ill being cared for at St Lukes Hospice. The arts turn existence into life again and we wanted to do something meaningful and enjoyable to support people.
"Heroes by David Bowie is one of his seminal classics. It's always a favourite during our shows. We wanted to help frontline workers, who are society's real heroes, so the idea of doing a live stream fundraiser 'Heroes for Heroes' was born, explains Phin.
Heroes for Heroes
The band recorded their rendition of David Bowie's Heroes at a distance. Each band member played and recorded their own part while capturing a video of the process at home. The final piece was edited by band member Jon Steven's son Nick and live streamed via YouTube on Sunday 3rd of May 2020. So far they have raised over £1500 from this fundraiser, which is their biggest total from any individual event so far.
Donations can be made through their Just Giving page with all of the money going to St Lukes.
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