Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell on refugee crisis: ‘There is a severe lack of compassion among British people’

Her band, Peace, Swim Deep and Years & Years will play a charity gig next month

Wolf Alice singer Ellie Rowsell has hit at Britain’s apathy over the current refugee crisis.

Earlier this month, her band, Peace, Swim Deep and Years & Years announced plans for a charity gig in aid of refugee children.

Bands 4 Refugees will take place on December 5 and is also set to feature appearances from Slaves, Spector, Superfood, Black Honey and Bloody Knees.

Speaking about Britain’s response to the crisis Rowsell said: “The current refugee crisis opened my eyes to a frightening realisation about the severe lack of compassion amongst British people.

“That’s why we started Bands 4 Refugees, to reiterate that we stand in solidarity for the refugees, that we want Britain to rediscover its benevolence and that we will and we can come together to echo these feelings until our government finds its sense of urgency in what is the worst refugee crisis since World War II.”

The singer said the demolition of the Calais Jungle in France inspired her to organise the Band 4 Refugees gig.

We are currently living in a refugee crisis …

We are currently living in a refugee crisis unseen since the Second World War. The UN estimates that 63.5 million people are now refugees, seeking asylum, or internally displaced. On December 5th, at Kamio, we want to do as much as we can to try and help. Details: bit.ly/bands4refugees www.helprefugees.org.uk

“I thought: why aren’t people talking about this all the time? Why isn’t this a priority? It was weird that it wasn’t being seen as the biggest fucking emergency,” she told Time Out.

“I wondered how I could help. I have more Twitter followers than many people in government and I have all these friends in bands who care. We have this platform. It’s so simple. Put on a night that I would want to go to.”

All proceeds will be going to ‘HelpRefugees’, described as “a grassroots, humanitarian organisation during their winter campaign ‘Choose Love’.”

Rowsell said the night will see a core band made up from Swim Deep and Wolf Alice, with a rotating guitarist and singer bashing out cover anthems.

“The idea came after seeing members of Peace and Superfood perform hits for their friends’ birthday – as part of a supergroup called Radical Lasagne,” she explained. “We heard Nirvana, Oasis, Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’ and Cornershop’s ‘Brimful Of Asha’.”

She continued: “You can expect some Robbie Williams that’s for sure.”

Wolf Alice recently gave an update on progress on their next album, revealing that they’re hard at work writing new material and hopefully ‘have a few more surprises up their sleeves’.