Interstellar Benefit for Syd Barrett by Escape Artists

Links -Tickets

Interstellar Event - Syd Barrett fund raiser

Tuesday July 13. Featuring Skinbat Scramble, All Schools Are Strange and Department S, plus DJ sets from Spencer Rocks. On Tuesday July 13, 93 Feet East will host ‘Interstellar’, a night for the benefit of the Syd Barrett Fund.

This event is part of the Syd Barrett Fund’s activity to mark forty years since Syd’s debut solo album was released, and follows a gig at the Tunbridge Wells Forum in June and a charity walk from London to Cambridge over Easter.

The Syd Barrett Fund was set up by Syd’s sister Rosemary Breen following his death in 2006. The fund exists to support the work of Escape Artists, a socially inclusive arts charity, based in Cambridge and London.

Interstellar will be opened by ‘Skinbat Scramble’, as they unleash a post punk, psychedelic wall of sound to get the night underway. Forming in the late 1970s as a prog goth electro psychedelic band from the Punk Scene of Medway and London, The Skinbats have seen numerous line-up changes; the current collective includes Karl Gent once of Mumm-Ra. Front man Mark Eason is a captivating performer, reciting his lyrics in a confrontational poetic style over experimental sounds and melodies provided by the guitar, bass and keys.

Next are ‘All Schools Are Strange’ who formed in 1982. Their music spans over many genres with hooky riffs and experimental lyrics. The band set up their own record label ‘Strange Music’ and released their first album ‘Beyond the Door’ in 1996. They have been described by the BBC as ‘having the song writing adventures of Rush and the panache of T. Rex.’ All Schools appeared at Camden’s Bolantine Bop in February 2010, an event which attracted fans from across the UK, the US, Germany, Sweden and Italy. Following Interstellar the band will head to the world-famous Edinburgh Festival this August.

Last but not least are reformed Post Punk/New Wave band Department S. Formed in 1980, evolving from Punk/Ska outfit Guns for Hire, Department S’s early career saw them enjoy success with the RCA released ‘Is Vic There’, which gained them a spot on ‘Top of the Pops’. The band also secured the Holy Grail of a Peel Session in 1980 and a number 1 hit in Spain. Splitting in 1982, the band reformed in 2007 and sold out the 100 Club early in 2010. Massive Barrett fans, Department S are writing a song for inclusion on their forth coming album about Syd, and are sure to bring ‘Interstellar’ at 93 Feet East to a memorable climax.

In between the bands, DJ Spencer Rocks will provide a soundtrack of 60s Garage, Psych and Punk tunes. Beginning his DJing career in 1994, Spencer has appeared at The Monarch, Laurel Tree, Forum, Astoria and as a guest at Blow Up. For five years he was a resident at the Time Tunnel (upstairs at The Wag on Wardour Street) and now plays the monthly charity event Unplanned Afternoons at the Alwhin in Islington. This won’t be Rocks’ first Syd event, having helped organise a Barrett tribute at The Social in 2006.

Event organizer Simon Webb says of the line up:

“All three bands have existed in one form or another since the late seventies or early eighties, with differing success levels along the way. All three now have the enjoyment of simply playing in front of an audience as their main goal in music, something which is very important for an event in the spirit of Syd Barrett, since it was the fun Syd got from music which was most important to him, rather than any success, fame or aclaim.”

Gaining enjoyment in Syd Barrett’s memory, whilst raising money for the Syd Barrett Fund is a key objective of Fund founder Rosemary Breen. One such project which will be displayed during the gig at 93 Feet East is an illustrated story, in the style of a children’s book. Created by an American art student Anna Cooper, the story combines the whimsy that was ever-present in Syd’s songs, as well as the struggle that comes from having too many possibilities from which to choose; a situation that both children and adults can relate to. Escape Artists are working with Anna to secure a publisher for her work, which would also raise money for the Syd Barrett Fund.

Expect energetic performances, psychedelic noise and perhaps a few cover versions of Syd’s inspirational work, that said, it wouldn’t be a tribute to Syd Barrett if we knew exactly what was going to happen.

Tickets are £5, and can be bought here:

As well as on the night, also £5.

For more on the Syd Barrett Fund visit

The event’s Facebook page is here: