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Rock Against Homelessness 2020: Fontaines DC thrill audience as almost €70,000 raised for charity

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Dublin band Fontaines DC

Dublin band Fontaines DC

Visionhaus

Dublin band Fontaines DC

FONTAINES DC aren't out to change the world, but tonight they delivered a blistering set to try and help raise funds to battle the homeless crisis.

The post-punk sensation carried on the legacy of The Boomtown Rats as they took to the stage last night to help fight one of the biting social issues of the age

Speaking to Independent.ie, backstage at tonight's Rock Against Homelessness gig, guitar player Carlos O'Connell said they were happy to help.

The Dublin band have been winning rave reviews with their debut album Dogrel and are tipped for huge success.

"It's not the reason we got into music, I'm not going to pretend it is," Carlos said, when asked about Bob Geldof's famous quote about the time when music and politics mixed.

We never really tried to be political, but obviously we are affected by politics personally like everyone is. Some of that is going to seep into the music.

"It's never been our aim to be a political band, to try and change the world."

But he said it was great to be able to contribute to a gig to raise funds for the homeless and to have a platform to attract people.

"It's quite an obvious problem and it's highlighted by a lot of different issues.

"We've been away so long and we're coming and going and we see how cities work.

"It really highlights when you see cities that work, where you don't see anyone homeless on the street, or it's very rare.

"I don't get angry that much but I get upset by it and just feel like you can't do anything about it," he said.

They headlined the night, with the five-piece delivering a blistering performance to a sold out crowd in the capital’s Olympia Theatre, in aid of Focus Ireland.

Among the other acts to entertain the crowd were The Murder Capital, Kneecap, Just Mustard, The Altered Hours, Melts, Stefan Murphy and Mary Wallopers.
Rock Against Homelessness is an annual event created and organised by Independent.ie, and Barry Egan, with tonight’s gig, MC’d by Today FM presenter and member of the Undertones, Paul McLoone.

"I'm so proud of the event. We're in our fifth year now and it has gone brilliantly," Egan said.

"We've raised almost €70,000 tonight, we plan to keep it going for as long as there is a homeless crisis.

"It seems to be getting worse rather than getting better."
Speaking ahead of the gig Pat Dennigan, chief executive of Focus Ireland, thanked all of the artists for giving their time.

"We're delighted with the support we get from an event like this. This is the fifth year, we're delighted with the way it's gone.

"We're delighted with the support of the Independent news group in all of this.

"I'd just like to say thank you to all the artists for giving their time," he told Independent.ie.

One of the youngest music fans at the event was aspiring actor Zack Egan-Ruane (14), who was working helping the bands.

In previous years at the event Zach, who has recently secured a part as a young James Joyce in a major production, was PA to Imelda May and Laura Whitmore.

"I was about 11 when I started acting. I love music as well, I love jazz, I love 80s music as well," he said.

Singer Stephan Murphy, who now lives in the US, travelled all the way just to do the gig.

"The homelessness thing has gone for being a problem, to a real problem, to a proper full on crisis," he said.

Ahead of the event Belfast-based rap act Kneecap described themselves as "angry as f**k" over the crisis.

"It would be great if it wasn’t needed. We’re p**sed off that shows like this are needed to help homelessness..."

Peter Vandermeersch, publisher of INM said: "A news organisation like ours obviously reports and analyses the news, but we try to do more than just stand at the side line of events.

"We feel responsible for our society and we want to support the less fortunate people in it. That’s why Independent.ie’s Rock Against Homelessness is such a crucial event for us."

"There are now nearly 4,000 children who are homeless in Ireland and it is truly shocking that three families – and some individuals - become homeless every single day nationwide," said Focus Ireland CEO, Pat Dennigan.

"This is unacceptable and wrong and we are working with families and individuals to help them.

"In such a crisis, events like Independent.ie’s Rock Against Homelessness really help to shine a spotlight on the issue and also raise vital funds for our services to support people who have lost their homes and to prevent others losing their homes in the first place."

Online Editors