A collection of notable pop and rock names from the British music scene will come together at the 02 Academy in Islington, north London, on 16 March at a Men United event to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
The night will be in memory of bassist and keyboard player Matt Irving, a friend of all those contributors, who died of the disease in April last year. The benefit will take place on what would have been his 66th birthday.
Chris Difford of Squeeze, former Average White Band frontman Hamish Stuart, hitmaker Nik Kershaw, writer-actor Lance Ellington and Paul Young’s band Los Pacaminos, in which Irving played, will all take part in the evening. All proceeds from the evening will go to Prostate Cancer UK, with tickets at £25 available here.
Irving played with a host of big names throughout his career, including Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Chris Rea and Paul Young. He was also in Squeeze’s live band in the late 1980s and early ’90s, and Difford, who underwent his own issues with prostate cancer last year, says: “Matt was a great bloke and it’s an honour to get up on stage in his memory. Over 10,000 men die of prostate cancer every year in the UK and I’m excited to be doing something that may help save a life.”
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK added: “Every hour one man like Matt loses his life to the disease here in the UK. And 42,000 men are diagnosed every single year. What better or more generous way to celebrate Matt’s life than by his mates getting together for a Men United jam.”
Stuart grew up with Irving in Glasgow. “Matt was my closest friend and a great guy, who was well loved in the musical community and his death touched a lot of people,” he said. “Hopefully through this concert in his honour, we can raise awareness a little further and go someway to saving other men from a similar fate.”