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[11 JAN 02] PEOPLE : ROB HALLIGAN

Coventry Man Faces September 11th Loss With Music

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A Coventry man who lost his father in the September 11th disaster has turned to music to help get over his grief.

Rob HalliganRob Halligan's father, also called Rob, was working on the 99th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Centre when the second plane struck. Rob senior worked as a Re-insurance Broker for Aon Corp.

After visiting Ground Zero with his brother, Rob decided he wanted to do something to help. Being in a local band, Goldsmiths, he came up with the idea of holding a concert to raise funds.

Rob tells how it came about:

"I wanted to do something to help. I wanted to go to Ground Zero and help dig but you can't do that. I decided that the most powerful thing I could use was my music, so I looked for ways to use that."

First of all Rob wrote three songs in the weeks after September 11th in the hope of recording them. But then the idea of a local tribute concert came up.

"I had loads of ideas and this is the one that came out on top. I got together with some friends from work and a guy that I'd worked with before. We worked out the plan for Electric Raiser over a meeting in the pub. It's gone from there."

Rob continued:

"Nathan Davies got in touch when he heard about the idea. He manages a band called Myst who have played some key support slots for Toploader and the Supernaturals. Then we asked local band Purple Gang and River Deep from Southampton."

The other bands gladly agreed and along with Goldsmiths, the show was on the road.

"Once we had confirmed the line up I started getting calls from other bands who wanted to help out. We set up our team and started on the nitty gritty of organising the details. It's been a challenge but it will be worth it."

The money raised by the gig will be donated to the British Red Cross Afghan Appeal as Rob explained:

"I was initially going to donate to the US based charities. It seemed like the natural thing to do in the circumstances. But the American Red Cross were starting to use the funds elsewhere and the British Red Cross said the need was greater in Afghanistan.

"We are not at war with the Afghans. There is a massive humanitarian crisis affecting millions of innocent people and it's been made worse by the events of September 11th. So we decided to stay with the British Red Cross Afghan Appeal."

"We have a target to raise 5000 through this. That's going to come from ticket and programme sales and local sponsors. It's only scratching the surface of what really needs to be done but it's something."

The concert is being held Coventry Technical College Theatre and will feature four hours of live music from signed band Riverdeep, Liverpool indie band Supervision, fast rising stars Myst and Coventry's Purple Gang, plus a set from Rob Halligan himself.

The event takes place on Saturday 12 January, doors open at 6.30pm Tickets on the night will cost 7.50.

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