Live review

REPORT: Launch Event for ‘The 52 Card Trick’ at Word On The Water

Kora-player Seiko Susso at the 52 Card Trick launch event
Photo courtesy of Spirit Wrestlers

The 52 Card Trick by Pete Woosh and Independent Label Spirit Wrestlers
(Word On The Water. 26 February 2019. Report by Thomas Harvey)

The 52 Card Trick is a new music project courtesy of Pete Woosh (DiY Collective), bringing together musicians and artists across an eclectic mix of genres all in the name of cancer support and  supported by Nottingham-based independent label Spirit Wrestlers.

(It will consist of ‘a weekly-drop of music over 52 weeks to help raise funds and awareness for natural healing and holistic approaches to living with cancer, recovery, and prevention’. Full details and the Bandcamp link for purchasing/donating are in the press release, which LJN reproduces in full below. Ed.)

The launch event took place on a 1920s barge turned book shop The Word On Water. Underneath a crimson sky, we watched three diverse acts take to the roof of the boat, performing to expectant audience members and the many passers-by.

Opening the project launch was Gambian kora player Seikou Susso, whose hypnotic vocal tones rose above his plucking of the kora (an authentic African instrument played similarly like a harp). Following in his father’s footsteps of becoming a musician, Susso moved to the U.K. in 1991 so as to collaborate and share his culture and ancestry through poetry and art. Giving a remarkable performance, Susso’s kind nature was evident in his talking between songs in which he humbly showed his gratitude for those who had taken their time to come and support him and this project.

Three Body Trio followed suit as a free-jazz-inspired band whose combination of musical hardware, software and multi-instrumentation exclaimed a performance based on improvisation. Based in Nottingham, the band have been championed by independent record label Brownswood who are renowned for celebrating the buzzing talent of London’s jazz scene. The trio showcased a soundscape that was ever-evolving, and pins them as a band to watch. The trio sat cross-legged facing each other, seemingly connecting themselves musically as they synonymously connected to the audience and space around them.

Closing the event was electro-poet duo The Little Typists who are also from Nottingham. A contemporary reading of a lyrical narrative sounded above a progressive electronic beat that had audience members on their feet and in the spirits of the warm weather. Synthesisers and driving techno percussion complimented the randomness of the poetry immersing the audience members into a world of entrancement.

Whilst watching the performance on the grass above the canal I noticed that two organisers of the event were going around the audience in high spirits, handing out cards for the event. As one of them approached me it turned out to be no other than the event founder himself Pete Woosh. Hearing the enthusiasm radiating from him as we discussed the project was a highlight of the event for me. Seeing people giving themselves up and using music in support of positive change is something that should never be overlooked – especially when it comes hand in hand with talented musicians.

The 52 Card Trick is going to run across 52 weeks with a number of renowned musicians giving up their music for free in support of positive change. From the listing released today (and set out below), I’m particularly keen to hear:

Crazy P’s Hot Toddy
– Woosh’s own project 7000 Possibilities Of Existence with Andy Riley
The Amber Salon (AKA Ben Miles from Netflix series The Crown).

These are just to name a few of the artists on the list. Without doubt there will be others on this list  too. It involves many genres, and will bring discoveries across the board.

Three Body Trio
Photo courtesy of Spirit Wrestlers


“Spirit Wrestlers Present The 52 Card Trick

– The 52 Card Trick will raise awareness of natural cancer treatments and help fund three organisations working in the field

– Over 100 tracks will be released over 52 weeks

– Eclectic range of artists includes The 2 Bears’ Raf Rundell, DJ Nail (aka Neil Tolliday), Crazy P’s Hot Toddy, French producer Brawther, producer Red Rack’em, underground Kenyan artist DJ Raph, master kora player Seikou Susso, actor Ben Miles, Carcass ex-drummer Ken Owen, Japanese busker Yusuke Hasegawa, Gilles Peterson and Brownswood favourites Three Body Trio, and Sufi Qawwali group Shah e Maardan

1st March: DiY free-party collective’s Pete Woosh, now known as The Peaceful Ones, is announcing the launch of The 52 Card Trick, a weekly-drop of music over 52 weeks to help raise funds and awareness for natural healing and holistic approaches to living with cancer, recovery, and prevention.

From inter to outer-dimensional excursions, down-tempo to house-tempo, The 52 Card Trick will see between one and three tracks released each week via the Spirit Wrestlers record label, incorporating tracks that fit in with the project’s open ethos rather than any genre.

Featured artists include Raf Rundell, one half of DJ duo The 2 Bears, DJ Nail (aka Neil Tolliday), Crazy P’s Hot Toddy (aka Chris Todd), Parisian producer Brawther, producer and broadcaster Red Rack’em, Kaskade collaborator and singer/rapper Laura Lamn, Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby, Kenyan underground electronic artist DJ Raph, Inland Knights’ Andy Riley and Spirit Wrestlers Pete Woosh as 7000 Possibilities of Existence, DiY sound system’s Schmoov!, extreme metal band Carcass’ ex-drummer Ken Owen, Brownswood and Gilles Peterson favourites Three Body Trio, Gambian kora player Seikou Susso, Japanese busker Yusuke Hasegawa, electronic music artist Mark Fell and the emerging talent of his son Ryan Fell, techno wordsmiths The Little Typists, Mantis/DiY’s Brooks, Sufi Qawwali group Shah e Maardan, house producer Jamie Deep, Balearic records’ Coyote, drummer Sophie Fishwick, and spoken-word poetry from a collective of conscious poets including the Buddhist Punk and Potent C.

All artists have given their music free of charge and proceeds from the project will go to Together Against Cancer, Penny Brohn and A.C.T.S (Active Cancer Therapy Support); three organisations committed to helping those wishing take a holistic approach to their treatment.

During the project, Spirit Wrestlers will arrange a series of happenings tied with the four seasonal equinoxes and solstices and themed according to each one’s alchemical sign (Autumn is Earth, Spring is the Air, Summer is Fire and Winter is Water), taking place in sacred spaces chosen specially. There is also a Spirit Wrestlers YouTube channel to accompany the project featuring a uniquely designed digital deck of Spirit Wrestlers playing cards assigned to each week’s release: four suits, four seasons, four elements; 52 cards for 52 weeks.

In December 2015, Pete was diagnosed with highly aggressive head and neck cancer, and subsequently turned down chemotherapy and radiotherapy to embark on a path of self-learning and healing, using cannabis oils and other treatments. By sharing his experiences through The 52 Card Trick, he hopes to offer support, information, and funding for those thinking of taking a natural path.

Commenting on the project, Pete said “I decided to look into natural cancer treatments and plant medicines due to a personal belief that cancer can be managed naturally and holistically in ways which will have less impact on the individual. Having lived with cancer for over three years, I wanted to share what I’ve learned and signpost options available for those wishing to explore natural treatments. I also believe that the medicinal cannabis prescription should be rolled out and more NHS funding be made available for those seeking non-conventional treatments. ‘The 52 Card Trick’ seeks to raise awareness of this, while bringing musicians together to release some quality music along the way.”

Speaking on his involvement with The 52 Card Trick, Red Rack’em said, “Pete Woosh and the DiY crew were a massive inspiration for me and my friends as youngsters getting started in dance music during the late 90s in Nottingham. It was inspiring to see normal, friendly and down to earth people achieving so much and really taking good quality music to the people all over the world. I was quite shy back then but they were always friendly and welcoming – something which made me feel like I had something to offer too. This kind of lineage and kinship is one of the most important elements in the true values of the real club scene.”

A 2018 study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, predicted that 18 million people would be diagnosed with cancer and that 9 million of these would die as a result. This is a rise of 28% since the last report by the IARC in 2012 which put the figure at 14 million. The impact of this on our overworked health services cannot be ignored, and with confidence in conventional treatments continuing to diminish more and more people are taking their treatments into their own hands.

Individual tracks can be purchased for a minimum donation of £2, or fans can purchase an annual subscription for just £50 (over 100 tracks), via this Bandcamp  link.

Artists announced so far…

Raf Rundell
DJ Nail (AKA Neil Tolliday)
Crazy P’s Hot Toddy
Red Rack’em
DJ Raph
Steve Cobby
7000 Possibilities of Existence (Pete Woosh and Andy Riley)
Three Body Trio
Laura Lamn
Seikou Susso
Yusuke Hasegawa
Ryan Fell
Mark Fell
The Little Typists
The Amber Salon (AKA Ben Miles (Netflix’s The Crown))
Spandex (one half of The Little Typists)
Shah e Maardan
Jamie Deep
Ken Owen
Sophie Fishwick
Spoken word poetry from the Buddhist Punk and Potent C.”


The Little Typists at the launch
Photo courtesy of Spirit Wrestlers

Thomas Harvey lives in London working as a freelance journalist and musician at @iamvaughanmusic

LINKS: Spirit Wrestlers Website (with sign-up)
YouTube / Instagram / Twitter
Individual tracks can be purchased for a minimum donation of £2, or fans can purchase an annual subscription for just £50 (over 100 tracks), via this Bandcamp  link.

Categories: Live review

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