Musicians Against Homelessness today launch their 2018 campaign – the biggest to date.

The grass roots rock music movement, which has already raised more than £100,000 for homelessness charities, will run two months of fund-raising gigs later this year.

They have also hooked up with Foodies Festival – the UK’s most prestigious food and drink fest – and with the popular football tournament Celeb Soccer Six.

In addition, rock legends James have recorded an exclusive video of their hit ‘Sit Down’ to show support and raise awareness and funds for the cause.

The brilliant new version was filmed in December with composer Joe Duddell and a string quartet at the Albert Hall, Manchester.

Tim Booth said: Sit down is a song about empathy so we are really honoured and happy that this beautiful version, arranged by Joe Duddell , is being used to raise money for the homeless. We seem to be living in times of increasing inequality where all the safety nets that my generation took for granted have been taken away. I don't know how a person can hold their life together if they don't have a home, a cave, someplace safe they can call their own. It is too easy for us to look the other way. Thank you to the kind souls who are running this charitable organisation for not doing so.

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, the latest big name to become an MAH ambassador, said: “Homelessness has gone from being the dominant issue in our society to an unfolding crisis and national disaster.

“I’m proud to be an ambassador for this fabulous organisation – but there’s no longer the luxury of time to sit back. I encourage the UK to get right behind this and support Musicians Against Homelessness in any way that you can.”

This year's campaign includes:

* Two months of gigs this Autumn. MAH are appealing for people to join their ever-growing team of event managers and venues to put on gigs in every village, town and city throughout September and October. Every genre of music is encouraged from rock, punk, choirs, jazz, grime,classical, and indie and every type of venue is relevant.

*MAH will have stages at all of this year's Foodies events. Headline acts The Hoosiers, Toploader and Dodgy will be joined by more than 300 bands at festivals in Brighton, Bristol, London, Birmingham, Cheshire, Edinburgh and Oxford.

*Celeb Soccer Six kick off their 2018 events supporting the project with a star-studded football tournament and live music stage on 29th April at Mile End Stadium, London.

*Lindisfarne Festival is supporting the cause and will also feature an MAH acoustic stage showcasing up- coming talent.

*Star Shaped Club, champions of the Brit Pop era, will partner MAH with festivals in the Autumn featuring Ocean Colour Scene, Black Grape and more.

Other associations and partnerships will be announced soon.

MAH patron Alan McGee said: “Since we launched this project in 2016 I’ve been shocked to see the numbers of homeless on our streets rapidly increasing.

“We’re living in an inhumane society where suffering is common place and solutions are not forthcoming.

Thousands and thousands of people are homeless or living in abject poverty. We can't ignore this and hope that it goes away or fixes itself.

“It’s a sad indictment of society that we’ve become so desensitised that so many will just walk past people
who are literally dying on our streets. These people don’t have a place, or a voice.”

Co-founder Emma Rule added: “Musicians Against Homelessness was not set up to just shake buckets or play on sympathy, it was born of an idea to bring together thousands of musicians and music lovers to promote and support the cause through shared interests and talents.

“Our aim was to keep the subject in the news. We’re proud to support Crisis in their work to end homelessness, for good.”

More than 1,000 bands have played around 250 gigs for MAH since it launched. Recent Crisis research estimates that at any one time in 2016 across Britain:

9,100 people were sleeping rough
68,300 households were sofa surfing
19,300 households were living in unsuitable temporary accommodation 37,200 households were living in hostels
26,000 households were living in other circumstances, including:
8,900 households sleeping in tents, cars or on public transport 12,100 households living in squats
5,000 households in women’s refuges or winter night shelters

To stay up to date with news and to find out about running an event in September or October in your area, or to apply to perform, visit the Facebook page:

James ask that the public support MAH with a text donate to Crisis, details can be found on their video:

*Irvine Welsh's new novel Dead Men's trousers is published on 29th March. *