The Brain Charity takes Neurovision to London
Third Man London in Soho hosted the final of our for neurodivergent musicians
This summer Eurovision took over Liverpool and shone a light on its host city with a huge range of events. As the home of The Brain Charity’s headquarters entertained the globe on behalf of Ukraine, we were inspired to create our own version of the song contest – Neurovision.
Neurovision highlights neurodiversity in music and showcases the talents of neurodivergent artists. To bring our vision to life, we partnered with the record label of legendary rock star Jack White, Third Man London.
On the evening of Wednesday, 20th September, our top three performers and a host of excited attendees filled the Blue Basement at Third Man Records in Soho. Read on to find out how the night went!
Neurovision final at Third Man Records
A burst of colour punctured the rain-drenched streets of Soho on Wednesday as Third Man Records’ canary yellow shop front hoved into view.
Each of the neurodivergent artists appearing on the bill had already impressed judges with their original compositions and spent the past few months honing their songwriting skills to perform live on stage at Third Man London’s Blue Basement.
A palpable mixture of excitement and tension pervaded the green room where the artists worked out their final set lists post-sound check.
The Brain Charity’s Ali Barfield compered the evening and began by sharing information about our work supporting people with neurological conditions and championing neurodiversity.
Joshua Thomas Conn
First up was 15 year-old Joshua Thomas Conn from Hemel Hempstead.
Josh’s self-composure was reflected in his music, from the maturity of ‘Numb’ to a reworked version of ‘500 Words’, a song written when he was 13 and dealing with a diagnosis of dyslexia.
Josh’s soul-searching lyrics captivated the crowd, as he ended with ‘Arms of An Angel’.
The musical landscape shifted to a soul jazz groove as Sandstone Silver began his set.
With soaring vocals and catchy tunes, he got everyone dancing with his song ‘Capture the Moment’ and ended strongly with a song about his struggles with dyscalculia and ADHD in ‘Starlight Inspiration’.
Post-rock hardcover combo, Murdoch, took to the stage, apologising in advance to the assembled masses for their “loud and angry” music. The band started off the way they meant to continue with the blistering ‘Dolores’, which had the Blue Basement crowd hurtling towards the mosh pit.
With a lead singer who had received help and advice from The Brain Charity following a neurological seizure, Murdoch didn’t shy away from tough topics.
Their focused energy rocked the venue with cutting edge tracks like ‘Resent’ and their closing number, ‘Colours’.
A band to be reckoned with, Murdoch showed just how important neurodivergent artists are to the music business.
Everyone’s a winner
And with that, it was all over and the audience spilled out into the autumn air of soggy Soho.
It was an amazing night where all three performers were crowned winners. Each bravely poured their own experiences of neurodivergence into their music and shared it with our audience to raise awareness of neurodiversity.
A huge congratulations to each of our finalists who did themselves and The Brain Charity proud.
We would like to thank everyone who took part and joined us. A special thank you to the staff at Third Man London for making this such a wonderful night!