Letter to The Maccabees

Dear Hugo and Felix

Last night I was invited to meet you backstage before your second sold out date at Brixton Academy.

I was invited by Lee, Celebrity and VIP Supporter Manager for the MS Society, who called out for fans associated with the charity who’d like to say hello and see you play, because you are big supporters of the cause.

Before the gig, I had heard your music but I didn’t know about your connection with MS. Lee sent me the Sunday Times article where you opened up about your mum and her illness, and I was very moved. You guys have had a really tough experience and I’m immensely grateful that you shared your story.

I have MS myself – that’s my connection. I recently joined the local branch committee and am learning to turn my inward facing fears into outward facing good. That’s where my energy comes from – I’m often scared and uncertain, and giving is the only way I know how to make it worth something.

As my wife and I waited for you to come on stage I thought about the other volunteers attending the meet and greet. Each had a different reason for being there, several with parents or friends with MS. I’m involved in all this whether I like it or not, but they have chosen to support the charity because they love someone with the disease.

Reading about your mum, and seeing the effort that you and others go to to raise awareness and money for MS Society made me realise just how much my illness affects my friends and family. It isn’t so much my MS, as ours.  I’m the one with the wobbly legs but it impacts my wife, my family, and friends and we all deal with it, together.

This realisation lifted me up, as I felt the support of a whole room, and later when your massive crowd chanted back to you with their hands in the air I imagined the support of all of them as well, extending to you and to me. The braver folks crowdsurfing stood out as a symbol of what I’d learned.

I’m very grateful to have met you all – you are lovely guys, and I want to thank you again for taking the time and energy to meet us personally and for all the fundraising and awareness work you do.  Your mum would be proud.


ps. You played an utterly brilliant gig – I’m off now to download your back catalogue…