BANDS from as far as Japan are coming to a Warrington music venue as part of a movement to help those affected by austerity policies.

Old Town House in Buttermarket Street will be running a series of gigs under the ‘We Shall Overcome’ banner from Thursday, until Sunday.

At the same time Jen Burgess and Cait Costello, who run the pub, will be collecting food donations for Warrington Foodbank as well as cash donations for Room at the Inn and The Y Project, a charity that helps the vulnerable and homeless in the town.

Jen said: “We shall Overcome is a movement of musicians, artists and community organisers who are angry about the human costs of austerity policies and want to do something practical to help those affected.

“We want to raise awareness and money for those who are affected by it most. We are part of a much bigger group of people running these events –there have been upwards of 650 events now, in 142 different towns and cities across nine countries on three continents and the estimated £250,000 worth of food, cash, clothing, bedding and furniture raised has helped change lives up and down the country.”

We Shall Overcome will see around 10 artists play at Old Town House over four days.

That includes Oakman, a pop punk band from Lyon, France, and Callec Kuunatic, a synth-driven all girl punk rock group from Japan.

Jen, who is in a duo with Cait called Hello Mabel, added: “We are excited to have gig inquiries from so far afield and its great to be able to bring some international bands to our audiences.

“Both of us are musicians and are super passionate about original live music. There are so many talented people out there who deserve a platform to showcase what they are producing so we provide exactly that.

“The highlight for me so far was when we had Pizzatramp, a Welsh punk band on the stage not too long ago. I’m a fan anyway but just the energy of the whole gig and seeing a packed crowd having such a good time made me happy – it was just a really great atmosphere and that’s what its all about.”

It is not the first time Old Town House has mixed music and politics. The venue was used for two Rock For Corbyn gigs that raised money for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn.

Jen said: “Both gigs were a great success and both events had more than 200 people in attendance throughout the day.

"Whether 10 or 1,000 people turn up, its always heartening to see people coming out because they care about important political and social issues and want to contribute to positive change.”

The gigs are free but donations are requested for Warrington Foodbank and Room at the Inn and The Y Project