Liane Carroll and Claire Martin play benefit appeal for suffragette statue in Brighton

Jon Newey
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Days before International Women’s Day on 8 March, two UK jazz vocal giants, Liane Carroll and Claire played a benefit appeal for a commemorative statue of suffragette Mary Clarke, sister of Emmeline Pankhurst, to be erected in Brighton

Liane Carroll and Claire Martin
Liane Carroll and Claire Martin

Mary Clarke was a member and activist of the Women’s Social and Political Union, which ran from 1903 to 1917 and campaigned for women’s right to vote in public elections. From 1909-1910 she was the Brighton organiser of the WSPU and was imprisoned three times following demonstrations and protests outside the Houses of Parliament. She died on Christmas Day 1910 of a brain haemorrhage two days after being released from prison where she was subjected to police violence and torture by forced feeding. She was the first suffragette to give her life to the cause.

Liane Carroll and Claire Martin topped the bill of the statue appeal ‘Double Standards’, which also included the all-female group Siren and female choir, Women of Note, on 4 March at St George’s Church, Brighton playing solo sets and duets in front of a lively, sold-out house. Covering a spirited repertoire of standards and contemporary songs, including ‘Picture in a Frame’ by Tom Waits and Mark Murphy’s ‘I Keep Going Back to Joe’s’, the evening ended with the entire audience joining them in a rousing celebration of Aretha Franklin’s ‘(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman’, written by Carole King.

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