Bathroom sessions: music stars galvanise for WaterAid in a series of livestreamed sets from their loos

5 May 2020
Bathroom Sessions artwork
A line-up poster for online gig: bathroom sessions

The bathroom is the room with the best acoustics in the house and it's where our best ideas come to us while we’re lathering, rinsing, repeating – or on the toilet. We've got a lot of reasons to love toilets and taps. But globally, 1 in 10 people still don’t have access to clean water, and 1 in 4 don’t have access to a decent toilet. Clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene are essential to combat illnesses like COVID-19.

That’s why we partnered with Clash Magazine and music artists to raise money to reach the most vulnerable people by hosting performances from our favourite room in the home, the bathroom, in an online series of gigs called #BathroomSessions.

Here's a collection of highlights from the sessions:

You can catch all the performances on the Clash Facebook pageClash's Instagram page, from artists’ own social media channels or the YouTube playlist below. 

If you enjoyed the online gig, please donate to our COVID-19 appeal.

Here’s what happened, with session highlights and what some of the artists had to say:

7 May

Moyka / Niia / Lilla Vargen / Eliza / Kara Marni / Sarah Close / Nadia Rose / Melanie C

The first day of Bathroom Sessions kicked off with an all-female line up headlined by former Spice Girl, Melanie C.

Melanie C told us: “I’m really excited to be launching the #BathroomSessions for WaterAid; it’s great to be part of this unique online event that’s bringing together some amazing female talent while also raising money to help transform lives.

“Now more than ever we can appreciate the importance of good hygiene, and it's shocking to think millions of people in the world’s poorest communities don’t have clean water or handwashing facilities at home, putting their lives at risk.

“Women in particular are facing increased challenges in the current crisis, as they’re often responsible for collecting water and caring for family members who are sick. Together, we can help women and their families protect themselves against the spread of disease.”

British rapper and songwriter Nadia Rose also featured in the first night of Bathroom Sessions.

Nadia said: “The #BathroomSessions are a great way for people to come together during the lockdown and enjoy good music while also supporting a worthy cause, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.

"We’ve all heard how washing your hands with soap is vital to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus, but two in five people don’t have handwashing facilities at home, and so are particularly vulnerable to the spread of disease.

"By supporting WaterAid, we can help get clean water and good hygiene to families around the world so they can protect themselves now and in the future.”

8 May

KT Tunstall / Mae Muller / Rachel Chinouriri / April / Emily Burns / Aziya / Lioness / Annika Rose / Jessie Ware

BRIT and Ivor Novello Award winning Scottish Singer-Songwriter KT Tunstall who shot to fame with her singles 'Suddenly I See' and 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree' headlined Friday's Bathroom Session.

KT said: “I’m really proud to be headlining one of WaterAid’s Bathroom Sessions, uniting with a host of awesome female artists to create exclusive online sets packed full of great music for everyone at home to enjoy, while helping make a difference around the world.

“It’s unacceptable in 2020 that millions of people have no clean water at home, when it’s such a basic human right and so important for our health.

The money raised from the event will help WaterAid get clean water, handwashing facilities and good hygiene education to vulnerable communities around the world, as well as helping in the fight against COVID-19.”

Jessie Ware played a stellar set from her bath tub on Friday 8 May:

12 May

Bomba Estéreo x Crystal Fighters x The Busy Twist / Pixie Lott / Annika Rose / Joy Crookes / Poppy Ajudha / Josh Barry / K Stewart / Maverick Sabre / Reuben James / Rhys Lewis / Christy

Tuesday's line-up featured an eclectic mix of soul, R&B, jazz, dance and pop. Watch some of the highlights:


15 May

High Contrast / Skibadee / Fabio and Grooverider / Bushwacka / Groove Armada / Elderbrook / Eli & Fur / KOKO

Friday night felt almost as good as a night out with an electronic line-up. Here's some hightlights from High Contrast's set:

And here's some hightlights and a message from Andy Cato from Groove Armada:

18 May

Stonebwoy / Kranium / JP Cooper / Arlo Parks / Jelani Blackman / Ladipoe / JONES

Our final and global session featured Kranium, who showed us just how good acoustics can be in the bathroom with his stunning vocals. We enjoyed them almost as much as his ornate toilet roll holder. 

Kranium said:

"Africa is a beautiful continent, I had the pleasure of performing in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and I visited South Africa. I know how supportive my African fans are, I love and appreciate their energy.

"However many people still do not have access to clean water or a toilet, which impacts their health and causes lots of diseases."

"I’m performing as part of WaterAid’s #BathroomSessions with Clash Magazine to help them spread the message and help bring people lifesaving access to clean water and toilets.”

Check out all 36 performances of the #BathroomSessions on our full playlist: