Ren Gill, a dynamic singer, guitarist and songwriter, was born in Wales. Known by his stage name, Ren, he came to attention on the pavements of bath where he played with an indie-pop band called Trick the Fox. Unfortunately, Ren fell ill and needed to return to his Brighton home, where he was bedridden for several years.
Stuck at home, Ren wrote songs and recorded music in his bedroom. Even though his underlying health problems were unresolved, Ren gradually regained sufficient strength to start busking on the streets of Brighton, often with his golden-voiced buddy, Sam Tomkins. Just listen to their stonking mash-up of The Weekend, James Brown and Alicia Keys.
Ren is renowned for his soulful singing and guitar playing, and he doesn’t disappoint. Who would guess that he was suffering from serious and debilitating ailments? He glows when he performs. Meanwhile, Sam Tomkins has an incredible vocal range, which he puts to good use. Tassie comments, “I feel like I should’ve paid to watch this. They are incredible!” In April 2018, Ren announced that he’d formed a new band. The Big Push would gain a reputation as one of the best busking bands in the world.
The Big Push’s Youtube videos were immensely popular. Pretty soon, the band was playing music venues and they embarked on a tour of the UK. The tour was interrupted by Covid19. When it resumed the band were booked to play their biggest gig yet, at the Brighton Dome, in September 2022. Shortly before the concert, The Big Push announced that the show would be their last. One of the reasons was Ren’s continued battle with Lyme Disease. Here is Sic Boi, Ren’s latest single, which addresses his health
Sic Boi was preceded by Hi Ren, an epic 8m35s track that also probed his health issues. Self-released, Hi Ren is a tour de force that showcases Ren’s versatility. It was so well received that Ren was invited to play at Glastonbury 2023, film festivals, and other major UK summer music festivals. Sick Boi has cemented his reputation.
Unfortunately, music festivals are not on Ren’s immediate horizon. On 28 January 2023, Ren commenced a Facebook post as follows: “I don’t know why I find it so hard to share this information, I guess because I never wanted to make my health problems my identity, I feel like Ren the person is so much more than Ren the health victim, but if this journey I’m on can help anyone else going through the same thing, it is worth swallowing my pride”. Ren proceeds to outline some of his autoimmune-disease-induced symptoms and the treatments to address them that he is receiving in Canada. A subsequent post, on 31 January, gives more details. Ren reported that the initial treatment, comprised of daily IVs, minor surgery and supportive treatments will take six months, which is significantly longer than he expected. Thereafter, he will need to return for follow-up tests and treatments. While he is optimistic about his recovery, Ren is obviously concerned by the cost of his treatment, which is exacerbated by his being in a different country, his need to Uber to the hospital every day, and his inability to busk or play shows.
To help fund his treatment, Ren has set up a go fund me account – you can visit it by clicking here. In return for support, Ren promises to record and release music when he is able. He concludes his message by saying, “The response to the last two songs, in particular, has brought me more joy than I can begin to express, so thank you for that”.
Ren is a vibrant, enthusiastic and vital musician. For those who are concerned about his health and treatment, Hi Ren addresses his situation with humour, flair, courage and skill. It is an incredible song in which Ren asserts his confidence that he will recover and prosper. Go Ren – we’re all behind you!