Heavy Load's UK premiere
Monday 01 September 2008
A documentary featuring Heavy Load - a band made up of musicians with and without a learning disability - will launch at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on 1 October. A special screening of 'Heavy Load: A film about happiness' will be following by a gig by the band to raise funds for their Stay Up Late campaign. The campaign, backed by Mencap, calls for flexible support for people with a learning disabity, so they can enjoy late night gigs and social events.
Heavy Load is Lewes' answer to the Ramones, a punk outfit subject to the inflammatory mix of ego, fantasy, and desire that fuels any emerging band. They're also, uniquely, made up of musicians with and without a learning disability, which makes the band's survival a precarious negotiation between two different worlds: on the one hand the institutional timetable of day centres, work placements and social workers; on the other the chaotic slacker life of rehearsal rooms, studios and gigs.
Specialising in thrash covers of late 70's punk - or punk versions of recent pop, Heavy Load is unlikely to have a top ten hit. ‘We like to take a classic song' says guitarist Mick, ‘and crucify it'. Their cacophonic reinterpretation of Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head possesses a frenzied anarchy that bears no resemblance to the disco original. On stage the band fizz with an energy that belies the expectations the world has of the ‘spaz' or the ‘moron' or the ‘idiot'. They survive through a combination of raucous energy, attitude and sheer volume.
Shot over two years when the band record their first album The Queen Mother's Dead, the film is a comedy of conflicting ambitions capturing the sweat and romance of playing in a band as they move out of disability club nights to test whether their dreams can survive in the mainstream.
Heavy Load is released in UK cinemas on 3rd October 2008
Date: 1st October 2008
6pm: Doors open
6.30pm: Heavy Load screening
8.30pm: Support Act TBC
9.30pm: Heavy Load set
DJ's in Bar
Open till 1am
Ticket prices: £15 - film and gig (carers go free), £8/£6 concessions - gig only
Venue: ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
Box office: 020 7930 3647 or http://www.ica.org.uk/
Disabled Access: The ICA has limited access. Please call the box office in advance to ensure your needs are met or visit www.ica.org.uk/access for further information
Notes to the editor:
The band members of Heavy Load and the director, Jerry Rothwell, will be available for interview on 1st October prior to the ICA launch.
Stay Up Late campaign
- Heavy Load started the Stay Up Late campaign after years of getting fed up with people with a learning disability leaving their gigs early because their support staff's shifts finish at 10pm.
- The filming of the band really gave the momentum needed to kick off an energetic campaign.
- Stay Up Late aims to make managers and support workers aware that people with a learning disability want more control over their lives and should be consulted when staff draw up rotas which affect things like how late they can stay out at gigs and club nights.
- ‘Stay Up Late' is backed by leading learning disability charity Mencap.
Heavy Load says:
"We want to stay up late ... we want to have some fun!"
For more information about the Stay Up Late campaign please go to http://www.heavyload.org.uk/