Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Music legends rally to save rock band Ultimate Thunder

From GoFundMe

The music industry has rallied around a rock band predominately made up of musicians with a learning disability after the group were stripped of vital charity funding.

The six members of Ultimate Thunder from Leeds have been playing together for over a decade and relied on financial support to pay for equipment and support staff.

Named by The Big Issue as ‘The Most Punk Rock Band in Britain’, Ultimate Thunder had national success with their debut self titled album, receiving praise from like of The Guardian, The BBC and Quietus.

A crowdfunding campaign has so far raised over £17,000 and backers include Tim Burgess from the Charlatans, Leeds band Yard Act and the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. All money raised by the fundraiser will be used to help the band start weekly rehearsals again and resume gigging.

Band backed by Tim Burgess

Tim recorded a special message for the band saying he had been listening to their first album and offered them the chance to play on stage with him at music and arts festival Kendal calling which takes place in the Lake District.

A community interest company has also been set up to support Ultimate Thunder and work with other artists who face “barriers to making music in the traditional industry”.

Band producer James Mabbett said: “The news came through on Saturday just after the gig, so we’ve only got one more rehearsal together booked. It’s going to be tough, it’s these guys’ lives – they live for making music and getting together.

“It’s not like a regular band, there’s a lot more organisation and people involved – it takes more time and it’s more expensive to run.”

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