Never Mind the Bollocks: It’s Heavy Load!

The five members of heavy load raising a red flag (literally)

The five members of heavy load launching a red flag

Yesterday I saw the world premier of the brilliant documentary Heavy Load: A Film About Happiness at the Edmonton International Film Festival. It’s about the UK punkish band of the same name. They’re middle-aged punk rockers with a difference: the band started with the musical dreams of several individuals, each with some cognitive / learning impairment or other, to be in a band. Together with support staff Paul and Mick (guitars), Michael (drums and vocals), Simon (vocals) and Jim (guitar and vocals) formed Heavy Load over 10 years ago. The doc follows the band over about a 24 month period, culminating in their Stay Up Late Campaign last year, which highlighted a late night limitation of many of their audience members: they wanted to stay up late, and hear the band through to the end of the night, but the regime of staff support typically meant that many of them were leaving at 9pm or earlier. Hardly a punk rock night out!

You can check out the band’s website right here, or see more about the film over here, including the trailer for it. It’s a great film, and if you’re putting on or trundling out to a film fest, go see it! The UK premier is in London on Wednesday, together with some live performance energy.

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