Some photos from The AutistiX gig at A Perfect Day Festival 2014 on 21st September. It was a perfect day with nice weather, lots of people, great audience, etc. The sound system was not so perfect, with the power going off twice but the band played on!
The AutistiX September 2014
'The AutistiX’ are a unique rock band that creates their own songs and performs covers from favourite bands. The band’s sound sets them apart, but so does their quirky performance, as their young members: Jack Beaven Duggan, Luke Steels and Saul Zur-Szpiro, all have autism. They are led by a talented singer and mentor, Jim Connelly, and joined by Jack's father, John and Saul's father, Michael.
The band was formed in April 2010, from a local group originally set up for young people with disabilities in Camden, London. They were talented musically but the young band members all have autism and other disabilities, causing some difficulties with social skills, making friends or finding the opportunity to be part of a band.
Coming together, they formed a band and named themselves ‘The AutistiX’ as they were keen to be recognised for their musical talent but accepting and proud of being musicians with autism. The band, as well as being creative and fun, provides opportunities to develop musically, personally and socially. Given that there are two dads in the band, it has also been nice for fathers and sons to bond through playing music together in the band.
The band writes original songs including ‘I can’t take it anymore’ ‘I guess I’ll see you’ and ‘Darkness World’ which was soon followed by ‘The Good and Bad in All of Us’ and ‘Hard to Reach’ and ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Massive Star’. The AutistiX launched our first EP ‘Butterflies and Demons’(the title was taken from a phrase in ‘I Can’t Take It Anymore’) in January 2014, to a packed out audience at the Monarch Pub in nearby Chalk Farm.
This young band is going from strength to strength, performing in many public gigs and local festivals, including numerous charity gigs for the National Autistic Society and a few months ago for Norwood, a leading charity for people with disabilities. We played before an audience of 1100 people who gave them a standing ovation. Our gig included an impromptu performance of the Beatles’ Help!, together with one of the dinner guests, Sir Tom Jones!!! More recently, The AutistiX were invited by Autism Guernsey and the NAS, Guernsey branch to Guernsey at the end of July 2014, to perform as part of their first ever Autism Awareness initiative. The gig there was a great success and we were also interviewed by BBC Guernsey and reviewed favourably in the Guernsey Press.
The band has performed with another band of musicians from Pamplona called Motxila 21, which includes musicians with Down’s Syndrome both on a multi city tour in Northern Spain in Spring 2013 and in London in August 2013. These projects were funded by the Europe wide ‘Youth-in-Action’ exchange project, run by the British Council, with the aim of promoting social inclusion. The London tour was called ‘Making Special Music’.
We are very well received whenever we play as people find our songs original and catchy, and are all the more impressed when they realise that the band includes musicians with autism! The band members are keen to be successful as musicians first, disabilities second. As well as working to be the best musicians we can be, we also aim to be an inspiration and role model of the abilities of people with disabilities, by showcasing the musical talent and potential of people with disabilities and the valuable contribution they have to make to society.
The band has been working on three new songs called ‘Get On The Plane’, ‘Something Better’ and the newest one, ‘Just The Same’. The band has just recording ‘Something Better’ and ‘Just the Same’ to be released soon as a free download ‘double ‘A’ side recording and EP. We are looking forward to performing again at The Monarch Pub on Thursday 13th November at our launch event for the new EP.
Follow the band - ‘theautistix’ on their website, facebook, twitter, soundcloud, spotify, youtube and itunes. For further information or to book the band, please contact Susan Zur-Szpiro at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message through facebook.
The AutistiX are performing at A Perfect Day Festival on Sunday 21st September on the main stage at 3.30pm. Come along for a fun afternoon!
The AutistiX next gig is at The Bubble Club at the Backyard Bar, 231 Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, E2 0EL on Wednesday 17th September. Hope to see many of you there to see our band and to celebrate 9 years of the Bubble Club!
The AutistiX had a great time in Guernsey where we were very kindly hosted by NAS Guernsey and Autism Guernsey as part of their mission to raise autism awareness. We had fun being interviewed on BBC Radio Guernsey by John Randall. The Fermain Tavern was a great venue and the crowd was very lively and really rocked to our music. They would love us to return and we would love to perform there again. Very friendly people living on the beautiful island of Guernsey. Special thanks to Catherine Hall for hearing about us on the Ambitious about Autism website and being a powerhouse in putting together the whole trip and gig. Also thanks to Anne Blondel from Autism Guernsey, and Stace Blondel from the excellent support band 'Stuck on the Ceiling'. It was great fun gigging with them after our set.
The AutistiX were busy in July and early August recording a double 'A' side at the Mowlem Street Studios recording 'Something Better' and 'Just the Same'. Look out for updates on the release date and launch gig date which are in the pipeline!
Head over to John Randall's show yesterday (17.7.14) on Radio Guernsey 1hr 43mins in to the broadcast, to hear Anne Blondel, NAS Coordinator, talking really eloquently about the excellent work of NAS Guernsey and our gig there on Saturday 26th July to help them to promote their work and Autism Awareness. 7.30pm at the Fermain Tavern £5 to get in - a bargain night out to support a very important cause, very close to our hearts!
The AutistiX are performing at The Fermain Tavern in Guernsey on July 26th - be there! https://www.facebook.com/thefermaintavern