Disabled musicians set to take Tramlines stage

Unique bands made up of musical artists with learning disabilities will be performing at the Tramlines festival this weekend.

The bands have been supported by the Under the Stars social enterprise in Sheffield, an organisation which runs weekly club nights and music workshops for people with learning disabilities.

The company helps train members to perform, play musical instruments, write their own songs and DJ.

Two bands, who formed in 2010, will be playing at the festival and have been preparing and rehearsing hard for the event.

They will be performing on the Peace Garden stage on Saturday and Sunday.

The Stars, who entertained crowds at last year’s festival, take their inspiration from rock music legends Metallica, Heaven 17 and AC/DC.

Sunday will see the debut Tramlines performance of The Clubland Detectives, who are ska fans and have blues influences.

The musicians are excited about their Tramlines performances and hope their music and talent inspires others.

Ben Lawrence, bass guitarist, said: “I have always wanted to be in a band and now I am, it’s a dream come true. I cannot wait for Tramlines, I hope lots of people come to watch us.”

Performer Rob McLean added: “It’s great fun being in a band. After tramlines we want to play Wembley Arena.

“ I wrote the first song we are going to play at Tramlines, but I can’t sing it because the lyrics are too emotional for me.

“It’s about being disabled and being treated with respect.”

Ruth Parrot, Under the Stars business manager, has supported the bands throughout the last two years. She said: “The band members are so excited about performing at Tramlines and have been putting all their energy into getting their sets ready.

“Tramlines has always been supportive of Under the Stars. It’s great it is giving the bands a chance to show their talents and celebrate what they have achieved. People with learning disabilities are often hidden in society and this is them saying we are here and we are talented.”

n Full guide to Tramlines in the centre of The Star today.