Now available to download from iTunes:
The Beathovens is the only band in the UK whose members are all on the autism spectrum and are living in full time care.
Now, nearly twenty years after its formation, the band is releasing its first ever single, a Christmas song called Warmed Hearts and Wine which is available on iTunes from 12 December. Also available will be two further singles from the band, Growing up in the Seventies and My Life.
The Beathovens have a long history of smashing expectations and breaking stereotypes, writing their own songs and performing live with panache. They’ve perfected their own style – an individual twist of rap- rock – and have played with Jools Holland twice – at Cambridge University in 2006 and the Savoy Theatre in 2008 – and appeared at a Welsh music festival with Bob Geldof in 2003. In 2007 they won a regional battle of the bands contest. They’ve even played at Glastonbury.
The seven-strong band meets weekly to practice at a church in Bromborough, Wirral, under the guidance of performing arts specialists from charity Autism Together, which supports around 500 people on the autism spectrum across the North West. In 2015 Autism Together won a national award for outstanding adult services.
The track Warmed hearts and wine was written by the band following a conversation about Christmas and the winter months. Once the lyrics were on paper, band member Paul Earl wrote the melody very quickly.
Growing up in the Seventies was originally penned as a poem by band member Amanda Jenkins and recalls with humour and clarity the era of glam rock, strikes and chopper bikes. Amanda also recalls writing a poem in school called Too cold to go about visiting the toilets – it was read on Radio Merseyside in 1972.
The band was originally formed as the Rolling Beathovens with the aim of allowing anyone with an autistic spectrum condition to communicate and interact through the shared experience of music. As bass player and founding member Paul Earl said, “The thing about playing songs is expressing our feelings.”
Lead singer AJ (Alan Jolliffe) said, “Having autism means I find it difficult to communicate with anyone. When we are on stage we communicate with everyone. Music lets me be who I want to be. Having autism makes you not be able to do some things, but in The Beathovens we are saying we are here, this is who we are.”
Autism Together Activity Manager Dean Ravera, who manages the band, said, “Getting iTunes distribution is a huge step forward for us. This is a group of people who’ve come together through a love of music and created their own, unique, art form – and it’s genuinely carrying a message about what’s achievable by people with autism.”
The singles can be purchased on iTunes for 99p each or £2.97 for all three tracks from 12 December. A limited edition CD can be purchased for £7 from Bromborough Pool garden centre (3 & 4 The Green, Bromborough Pool Village, Wirral). The CD features Warmed hearts and wine, My life and two other tracks.
Follow this link to watch a video of the band performing their song – Growing up in the Seventies: