IT DIDN’T quite make the Christmas Number One hit single, but the new song from autistic band The Beathovens is certainly hitting all the right notes.
The Wirral-based band, whose members are all living in full time care, have been overwhelmed by the response to their first ever Christmas single, Warm Hearts and Wine.
Lead singer AJ (Alan Jolliffe) said: “It’s brilliant. Having autism means I find it difficult to communicate with anyone.
“But when we are on stage we communicate with everyone. Music lets me be who I want to be.
“Having autism makes you not able to do some things, but in The Beathovens we are saying we are here, this is who we are.”
The Beathovens have a long history of smashing expectations and breaking stereotypes, writing their own songs and performing live.
They’ve perfected their own style – an individual twist of rap-rock – and have twice played with Jools Holland, 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.
Formed almost 20 years ago as the Rolling Beathovens, the seven-strong band rehearse weekly 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.
Autism Together activity manager Dean Ravera said: “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.”
Copies of Warm Hearts and Wine – and two further singles from the band, Growing up in the Seventies and My Life – are available on iTunes (99p each or £2.97 for all three tracks).
PICTURED: The Beathovens (left to right) Geraint Lewis, Paul Earl, Ken Scott, Vince Cox, Clayton Thorpe, Chris Wood and Amanda Jenkins