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Tim Burgess, Yard Act and more rally around campaign for disabled band Ultimate Thunder

A campaign to help the Leeds-based band Ultimate Thunder continue playing and make their second album amid financial difficulties has been backed by names including Tim Burgess and Yard Act.

Most of the members of the seven-piece post-punk band have learning disabilities and received funding from the Arts Council to make their debut LP and have it professionally mixed, pressed and promoted.

Now, they face no longer being able to operate as a band following news that the charity supporting them financially was unable to continue doing so. Their final gig, unbeknownst to them, took place on February 3 at Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club.

Ultimate Thunder are now crowdfunding to carry on rehearsing and performing, and to release their second album. At the time of publication, they have raised just over £4,200.

The campaign has had a number of high-profile backers, including Tim Burgess, who confirmed on Twitter that he’s donated some money via his Help Us Help Bands project.

“Ultimate Thunder need our help – they are a fantastic band whose members have learning difficulties and complex needs,” he wrote on X/Twitter. “Funding on their new album has been pulled.

“We’re chipping in from our Help Us Help Bands project. Please donate here if you can…”

Fellow Leeds post-punk outfit Yard Act also shared their support. “Had the pleasure of seeing Ultimate Thunder live and they are a really great band,” wrote vocalist James Smith. The members have learning difficulties/ complex needs and sadly the charity that supports them has lost funding so they need to raise £.”

“Keep the rock and roll wheels rolling for Ultimate Thunder. This is the real punk rock,” added I Like Trains, while Brudenell Social Club said: “This is a project that means a lot to us as a venue.

“Such a positive band giving a genuinely significant creative outlet. If you can afford anything, please do, please share regardless.”

You can donate to Ultimate Thunder’s crowdfunder here.

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