Heavy Load Review

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A year in the life of punk band, Heavy Load, whose members include some musicians with learning disabilities.


Jerry Rothwell’s engaging documentary follows a punk band from East Sussex on a crusade to change care practices for adults with learning disabilities. The action is dominated by Michael, the Down’s Syndrome drummer who becomes convinced he’s the band’s driving force. But, while his Spinal Tap tantrums form the core of this delightful odyssey, there are also sympathetic profiles of Simon, the wild singer, and Jimmy, the methodical guitarist, as well as support workers Mick and Paul, whose efforts keep the group together. Rothwell even finds time to question his own motives, as he realises that his desire to feed off the combo’s excitement is sapping its energy and enthusiasm.

An engaging documentary.