Heavy Load are Lewes’ answer to the Ramones – a punk outfit subject to the combustible flux of ego, ambition, fantasy, expectation and desire that fuels any emerging band. But they’re also, uniquely, made up of musicians with and without learning disabilities, which makes the band’s survival a precarious negotiation between two different worlds: on the one hand the institutional timetable of day centres, work placements and social workers; on the other, the chaotic slacker life of rehearsal rooms, studios and gigs. Home-life and band-life; from invisibility to stardom of a sort, and back again. Shot over a year in which Heavy Load record their first album The Queen Mother’s Dead, our feature documentary both follows and contributes to the band’s rise and fall. A comedy of conflicting ambitions, it captures the excitement, sweat and romance of playing in a band through the eyes of a set of unique characters as they move out of the ghetto of disability club nights to test whether their dreams can survive in the mainstream.
Commissioned by: APT Films Funders: Heavy Load is an IFC co-production with ITVS International in Association with the BBC Partners: APT Films, Met Film