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The AutistiX- A London Band With Autism- Go On Tour To Spain

May 25, 2013

Readers, I’m so pleased to read this story. 

There’s a rock band of three young men from Camden, North London, who all have Autism. They’ve called themselves The AutistiX.

Now, they are about to set off on their first tour. It will be an international one, no less. They’re going to Spain.

Luke Steels, 17, plays electric guitar and bass. Jack Beavan-Duggan, 18, plays electric guitar and Saul Zur-Szpiro, 20, plays drums. The band practices at least once a week. They have played gigs including the Beatles Day in Hastings.

They are managed by Saul’s mum, Susan Zur-Szpiro. She told the BBC: “They started producing their own music and creating these very beautiful, quite biographical songs.”

The band, she added, are not looking for sympathy. They just happen to have Autism, which makes them an interesting and quirky act.

Jack is their lyricist. He has written songs including The Good And Bad In All Of Us and Hard To Reach. For Jack, music is about “writing songs and showing who I am.”

Jack’s dad, John, and Saul’s dad, Michael, join the band on stage, along with musician Jim Connelly.

This week, they will play three gigs with Spanish band Motxila 21- who all happen to have Down’s Syndrome.

But it hasn’t all been international flights and bright stage lights for the AutistiX.

Saul, says his mum Susan, was blind and “really very low-functioning.” He still needs help with everyday tasks such as dressing and feeding himself, but  “he’s the drummer and it’s mostly learning through his auditory skills, he hears something and he knows it.”

The band will be relocating each day. This was one of the main things to consider before they set of as, says their manager: “”Change is an issue because they like the familiar and they can be thrown by anything changing.”

So, she adds, they will do “all the major transitions” during the day so that they can adjust and see each town. They will each have a parent or carer with them for “continuity” and they saw Motxila 21 on Youtube, to know what they look like.

It’s going to be hard work, she continues, but “it should be amazing.”

There are other benefits for the band, too. They are each other’s social network and the centre of each other’s lives.

“And there’s no drinking and drugs going on, that just doesn’t happen,” adds their manager.

Another thing that doesn’t happen to these boys is stage fright. They don’t have any concept of being judged and, as for Saul, says Susan, he loves being on stage and “has music in every cell of his body.”

Once the band return to London, they will be looking forward to releasing their first album, Butterflies and Demons, which they recorded at EMI Roundhouse in February.

All I have left to do is wish the band and their parents the best of luck for the tour- and to say, look out for this band, readers. After all, they share a home town with a certain Amy Winehouse.

Here’s hoping they will soon share her fame and fortune, too!


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