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Oxford Art Factory: Rudely Interupted

Written by Toby Smith on April 30, 2009

Performing tracks from debut album “Tragedy of the Commons” to mark Autism Awareness Week at the Oxford Art Factory 8pm (May 16, 2009)

Melbourne band Rudely Interrupted whose musicians share a range of intellectual and physical disabilities (blindness, deafness, autism and Down Syndrome) take a break from the studio to perform songs from their upcoming album “Tragedy of the Commons” at the Oxford Art Factory to mark Autism Awareness Week on May 16.

Rudely Interrupted, whose music has been hailed as, ‘some of the most energetic and genuine to emerge from the Australian rock ‘n’ roll underground in recent times,’ last played in Sydney at 2008’s Laneway Festival alongside Feist and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. “That was a great gig,” says Rohan Brooks who founded the band three years ago. “The Basement on Pit street was packed and everyone connected with the band instantly.”

The Rudies have been in demand since that breakthrough performance in February 2008. They’ve turned heads at US record labels, performed for dignitaries including the Acting Prime Minister of Australia, been the subject of a feature length documentary film (presently gathering dust due to lack of film finance) and, just days ago, accepted an invitation to play at the world’s most prestigious disability arts festival next year at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

The band’s even made rock ‘n’ roll history. In December 2008, Rudely Interrupted became the world’s first rock band to play at the United Nations in New York. They topped that performance with shows in New York City, Brooklyn, Toronto (where they met Hollywood actor Tom Cruise), Manchester, London and Bristol.

“Meeting Tom Cruise was cool,” admits Rohan. “We were at a TV station in Toronto about to give an interview when along came Tom. We introduced ourselves and talked for a few minutes. Our lead singer Rory, who’s blind, refused to believe it was Tom Cruise,” laughs Brooks.

“Yeah it’s been an amazing couple of years. When I set this band up as a music therapy class for people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties I never imagined we’d be touring the world, and having a film made about us. It’s more than unreal but the main thing is we still enjoy making music together.”

So what’s next for Rudely Interrupted? “Right now we’re focused on finishing our debut album in time for an Australia-wide tour in October,” says Rohan. “Who knows where we’ll end up.”

Rudely Interrupted are: Josh Hogan (drums), Connie Kirkpatrick (tambourine), Rory Burnside (lead vocals and guitar), Sam Beke (bass), Marcus Stone (synths), Rohan Brooks (guitar and back up vocals).

Rudely Interrupted perform at the Oxford Art Factory with special guests Cameras 8pm on Saturday May 16.

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