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image for Music item typeUltimate Thunder at The Tetleyadd to shortlist

  • Event data supplied by Leeds Inspired

Music, Sat 25 - Mon 27 Jan 2020, free entry

Ultimate Thunder

Ultimate Thunder


This immersive audio-visual installation re-presents a performance by ‘Ultimate Thunder’ - a Leeds-based band featuring six artists with learning disabilities and one without - at their Pyramid Of Arts base on a light industrial estate in Holbeck. They meet fortnightly and make very loud, semi-improvised rock.

The lives of people with physical and learning disabilities tend to be structured around the provision of support staff and transport, and are sometimes restricted by this provision. This lack of flexibility can often mean that they are unable to engage in the traditional band and gigging format. Usually, any change to their 'regular' timetable of weekly activities needs to be agreed at least two months in advance if they are to be able to get the staffing support to make it happen. On this basis, the work of Ultimate Thunder does not get the audience that it easily could, in Leeds - a city where there is still an appetite for the kind of experimental, DIY, noisy music that they make. Their 'performances' are in fact just rehearsals, within the four walls of Pyramid's base, on a light industrial estate in Holbeck.

Sites like Pyramid's base have been historically created by the transformation of day-care provision in the city. As local authorities shut their many day-care centres, they used the money saved to fund organisations to provide substitute activities. While this change has allowed for a much wider range of activities to be offered, it also means that light industrial estates like the one where Pyramid are based have replaced the day care centres of old, with the same issues of ghetto-isation and relative invisibility for the artists who perform there.

This installation, produced by Lumen Arts, allows the music of Ultimate Thunder to reach a wider audience, and also invites that audience to experience the kind of spaces where that work is produced - loud, warm, exciting, welcoming, inclusive music being created behind the closed doors of cold, utilitarian, concrete, practical spaces.

The Virtual Reality experience is a 360° video documenting a workshop led by Alan Courtis – an Argentinian artist and musician working with arts and disability – held at Pyramid of Arts in April 2019.

The installation is part of Lumen’s ongoing research and development around creative application of digital technologies for immersive re-presentation of performance work, with funds from Arts Council England and Leeds Inspired. This event is a partnership event between Lumen Arts, Leeds Inspired, Pyramid of Arts and The Tetley. 


Event details

Dates Times
Sat 25 - Mon 27 Jan 2020 10:00 to 17:00


Free entry

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Hunslet Road,
LS10 1JQ



See location of The Tetley on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 303330  Lat: 53.79313 Long: -1.54086

We are located in Leeds city centre, just a 2 minute walk from the main shopping area, 7 minutes walk from Leeds Train Station and 5 minutes from Leeds Bus Station.

If you’re travelling by car, we are easily accessible from the motorway network and are conveniently located right next to the Brewery Car Park.