A Sheffield girl band with a difference will perform alongside professional musicians at a fund-raising concert tonight.
The Sparkle Sistaz are the latest band to emerge through the Under the Stars’ music initiative that supports adults with learning disabilities to express themselves through music.
The all-girl band with nine members will share the stage at the Niagara Centre with foot-stomping covers band the Rogues, from Rotherham, and Sheffield acoustic act The Julia McInally Band.
They will perform a couple of their own original ‘girl power’ numbers ‘Flirt’, T.R.U.S.T and ‘Take me Home’.
The Sparkle Sistaz describe themselves as ‘girls with attitude’ and their songs are very melodic and lots of fun.
All money raised at the charity gig will go towards Sheffield-based Under the Stars, a not for profit social enterprise which supports people with learning disabilities to develop their musical talents through learning to sing, DJ or play musical instruments – and form their own bands.
Under the Stars also provides regular nights out in Sheffield and Doncaster for adults with learning difficulties and these events attract up to 500 people.
Ruth Parrott of Under the Stars said: “Friday’s concert will be a great night of music and the Sparkle Sistaz are thrilled to be singing a couple of numbers as part of the line-up.
“We are also delighted to have the ever-popular Rogues headlining the event.
“They have a fantastic reputation on the local live music scene and play rousing material across a wide repertoire.
“And Julia is one of Sheffield’s best-loved singer-songwriters and performers, not to mention one of our music tutors, and we know she and her new band – combining guitar, fiddle, mandolin, bass and vocals – will deliver a passionate set”
Julia has been co-tutor and mentor to the Sparkle Sistaz since February 2013 when they formed.
Julia said: “It is brilliant working with the Sparkle Sistaz and I will be so proud to welcome them on stage.
“The girls have worked hard for this gig and are looking forward to showing a new audience what they are made of. Come and enjoy.”
Under the Stars run music workshops every day for people with a learning disability.
“Professional music tutors teach individuals how to work and play together to form a band, sing, DJ and play a range of instruments.
Four bands have emerged through the project so far, The Stars Band were the first to form in 2008 and launched their first album last year at The Leadmill.
Others include rock bands the Clubland Detectives and Without Heads – and now there is the ‘all-girl’ band, The Sparkle Sistaz.
Under the Stars provides opportunities for these bands to perform live at the own nightclubs, the Tramlines festival and other local events.
Ruth said: “Fundraising at Friday’s concert will secure future studio time for Under the Stars’ bands and help us purchase new musical equipment to enable all our musicians to develop their skills further.”
The Under the Stars fund-raising concert will be held tonight at the Niagara Conference and Leisure Centre on Niagara Road, Sheffield, S6 1LU.
Tickets priced £10 (concessions available for people with a disability and their carers) are available from the Niagara venue on 0114 2964945 or via Under the Stars on 0114 233 1869 or Ruth@underthestars.org.uk. Guests can also pay on the door.
For those unable to attend the event but would like to make a donation to this not for profit social enterprise, please visit https://localgiving.com/charity/underthestars