ROCK band Lost in Olympus are especially keen to play at this year’s Summer Jam festival near Silsden – to raise money for the charity Edgar’s Gift.
As guitarist Mark ‘Sparks’ Bray explains, the cause is close to the hearts of the five-piece from Leeds.
The charity was founded in 2010 by Neil and Julie Bradman in memory of their son, Ben Edkins, who tragically died aged 25 from a rare form of muscular cancer. Edgar’s Gift aims to raise money to provide special days out, unique experiences and luxury gifts for people aged 18 to 30 who are suffering from cancer.
Sparks says the band identified with the cause as Ben was a similar age to themselves and was also a fan of rock music.
“They made a CD to raise money for the charity. They invited 29 bands to be on it and released it on what would have been Ben’s 29th birthday on April 19,” he explains.
“On the actual day we went on BBC Introducing. It was a poignant moment. Neil came with us to talk about it.”
So far the charity has been able to grant wishes for 136 young people and Sparks hopes their efforts can help to boost that number. “My dad has leukaemia and my mum has had cancer twice so personally it’s a massive thing for us,” the guitarist says.
The band are due to attend Summer Jam with Neil Bradman where they will be signing copies of the CD. The event coincides with Sparks’s grandmother’s 100th birthday, from which his family will be making a donation in lieu of presents. The festival will also be raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Lost in Olympus have been together since 2011. The play alternative rock, which Sparks describes as “not screamy heavy metal, it’s more melodic with strong choruses”. To date, they’ve released one EP, Falling Lessons, and a single, Free.
Sparks is quick to pay tribute to the help of Mighty Atom Smasher, a Kidderminster-based artist development company to whom they signed last year. Its patron is Robert Plant. The company has not only provided the band with advice but also practice sessions and money for recordings.
“We were going into [the music industry] blind, we didn’t have a clue at all. It’s so nice to have someone that you can trust. They’re not like a record label. We find them really useful,” says Sparks.
Summer Jam takes place at Riverside Fields, Silsden, near Keighley, from August 22-24. Lost in Olympus play on August 23 on a bill headlined by Reverend and the Makers. For tickets visit http://www.dirtyboyinc.com/event/music-festival/