A BRAVE teenager who survived a brain tumour is set play a debut rock gig in Burnley with his inspirational band.
Reece Whitehead (19) who was diagnosed with a malignant tumour aged just 10, will perform at the concert with his talented band YOU 62 – made up of young musicians who also suffer from cancer.
Guitarist Reece and his group will play alongside other top local bands at the Sanctuary Rock Bar on Saturday to raise money for the teenage cancer unit that saved his life.
Headline Burnley rockers UNM will perform a farewell gig at “Christie’s Young Oncology Unit All-Dayer” which returns after a successful first year in 2010.
Pop punk group Shysters will also be joined on the bill by Black Confetti, Roadkill, Cassius Calling, newcomers Target for Tonight and acoustic breakthrough act Franco and the Dreadnought who played this year’s Benicassim festival in Spain.
But it will be a huge night for Reece and YOU 62, named after the young Oncology Unit where the band formed, as they play their first ever live gig at the Sanctuary Rock Bar.
His dad Ian (45) who has helped organise the music event, said: “The event was a massive success last year and we hope it will be even bigger this year.
“We have even had to turn bands down this year because everyone wanted to play. We have got some great acts on.
“This will be a debut for YOU 62. It is amazing to watch them play. They are so good.”
The group, which play covers from the Beatles to Oasis, are made up of young musicians who have had or are still battling various forms of cancer.
Some members, who are under-going cancer treatment, are too ill to perform but the brave band are carrying on with the show in the hope of raising money for their specialist Manchester cancer unit.
After raising nearly £1,000 from last year’s event, Ian hopes to collect even more money which will go to providing music equipment for young people with cancer on the Christie’s ward.
He said: “You see kids there who are so poorly. Their whole world changes. But the YOU ward is a place of great hope.
“They have helped Reece so much so we just want to give something back.
“We want to help them get a music room there for music therapy for the kids. If you can make a kid’s day who is having chemotherapy by giving them a place where they can go and get into music for half an hour then that is fantastic.”
The Christie’s Young Oncology Unit All-Dayer kicks off from 3 p.m. at the Sanctuary Rock Bar on Saturday and goes on till late. Tickets are £3.