Two musicians with Tourette Syndrome have explained how performing keeps their tics in check.
Paul Stanworth, 41, and Thain Gibbons, 36, said they look forward to embracing their shared syndrome after creating a band called Two Tics and giving their debut performance at County Mall on Saturday (October 12).
They both have Tourette Syndrome (TS), a neurological condition which causes them to make involuntary and uncontrollable sounds and movements, called tics.
However, they do not have any tics when they play music as all their excess energy is channelled into their performance.
Paul, a father-of-two, from Furnace Green, and Thain, a mother-of-three from Broadfield, discovered each other two weeks ago and realised they should work together.
Thain, a singer and standup comedian, said: “Meeting Paul was like meeting the male version of me. We’ve learnt we share a lot of the same background.”
Paul, a guitarist and singer, added: “People with tourettes really have a problem getting across to other people how much goes on underneath the surface so to walk into a room with someone who totally understands that, takes a huge burden off.”
Paul and Thain struggled through childhood as neither told anyone about their tics and both were in their twenties before they were diagnosed.
Paul said: “I remember when I was five years old, being aware of these things and thinking, ‘I don’t know why I have to hide these things’, because no one else seemed to need to.”
Paul’s tics are physical and he has suffered serious injuries because of them - Currently he cannot hold his guitar pick because he has damaged a nerve in his arm.
Thain said she suppresses her tics all day and many of her friends only found out she had TS when she spoke about it during a stand-up show just a few weeks ago. The duo hope now they can embrace their shared syndrome in order to give their music more quirkiness and energy.