A HOTLY-tipped Worcester band gets one of the top billings at a rock festival that will also celebrate a heavy metal icon’s comeback, after he lost part of his leg during a South American tour.

Cult band Grim Reaper’s frontman Steve Grimmett is sure to get a resounding reception on the main stage at the Drunken Monkey Rock Festival in Upton.

Steve, a former Tewkesbury man, is currently learning to walk on a prosthetic limb after losing his leg to an infection picked up during the international Walking in the Shadows album tour, earlier this year.

He said he has been stunned by fans’ support and fund-raising to help cover the $25k Ecuador hospital bill and ongoing recuperation.

Steve added: "I will reward everyone by getting back on stage and walking round like I had two legs."

And the hotly-tipped up and coming Worcestershire band?

That'll be Population:7, whose members all come from Worcester, except the Evesham-based singer Rachael Medhurst.

A spokesman said: "“We’ve lots on the verge but I’ll be gobsmacked if Population:7 aren’t signed up very soon.”

“That would be good,” says Rob Taylor, the bass player of Population:7.

He added: "Our music is hip-hop and neo-soul. We’re all hard rock band-born, but started chilling out making relaxing music at home, when it was too late at night to keep keep the neighbours awake with head banging stuff.

“That turned into gigs and CDs and we are getting great feedback."

The Drunken Monkey Rock Festival was launched in Upton-upon-Severn four years ago, in memory of local man Ian Dowton, who died after a car accident. It has already raised more than £11,000 for the life-saving Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

The spokesman added: "The festival has grown into a renowned three day wonder, which this year features a stonking line-up including Soul Stripper, Guns 2 Roses, Troyen, and of course Grim Reaper, which was born in Droitwich and stormed the 100-strong Battle of the Bands in the eighties."

The Drunken Monkey Rock Festival takes place from August 4 to August 6.

Further details at https://www.drunkenmonkeyrockfest.co.uk/