A LEADING American skate and surf wear company is decking out Kidderminster bands for a charity rock festival - in a sponsorship deal which could lead to major gigs across the USA and Europe.

Adam Barnes, Vans area manager for the Midlands, said he became interested in the Mighty Atom Smasher record label's signings - who will be wearing trainers, caps and tee-shirts donated by the Californian company at the Disobey festival at Kidderminster Town Hall - after reading about them in the Shuttle/Times & News.

He said the sportswear chain is now also considering involving MAS bands in Vans Warped Tour - a music festival touring the USA and Europe, which has previously featured the likes of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Blink 182 and Green Day.

"Music is an important area to the company and because MAS is the local label at the college I have seen quite a lot of publicity in the local press and was first made aware of it through the Shuttle/Times & News," he said.

"I was in California in December and saw the winners of the Warped tour competition play at The Key Club in Sunset Boulevard, vying to be the best new band who will play in the next tour.

"And we're discussing various projects including the possibility of integrating the MAS bands into The Warped Tour at a later date."

The 35-year-old, who grew up in Alveley and moved to the Spennells estate five years ago, added: "We try to fit out bands who are getting noticed with shoes and clothing.

"I've got high hopes for some of the bands at MAS and think what MAS is doing is great - it's a really good organic record label and has a really nice vibe - there is a big sense of optimism in the Kidderminster music scene."

Meanwhile, MAS manager Kevyn Gammond said he was thrilled with the interest the Californian company had shown in the label but added not all the bands performing at Disobey on Friday, March 13, would be wearing skate and surf wear.

"Komanchi Tribe, Weak13, Godsize, Future eX Wife and Girls Love Ponies will all be kitted out in Vans and The Lightness wanted to be but it wouldn't be appropriate for their image so they'll just be getting some items for daily wear."

He said: "Oak won't be wearing Vans on stage either because they have a real black-leather-metal image, which it isn't really in keeping with."

Mr Barnes added: "Bands we have made shoes for include the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Slayer, No Doubt, Lost Prophets, Busted and Jane's Addiction.

"We also own the Triple Crown Series, which is a circuit of world championship events in Motocross, snowboarding, BMX, skating, wake-boarding and other extreme sports."

More information and tickets on the festival, which will run from 6.30pm until 11.30pm, can be obtained from Kidderminster Town Hall on 01562 732158.