THEY can't sing and they can't play but in around 18 weeks' time they will take to the stage at T in the Park for their first ever gig.

Fingers crossed, they will go a long way.

Here at Sunday Herald HQ a very special challenge has been born: take five journalists, give them an instrument they have never played before and four-and-a-bit months in which to learn it. Take them to Balado in Perthshire on July 6 and given them a guest slot (yes, the organisers of the music festival actually agreed to allow them to play) and let them rock. Hopefully.

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They start their rehearsals this week with a batch of extremely talented, good humoured professional mentors to lend a guiding hand and push them to believe in their potential.

On vocals we have Ken McNab, a 40-something father of two who describes his abilities as a mixture of John Lennon and Robert Plant (but without the shoulder-length blonde hair). A lifelong Beatles fan, he penned a highly regarded book called The Beatles In Scotland.

Ken says he loves singing at home, but is now prepared to let the public suffer for his art. A senior production journalist on the sports desk, he said: "Most guys believe deep down they're really rock gods and I'm no different. So for those of us about to rock, I salute you."

On guitar is political correspondent Stewart Paterson, a self-confessed "absolute beginner". He said: "People have said to me it is a crazy idea and I'm beginning to realise they are probably right."

Stewart hopes that inspiration from his musical heroes David Bowie, Arcade Fire and Manic Street Preachers will instill some of that required rock star quality.

Reporter Rachel Loxton will be looking to The Pixie's legend Kim Deal for inspiration as she picks up a bass for the first time and photographer Stewart Attwood will be banging the drums for first time. Reporter and columnist Catriona Stewart, never one to pass up a ridiculous challenge, is aiming to learn to play keyboards before T-time.

The band has yet to be named (we're looking for suggestions) or its songs chosen. The first, however, is likely to be a cover of the three-chord wonder Johnny Be Goode.