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bass player needed

Must have bass and amp Must being willing to melt faces Must enjoy rocking Must be willing to practice Must be willing to remain anon Bonus Points: Not being a dick. Not sucking.

Songwriting with Jade North

During lockdown The Mercury Theatre in Colchester, launched a song-writing competition in association with Perfect Pitch and comedian and stage composer, Tim Minchin. The competition was looking for local, talented songwriters and we’ve caught up with one of the winners, Jade North, aged 17, to find out what inspires her Jade has been playing guitar and writing songs since she was just 7 years old. She’s no stranger to winning, in 2017 she won the ‘Essex Songwriter of the Year’ competition, and she’s already released her own album, ‘Bit by Bit’. This girl is on the rise so we’ve put some questions from our students to her. How did you get into music? It was so long ago I can’t really remember; I’ve been singing and dancing since I was a kid. My dad likes to remind me of a time when I was a toddler and AC/DC was playing on the car and I was doing my own toddler version of head-banging! I’ve always loved music. Who inspires you the most musically? Lots of artists inspire me and they’re not from a single genre. I really like popular artists like Taylor Swift and Billie Elish, as well as some less mainstream stuff like a Belgium pop star called Angele and Olivia O’Brien, and them some older artists like Meatloaf. Jonny Cash and Fleetwood Mac. Jonny Cash was a big part of my childhood, I listened to him a lot on car journeys. My favourite band at the moment is Palaye Royale. I like songs that tell stories, I find them really interesting and I love listening to concept albums, Pink Floyds ‘The Wall’ is incredible. Tell us about your songwriting process I don’t have a set process! It could start with a motif that I’ve written that I really like, or lyrics I really need to write down. It’s different everytime, for example, one of my songs ‘Old’ I wrote the lyrics first, whereas one of my newest songs, called ‘Help Me’ (not posted yet, so look out that that!) was completely the opposite, I started with the melody for the chorus and pre-chorus and then the rest just went from there. Just do whatever you want to do and whatever feels most comfortable. Sometimes I’ve even gone through work I’ve disregarded and found something that inspires me, then and I’ve worked on that to create a new song. What is your favourite song? I don’t have one! It totally depends on my mood. I create a playlist at the start of each month and then I fill it with new music and songs I want to listen to, I do it every month. My top five songs on July’s playlist are ‘Electric Love’ by Borns, ‘Broken Glass’ by Kim Petras and Kygo, ‘Nightmares’ by Palaye Royale, ‘We Lied to Each Other’ by Olivia O’Brien and a song called ‘Double Trouble’ from a film called [the] ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’, it’s a bit of fun and I really like it! What’s the best gig you’ve been to? I’ve seen Ed Sheeran twice, he’s an exceptional musician, using a live loop station, I don’t understand how he can do that! That is so complicated, and I’d admire him so much. I also really enjoyed seeing Tom Jones last summer in Colchester Castle park, he’s a legend. I want that energy when I’m his age... who am I kidding, I want his energy now! Do you have any advice for our young students? Don’t be a music snob, listen to as many genres of music as possible, even the ones that aren’t really cool at the moment, or the ones that aren’t technically brilliant. Random things can inspire you so listen to as much as possible. The raw energy of a song can touch you even if it’s unpolished. Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do otherwise you won’t want to do it so you won’t do it. Do what you think is fun, music is supposed to be fun. My last piece of advice would be, good luck! You can download Jade North’s EP, Bit by Bit on all major streaming services, or on her YouTube channel (search Jade North)

WANTED: LEAD GUITARIST

LOREM IPSUM LOREM IPSUM LOREM IPSUM LOREM IPSUM LOREM IPSUM LOREM IPSUM

Gain Confidence Playing in a Band

Sat in your bedroom, playing your guitar alone? Have you got the voice to be a great lead singer but no one to perform with? Think you should be doing more with your music? Learning to play a musical instrument or hit the right notes at the right time is just one step towards musical immortality. The next stage is to get a band together. That’s a whole new challenge in itself! THE BENEFITS OF PERFORMING IN A BAND Even Oasis, the Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons had to start somewhere. They didn’t come onto stage for the first time fully formed. Performing in a band is exciting and even a little terrifying but it also has some enormous benefits. 1. GROW CONFIDENCE It’s amazing when we get a band together and start helping them to develop, how their confidence begins to blossom. Kids who have previously been strumming away on their guitar alone or singing in the shower become a lot more focused. Playing as a band involves developing a whole new skills set. You need to keep in time and listen to what other people are playing. You have to make sure you hit the right notes at the right time. For many of the kids we see, that step up to the next level really does cement their love of music and enthusiasm for learning more. 2. WORKING AS A TEAM As a band, you are no longer a single entity but essentially a living organism with separate parts that all have their own function. You need to work together and that’s a really important life skill to learn. Progress can be slow to begin with but as you get to know each other better and understand your own roles it becomes a lot easier. 3. BUILD YOUR SOCIAL SKILLS Playing in a band is also a social activity. You may have a common cause in music but you could be from vastly different backgrounds. For a start, you’ll learn to communicate your own ideas and develop the listening skills that will be important throughout life. You’ll hopefully also learn to respect others and discover new ideas and points of view. 4. HAVE FUN WITH MUSIC The one thing we haven’t mentioned is that performing in a band is really great fun. You can spend hours learning the cords for a particular song but there’s nothing better than riffing with friends and creating new music or actually performing on stage. There’s no limit to what you can achieve and the chance to be creative is one of the most fulfilling parts of developing any band. Once you have performed your first live gig, however, that fun is going to grow exponentially. 5. LEARN TO PLAY DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS AND DEVELOP YOUR MUSICAL SKILLS One thing we also find when bands come together is that they start to experiment more. Someone will learn to play another instrument, kids will start to teach each other. The development of a wider range of musical skills certainly means that your band will become more accomplished. You will collaborate with each other and begin to develop your own identity.

10 Minutes with Sandcastle Jesus

We thought it would be great to get some tips from a band on the brink of making it big. Charlie, Alfie, Fran & William are Sandcastle Jesus, they started their band at school and now they’re producing and playing original music and making a real name for themselves in their hometown… next step national domination! They took some time out of songwriting to answer some questions put to them by our students. How did you start your band? We started playing music when we were about 10 years old, but the band really came together when we were at Senior School when Fran and Alfie joined us, we used to practice every Friday after school in the music studio for about three hours, or until we were kicked out so they could lock up! We had one track, Freebird, a 9-minute rock opera, that we perfected and played at all our gigs while we were testing out new tracks on the crowds. We were still learning our instruments as we built the band and now we write our own music and gig regularly on the local music scene. What were the first things you did when you started your band? We started off practicing cover tracks, but we quickly focused on creating some original music. When it got a bit more serious we released an EP and since then we’ve concentrated on original music as our gigs have got bigger and our following has grown. If we’ve got new originals we want to perform then we’ll lock ourselves away and practice so we’ve got it tight for the show. When we’re writing new tracks it can be trial and error until we’re happy with the result so we need to be together and rehearsing to nail that. How often do you rehearse? We try to rehearse once a week, in the beginning we’d practice every day. Since lockdown we’ve not been able to rehearse as much but we’ve been keeping in touch and writing new music. Rehearsing when we were at school was easier because we could use the music studio for free whenever we needed it, now it’s a bit harder to find rehearsal space. What’s the best thing about being in a band? Gigs! It’s got to be playing live, there’s nothing we like better than playing live. But it wouldn’t be so much fun without these guys. Since we’ve been in lockdown we’ve been playing by ourselves at home and it’s really made us appreciate how great it is to play together in a band and to live audiences. What has been your best gig so far? We love playing Colchester Art Centre, you’re close to the crowd and we feed off their energy so the Art Centre is perfect for us. It’s hard to pick out a favourite gig, but our last gig at the Arts Centre, the Rock Prom, was fantastic, All Star Rock School were performing there too and they smashed it! What’s the best piece of advice you’ve got for new bands? A gig’s a gig! Even if you’re playing to five people in a room that’s still five more people that get to hear your music. It’s all experience at the end of the day. If you look back on our early gigs you can see that we didn’t move around on the stage much, now you see us running around the stage, throwing our guitars around and crowd surfing. Confidence comes from doing something over and over again that’s why we think it’s so important to take every gig you get. The more confident you look the better your band will sound. Who are your biggest influences? We take a lot of influences in the creative writing process from bands like Arctic Monkeys & Smashing Pumpkins. Everyone in the band has their own influences, we bring those together into our music. In general, our music is Alt Rock but it’s hard to distinguish the sound completely, you can also hear a lot of jazz influences in our music. Our drummer is influenced by legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich and you can hear his influence in the fast-paced drum fills and Fran loves the bass lines of The Cure and the Smiths. It’s a real combination of influences across ages and genres which we blend together with our own sound and creativity. What are your ambitions? Our ultimate goal is to make it big and to continue to make great music! At the moment we’re focusing on breaking out of our hometown scene, we’ve done some great gigs here and we’re making a good name for ourselves but now we want to start building our name nationally and performing at gigs to new crowds.