Young musicians learning their craft at a School of Rock project gave everyone a lesson in how to perform on stage when they represented the borough at a top music venue.
Four-piece Speak Easy, formed during the regular sessions run at The Old Courts, were Wigan’s entry to a Greater Manchester inter-hub showcase held at Band on the Wall.
They did very well at Band on the Wall, which isn’t easy to do at that ageBen Grimshaw
The indie-rock group, comprising vocalist Michael Shaw, guitarist Travis Snape, bassist Tyler Burrows and drummer Aidan Johnson, were undaunted by playing a professional venue to a packed audience of almost 200 people.
The talented teenagers’ rendition of Take It Away, a song they have written themselves, and covers of tracks by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The White Stripes, earned plaudits from the judges and a special drumming prize for Aidan.
School of Rock brings young musicians to the Crawford Street arts hub every Monday to learn their instruments and how to play together in bands.
Organisers of the project are now hoping Speak Easy can stay together and form a more permanent band to join the borough’s other up-and-coming acts on the scene.
Ben Grimshaw, one of the tutors at School of Rock and Wigan Music Service, said: “They did very well at Band on the Wall, which isn’t easy to do at that age.
“Michael was very shy when he first came down but he’s written the lyrics for their original song and he was bopping around on stage like I’ve never seen him do in rehearsals.
“My job at School of Rock is to mix it up but perhaps outside of the project these guys should stay together. They’re very tight and good on their instruments.”
School of Rock is a partnership project with the idea’s most enthusiastic backers including head of Wigan Music Service Dave Little and The Old Courts’ director Jonathan Davenport and events programmer Lindsey Holding, herself a former member of Wigan band Moco.
Lindsey hopes Speak Easy can now produce enough material for a gig at the one of The Old Courts’ nights showcasing emerging acts.
For more information on School of Rock visit www.theoldcourts.com