Swindon indie trio’s Albert Hall Prom Debuts
TEENAGERS from New College are among a handful of performers invited to play in the Music For Youth Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in November.
Indie three-piece The Debuts – featuring 17-year-olds Harry Roke on guitar and vocals, Steven Baird on drums and Mitchell Dodson on bass, all from Blunsdon – was hand-picked from thousands of young artists across the UK who entered to play at the festival after a sterling performance at the regional event in Birmingham.
A week after receiving their AS results last month the trio found out they had been invited to be among the 33 performers taking part in the three-day festival.
Frontman Harry said: “When we signed up we didn’t really think we’d make it to the Albert Hall. We thought we could make it to the regionals in Birmingham .
“I think we thought we weren’t going to do it. I think we thought we weren’t what they were looking for.”
The trio of childhood friends met at St Leonard’s CE Primary Academy in Blunsdon when it was still Blunsdon Primary School.
They all went on to Highworth Warneford School, and when they were only 12 they formed a band.
“We formed a band out of boredom really and to make us look cool,” Harry said.
“I’m joking – we were all really into music and we just thought it was something we could do.”
The regionals took place in Birmingham Town Hall, where the group played a 20-minute set of originals.
Harry said: “It was a really, really great venue. We got up there for 11am and we had a sound check and we just walked around Birmingham for a bit. We played and just did the best we could.”
Harry said: “We got an email and it asked us to ring them up and they didn’t mention anything. When we rang them they said they would like to invite us to play and they thought we did really well at the regionals.”
The outfit regularly play gigs in Bristol and Cardiff, including at the Bristol O2 Academy, but their favourite venue remains the trusty Riff’s Bar in Greatfield.
Harry said: “We do prefer playing in Swindon. We get a home crowd and we’ve played there so many times and the people who know us love how we play.”
The band, who write and perform their own music and have one EP under their belts and another in production, said their main influences were The Smiths, Peace, and other old school sounds like Joy Division.
The youngsters have even supported The Maccabees in the Brixton Academy.
Their first EP, The Debuts, is available to download on iTunes.
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