Rock Academy bands gig after just one week

The Kimberleys, from left, Ellie Quayle, Frankie Greenwood and Ellie Quayle

The Kimberleys, from left, Ellie Quayle, Frankie Greenwood and Ellie Quayle

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Young band mates had just five days to meet, decide a set list, rehearse and set up the venue before playing a gig.

The keen musicians were supported by professional musicians who came to the island to lead the Rock Academy summer school from as far away as the USA.

Rock Academy Summer School at St Ninians Lower School Onchan.'Two and a half men.'Callum Felmeri.

Rock Academy Summer School at St Ninians Lower School Onchan.'Two and a half men.'Callum Felmeri.

Last week saw the secondary school age students develop their rock/pop skills at St Ninian’s Lower School with sessions on the instruments, workshops in vocals, songwriting and improvisation and daily band sessions.

They formed bands, including girl group The Kimberleys (named after tutor Kimberley Roberts, a singer and singing teacher in London) and power folk trio Two and a Half Men (based on their height).

And they worked together to develop their set lists, which they then performed to family and friends at the Laxey Institute on Friday.

The whole group also came together to sing as a choir.

It was guitar player and vocalist Aoifa Giles’ first time at the Rock Academy.

Aoifa, 15, a GCSE music student, said: ‘It’s my favourite thing ever. I want to come back every year I can.’

She said the highlight of the week was the tutors: ‘They really know the music business.’

Drummer Emma Dobson, aged 15, of Douglas, said: ‘My confidence has sky rocketed, and I really needed that. I’d call it an epic week!’

The Kimberleys, who played two original songs as well as Katy Perry’s Roar, are keen to stay together.

Two and a Half Men comprising Marc McCabe-O’Kelly, Callum Felmeri and Leo Craig went for songs by Goo Goo Dolls, Arctic Monkeys and Biffy Clyro. They too wanted to stay together.

Singer/songwriter Marc, aged 17, of Douglas, said: ‘I’ve done Rock Academy every year but the first one.

‘It’s just brilliant. It can’t get better, the tutors are the best.’

It was 16-year-old drummer Nathan Gawne’s third time at the academy. Usually he plays by himself so he enjoyed the opportunity to play in a group.

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