There were some great bands playing at Northampton College’s Cool for Summer end of year show, delivering slick sets and superb vocals.
The students finish each term with a show and this was the big one – the end of year gig at The Roadmender.
The audience was family and friends of course but the buzz of getting up on a proper stage and plugging into a proper sound system was real enough.
For a lot of the performers you could almost see it playing out on their faces: the first couple of minutes a little tense but as they relaxed into it they were smiling as their confidence grew.
It wasn’t quite like that for rappers Starters.
First of all, two of the band were absent because they had to sit GCSEs the next day.
Then KK’s mike played up during the set.
You could see Layzee (aka Rupert) was not happy with how things were unfolding but equally there was nothing but determination from the two guys on stage that the set would be delivered.
It was in its way even more inspiring than a flawless performance. You get the impression that nothing is going to stop these guys.
Rupert said: “Most of our songs we are trying to help people out. We have got a song called Facts of Life which is about poverty and homelessness.
“We use some adult language to emphasise the point and broaden it.
“One of our mikes didn’t work but luckily I knew the lyrics so I was able to jump in but that can happen. Sometimes you can forget the lyrics so we have practiced freestyling.
“We take our music very seriously.”
Female trio Merakai performed on the main stage and had spent the weeks before the gig not just preparing their music but also working out a social media campaign and thinking about the marketing of their performance.
Samantha said: “It’s a relief to have got it done but I’m also sad that this is our last gig together.”
Northampton College tries to give the students of the kind of challenges they will face when they go forward with their music careers.
Level 3 Course Leader Guy Fletcher mentioned James Bagshawe of The Temples as a recent high profile success story.
He said: “This is the end of our season, our summer concert, which we have done every year here at Roadmender.
“Basically at the end of each term we do a bit show, at the end of year show we get even more students involved and give them more stage time.
“For many of them it is the first time they have plugged into a big PA rather than in a little rehearsal room. It has an impact on the music and what they do. We reflect on that and it is a measure for them, what it’s like. They come a long way in three terms.”