This weekend saw a number of Institute alumni take to the various stages of Glastonbury Festival. We had our roving reporter, Industry Liaison Officer Giaco Bridgett, to bring you all the action.
“Sun, blue skies, warm breeze – these are things that you don’t necessarily associate with a standard British Summer, and even less so Glastonbury Festival, but as I pitched my tent under the Tuesday afternoon sun with 181,000 other punters, the buzz and anticipation began to build for an incredible week of music, circus acts, cabaret, entertainers and so much more. One could only imagine what it would be like to play such a world renowned event. For a lucky few Institute alumni however, it was no longer a dream but a very vivid reality.
Polly Money started proceedings on Saturday at a rather ungodly festival hour of midday - after the previous night’s raucous start to the weekend, the crowd needed one great big hug, and boy did Songwriting BA alumnus deliver it! Starting off with a couple of quiet spectators, the BBC Introducing tent had 1000 or so happy, smiling faces watching on as Miss Money gave a cheeky wink to the crowd after a sun kissed set full of pop-folk gems.
Next up, we headed down to the Sonic Stage where Vic Jamieson, with probably the best haircut at a festival ever, was on guitar for MNEK, a rising star for 2014. It was an incredible set, full of soulful grooves and deep basslines, and Jamieson looked like a seasoned guitarist who had been it doing for years - not bad for someone who has just graduated from the BMus (Guitar).
Peaking round the curtain from side of stage looking on at Jamieson’s incredible guitar hooks was one Ella Eyre. Soon, she would be storming the stage with BMus (Vocals) alumni Elize Kellman and Natasha Stewart at her side on backing vocals. A relationship that started at the start of the year when Miss Eyre came into the Institute to hold auditions, the girls performed a stunning set full of future pop gems whipping the crowd up into an utter frenzy.
By this point our festival was in full swing – after a few downpours and one memorable thunder storm – there was only one way we could top this. We dashed over to the John Peel Stage to see Diploma (Drums) alumni Luke Patterson perform as part of one of the runaway success stories of 2014 of the year, Clean Bandit. The atmosphere was electric and as the band tore through their set, there was a certain sense of pride that all this started out in a small room in South Kilburn Studios, only a stone throw away from the Institute.
Not to end things prematurely, but we suddenly received a newsflash in via the powers of social media that we had another drummer from the alumni ranks just about to set the world alight on the Pyramid Stage. We rushed over to wiggle away to Malcolm "Bubba" McCarthy behind his kit for one Angel Haze. McCarthy was unstoppable, a real tour da force. It was an incredible sight, someone making their Glastonbury debut on one of the most famous stages in the world.
All in all, it was a weekend not to be forgotten, thanks in no small part to a clutch of alumni making their mark on the Glastonbury landscape for the first time. I think it’s safe to say it won’t be their last…