Gosport music studio opens its doors to help out college bands

DEAL Quay West Studios director Louis Crowe, centre, with St Vincent College first year music students Lewis Bishop, left, and Lauren Henderson and their band Totally Unknown, the first to use the studio in a collaboration with the college. Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography
DEAL Quay West Studios director Louis Crowe, centre, with St Vincent College first year music students Lewis Bishop, left, and Lauren Henderson and their band Totally Unknown, the first to use the studio in a collaboration with the college. Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography

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BUDDING musicians at a college have received a boost after being allowed in to a music studio.

The 14-piece ensemble band Totally Unknown, from St Vincent College, in Mill Lane, Gosport, had their first rehearsal session at Quay West Studios this week.

The first year music performance BTEC Level 3 pupils got to use the studio as part of a potential partnership between it and the college.

Drummer Dan Oliver, of The Close Bellfield, in Titchfield, Fareham, said he preferred playing in the studio than in college.

‘You get more of a professional feel and a live sound – everything sounds better,’ he said.

‘I feel it’s a lot easier to work with the other people when we’re in a more professional [place], as opposed to the classroom.

‘It’s a good opportunity, the studio staff are very good at helping out and they’re very nice people.’

Totally Unknown were rehearsing ahead of a gig at The Clarence Tavern, in Clarence Road, Gosport, on Wednesday.

They will be joined by the second year BTEC band, The Funkstars, and former and current pupil band, Quartz.

Vocalist Jade Hull, 17, of Bayntun Drive, in Lee-on-the-Solent, said using the studio and hearing their rehearsal was a wake-up call. She said: ‘They gave us a chance to get out of our comfort zone.

‘We haven’t really practised where all our music was together, so we had lots of things we had to work on.

‘Dynamics changes and vocalists’ harmonies weren’t quite right so we had lots we needed to fit to the music.’

Louis Crowe, 26, a director at the Quay West Studios, in Quay Lane, Gosport, is keen to work with the college with co-director Nick Bowen, 28.

Louis said helping the bands promote their gigs will help pay for the discounted rental of the rooms and wants to help the bands put on six gigs instead of three.

He added the studio will also encourage the groups to run the gigs independently.

‘It’s about creating opportunities for them,’ he said.

‘Now they’ve got to sell the tickets, promote it, turn up with everything organised, do the sound and make sure the floor is run properly.

‘It’s a bit more of a real-life scenario, rather than having it all spoon-fed to you.’

St Vincent College teaches the BTEC and A-levels in music and music technology to 30 pupils.

Tickets for the gig next week cost £3 and are available on the door – it starts at 7pm.