Pupils learn fast at School of Rock

This junior rock band in the making are rehearsing in Berwick. Picture by Kimberley Powell
This junior rock band in the making are rehearsing in Berwick. Picture by Kimberley Powell

Watch your back Arctic Monkeys there’s a new band on the block who might be still at school but already have plenty of the essential rock & roll attitude.

Although they haven’t got a name yet, Daniel James, Alex Campbell, Edward, Callum ter Morsche and Danny Montgomery are well on their way to mastering some classic songs.

Junior rock band in the making

Junior rock band in the making

If you happen to have wandered past Kazmiranda cafe on a Tuesday evening you might well have heard them rocking out to the likes of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ and Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, which this reporter was treated to a rendition of when calling in to a rehearsal last week.

Ranging in age from 10-14, the lads flock to Kazmiranda from both sides of the border to be mentored by local music maestro Brian Martin.

School uniforms might not be the edgiest of attire but the fivesome, who cite The Killers, Johnny Cash, Keane and 70s punk band Cock Sparrer amongst their individual influences, sure know how to rock out and are bursting with love for music.

And Brian has big plans for them.

“They’ve got so much character and aren’t afraid to knuckle down and work hard,” he enthused.

“They’re all of different levels of experience. Bass guitarist Edward had only had a guitar for two weeks before he came along whereas Callum, despite being the youngest of the group, has probably been playing the longest. He has a real natural feel for it.

“I’ve let the lads pick a song each, we’ve had Daniel and Danny’s picks so far and then for the sixth song I want them to have a go at writing one themselves.

“The other good thing is that they all like to have a crack at everything so they’ll take turns on vocals. I want to try and have them in the studio by the summer and then we can look at maybe getting them some gigs at some of the local festivals/

The boys certainly don’t lack enthusiasm or confidence and were quite happy to offer up their favourite musicians, with some surprising answers.

“I love Johnny Cash,” Daniel, from Belford, chipped in.

“My friend told me about him. I love his music and my favourite song is ‘Highway Patrol Man.

“I’d say The Killers. Hot Fuss was the first album I got into and they were first gig at the Metro Arena in Newcastle,” Berwicker Alex responded.

Chirnside’s Edward named Keane as his favourite act and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ his favourite song, while Callum singled out Nirvana.

Oldest of the bunch Berwick Academy pupil Danny opted for Joe Strummer and The Undertones, who were his first gig at the 02 Academy in Newcastle.

And it looks like the band’s passion for music and their enjoyment of their Tuesday jamming sessions is contagious.

“My dad is really glad I’m doing it but a bit jealous as he wants to join in too,” Daniel joked. My mum wants me to teach her some things,” Alex added.

As for future rock & roll ambitions, Daniel had more than one.

“I want to be able to play Guns & Roses ‘Paradise City’ as it’s such a great tune but I probably won’t be able to as it’s so hard. And I also want to do the longest drum roll ever for a kids; I reckon I could manage that!”