‘Amped’ has developed over ten years into a showcase fixture for talented 16 and 17 year old rock/pop/jazz/soul/RnB musicians to really show off what they can do.
We at BEAT and Woodhouse College pick students, mainly from the London borough of Barnet, but also Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington and Brent London boroughs. They must audition and pass a music theory test, and the standard is high. We can realistically claim that we have some of the finest young talent potential in a large area of North London.
This is no karaoke reality TV vocal cringe-fest.
Crucially, our students write their own songs, play their own instruments, actually perform onstage vocals which aren’t manipulated.
Every student must produce and engineer all of their own performances in our state-of-the-art recording studio at Woodhouse College.
This afternoon gig NEVER takes place in a church or school hall. Most 16 year olds I’ve come across know that isn’t very cool. And I agree.
I want to give them an authentic, tough, realistic but above all fun experience. To show them how gigging can be both extremely nerve-racking, thrilling and creatively fulfilling at the same time.
If it goes well and they’re inspired by the experience, they’ll have the bug for life.
And we at BEAT contemporary music technology, headed by Danny Kuperberg, have a lot of success stories to show for it, for example:
Sophie Hiller: main backing vocalist on all of Tom Jones’ international concert dates. Sophie studied Music A-level at Woodhouse.
James Turner: Works at The Dairy recording studios. James is chief sound engineer. He’s mixed and recorded for Joss Stone, Nitin Sawhny (who owns the studio) and other international star names. He also helps on live sound and PA at Glastonbury. James is a talented guitarist too.
Michael Jablonka: Brilliant blues lead guitarist. Has toured internationally with countless acts including NDubz. His own band The Dark Tides, is highly respected within the industry and often plays backing for name acts.
Our students mainly gig in Camden Town, legendary hub for much of the UKs pop and rock talent.
They also gig in Crouch End where Danny lives. Crouch End is very much a part of the London studio and musician scene. Konk studios, owned by Ray Davies of The Kinks, still hosts name bands, and over the last forty years, has been the home for some of music’s most legendary recordings. Our base here was The Music Palace – now trendy indie cinema The Arthouse.
The Church state-of-the-art recording studio in central Crouch End was formerly owned by and was the studio home of Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox of The Eurythmics. It later belonged to David Grey, the piano singer-songwriter. Now it is the creative hub for Paul Epworth, the multi-grammy winning key songwriter and producer behind Adele. He also composed James Bond’s Skyfall theme.
Here is an example of some press coverage for our Music Palace Crouch End gig back in March 2011: