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The Rise of a Monochrome Empire in Grantham

Monochrome Empire members Daniel Bush, Will Jakes, Laurie Rowland, Matt Drinkwater and George Topham.
Monochrome Empire members Daniel Bush, Will Jakes, Laurie Rowland, Matt Drinkwater and George Topham.

Five teenage friends from King’s School have formed a band and are enjoying early success with various gigs and airtime on BBC radio.

Monochrome Empire are an indie/punk band comprising of singer Laurie Rowland, guitarists Matt Drinkwater, Daniel Bush and Will Jakes, and drummer George Topham.

When not studying for their AS levels, the friends, all aged 16 and 17, are busy creating new music during their regular ‘jamming’ sessions.

The band started nearly three years ago when Matt, Daniel and Will decided to take their mutual love of guitar further, and initally joined up with a friend and drummer who later left the band.

However an early line-up change wasn’t going to stop them from pursuing their dream. Soon they had George who ‘must have been born playing the drums’ on board, and after being impressed by Laurie’s vocals during a performance with a soul band at school, they knew they had found their singer.

So far their biggest break has been when their own original track ‘Instincts’ was played on Dean Jackson’s ‘BBC Introducing’ show in September. “It was very flattering to be played alongside other music which also sounded great,” said Daniel.

Moreover the band are getting used to performing in public, starting with Stathern’s Party in the Park and then this year headlining Grantham’s LOV Festival and playing at Leicester’s long-running venue The Shed. Given that this was where the city’s superstars Kasabian launched their careers, a key inspiration for the Grantham group alongside The Arctic Monkeys, Green Day and The Hives, this was a huge honour.

They are also delighted with the numbers who have attended their own gigs around Grantham, with more than 100 coming to see ‘just them’ in Barrowby. They are now preparing for a crowd of 15,000 when they play at the Glastonbudget festival in Wymeswold next May.

Next year they also plan to record their first EP, already coming a long way from when they were bandying about a thesaurus trying to come up with a name. At the same time the students take their school studies very seriously, and took a break from performing during their GCSEs. It is clear, though, that conquering the music industry is Monochrome Empire’s ultimate aim, with plenty of support from friends, family and fans helping them on their way.

Laurie adds: “I think all of us would probably say they would like to continue in this career if possible.”

Upcoming show details and music are at www.
MonochromeEmpire, or on YouTube channel Monochrome Empire Official

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