Event Review: BTEC Gig 2016
On Friday 29 April, five of Bede's Upper Sixth musicians got together and hosted their final gig, accompanied by the Lower Sixth BTEC band, and packed-out The Miles Studio Theatre in aid of Save the Children.
A UK-based charity, Save The Children helps to give children new starts, protects them from harm and offers world class programmes to help save lives - including by challenging world leaders and encouraging them to give refugees a brighter future.
With refugees so much in the news of late, we all felt like Save The Children was a more than worthy cause, and we therefore set about doing everything we could to make this year's BTEC Gig a success.
The evening started off with the Lower Sixth BTEC band playing songs from the likes of Imagine Dragons and Coldplay, both of which created a dance-like atmosphere. Considering this was only their second concert, the Lower Sixth band showed impressive collaborative work and we were very grateful to them for opening for us.
After the Lower Sixth band had stood down, we took to the stage and started our set with our floor-filling number from last year's Cabaret concert, the Arctic Monkey's I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor, and followed it with Message in a Bottle by The Police.
Grace Longden took on the dual roles of playing bass and singing in both numbers and did a brilliant job.
Next came the most demanding song we played; The Zuton's Valerie, although we decided to recreate the Amy Winehouse version, a jazzy pop track that got every last wallflower heading towards the dance floor. It was a sight to behold!
With everyone enjoying themselves immensely, we then invited Mr Hopkins up to the stage to join us in playing Killing Switch by Last Lynx.
This song delivered a funky vibe, with Ivan Friedman kicking off the drums and vocals and then splitting into a three-part harmony with Grace Longden and Olga Shyshatskya. These performances, along with the exceptional keyboard playing of Mr Hopkins and his retro-techno sounds, gave the song a classic 80s touch.
These three superb vocalists put their voices into use again with Help, a song originally performed by The Beatles and remade into an 80s pop hit by the all-female British group Bananarama.
After this more relaxed interlude, we kicked things up another notch with Liquid Lunch by Caro Emerald. With its jazzy vibe and funky back beat, this song was a guaranteed success, with more and more people getting onto the dance floor. Just like with Valerie, everyone was up and having a good time whilst we were there to provide the entertainment.
We next performed a jazz version of Mike Posner’s Cooler Than Me which included the wonderful Hannah Roberts performing. A smooth walking bass line and click of the fingers helped provide the cool atmosphere in the Miles Studio and created a chilled vibe before the intermission.
When we came back for the second half we kept the chill vibe rolling with the Grace Longden and Ivan Friedman, accompanied by James Cuxson on acoustic guitar, playing You and Me by You + Me - a song filled with emotion and passion.
The duo's voices helped compliment the romantic idea behind the song and Grace and Ivan were able to give their best as a folk duo.
We then moved on to the more dance-like part of the evening including songs like I Know What You Did Last Summer and I Can’t Feel My Face. We then played the famous Friday I’m In Love by The Cure, sung by myself; I was happy to be able to make two members of staff sing at the top of their lungs while also sounding like Robert Smith from the band, and was particularly thankful to be accompanied by Grace on the harmonies.
The evening then ended after we brought back Mr Hopkins and his 80’s sounds for Electric Feel. This song got a lot of people to the dance floor and the singing talents of Grace and Olga continued to shine as they sung with plenty of volume.
The gig ended with a brilliant applause and, needless to say, while the Upper Sixth BTEC Band had a good night so did everyone else.
We now look forward to seeing what next years Upper Sixth can do. Best of luck!