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On Tuesday 1 May, Highgate hosted its very first ‘Popular Music Showcase’ at the Camden Assembly –formerly Barfly. This venue, famous for displaying emerging talent and launching many a household name, such as Ed Sheeran, was the perfect setting for this inaugural event. Colourful red and green light bulbs lit up the performers on the stage space, roaming lasers surfed the audience and a smoke machine filled the room with a hazy glow. You instantly felt you had entered somewhere legendary. The bands featured covered genres from jazz to indie rock and hip hop. All songs played were written or adapted by the students themselves.

Téa Henry and Coby Brown kicked off the evening with their first track, a punchy, soulful tune, composed by Coby, that set the tone and standard for the rest of the gig. Following them was Jazz Force 1 who gave a smooth performance, complete with brilliant solos from each of the members. Other acts included were an as-yet-untitled band, fronted by Dilan Shant, whose style was a cross between the Arctic Moneys and the Smashing Pumpkins, and Room 6, fronted by James Lamb (with his haunting vocals), who performed three indie/alternative tracks. This set was complete with a loop pedal, controlled by bass player Aris Sabetai (who won the audience over with his captivating stage presence), which pumped out atmospheric background riffs throughout their set – surely future stadium fillers. The evening was closed by Highgate’s very own hip hop collective, featuring MCs George Blumenthal (GeoBlu), Harry Kitson (Kitz) and Sammy Bouchebaba, and me on vocals. We performed three original songs, with backing tracks provided by Tom Handyside, Aris Sabetai and Arthur Avanzato playing jazz/soul inspired beats.

The evening was so special - taking the gig to such an iconic venue outside school you felt that, as a performer, you were able to showcase something that was entirely your own.

A huge thank you must be given to Mr Murphy, Mr Bennett and Ms Rivlin, without whom this evening may have never been able to happen.  

Written by Ruby Year 12


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