I am currently studying on the popular music course (first study bass) at Leeds College of Music.
Moving away from home and suddenly being thrown into a city on my own was definitely a big change, and adapting to this was a weird and at times, a stressful experience. However, overcoming this and embracing the new environment has made it worth it. For me, being surrounded by so many unique musicians of varying pathways has been the highlight as it's given many opportunities to experiment, learn and perform styles of music I never thought I'd be interested in.
Studying in Leeds has helped me develop as a musician as it changed my perspective towards being a musician as a whole, as it taught me to become more open-minded to new things, to start seeing from a business perspective, and encouraged me to network with other people.
During the Summer after our first year at Kendal College, myself, Hayden Barlow, Mark Kirby and Jess Robinson (playing bass, guitar/vocals, drums & sax/cello respectively) started meeting up to form Pariahs. We play a wavy mixture of various genres, fusing progressive and mathy elements with alternative rock, funk, soul - self-described as 'dad rock'.
During the 2 years we've been together, we've played numerous venues around the Furness area, Kendal, Lancaster and Leeds, and had the great opportunity to play Kendal Calling on the new Yam Riot stage this Summer, alongside our friends in other Cumbrian bands (many of who are also ex-students). We also recorded our debut EP back last Summer, entitled 'Oh Dear, Oh No', which is available on all major digital retailers!
Go throw our page a cheeky like for some new material we've been working on and for upcoming gigs. If you find yourself there, do come and say hello!
I've also been fortunate to be part of some other bands based in Leeds, including a groovy indie 4 piece called Little Hand Feet, and Sonic Blue, an 8 piece funk/soul group. We've had a very busy year and have some really exciting things coming up so go scout them out if you're interested!
Kendal College's music course was one of the main reasons for changing my mind about what to end up studying at university. The facilities available, the wide range of invaluable skills taught and the tutors encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone to learn new things that have made my time at uni, recording and playing gigs way less daunting.
For any potential new students, my biggest advice would be to always be open to new opportunities. Use the other musicians around you to your advantage! Not everything is going to be your thing, but unless you're proactive and enthusiastic to try, then you'll never know!