PLAYING a gig in front of 15,000 screaming fans is the stuff of dreams. But it’s all in a day’s work for Tan.Trum – even though the band’s oldest member is only 13.
The Rugby schoolkids’ hard work is paying off. Having played over 30 shows last year – more than some fully-grown bands manage in their whole careers – they have been chosen to join top-ten acts Lawson, Union J and FUSE ODG at Birmingham’s huge LG Arena for a festival later this month.
They have come a long way since forming just 18 months ago with the help of Warwickshire County Music Services, but seemed destined to make it in the world of music from an even earlier age.
Although guitarist Ellis Powell-Bevan is only 13, he has already chalked up a decade of learning his craft.
“I have always been taken to gigs since I was really young, and I have been inspired to play music all my life.” he said.
Music also runs in the family for ten-year-old drummer Louis Bailie, the band’s youngest member.
He said: “My dad plays in a band and I bought my own drum kit when I was six and a half, and began having drumming lessons when I was eight.”
Singer Ella ‘Beanie’ Daniels, 13, joined by happy coincidence.
“Ellis’ Dad was repairing our family’s computer when he heard me singing around the house.” she said. “He asked if I was interested in joining a band and that was that!”
And passion for music led bass player Georgie ‘GG’ Crump, also 13, to County Music Service’s Andy Walker, who joined the dots and introduced the band members – who all attend different schools – to each other.
GG said: “I played acoustic guitar in primary school and started playing in a school band at Avon Valley’s after school club, when Andy Walker introduced me to the bass and suggested I join Tan.Trum.”
Andy, who plays guitar for local party band White Men Can’t Funk, was eager to see his protégés come together and realise their potential.
He said: “I’d been teaching Ellis the guitar since year three or four at his junior school. He had a clear passion for music and so once he was good enough we formed a band around him.
“They all got on really well and were keen to get gigging!”
He believes they have developed so quickly thanks to a combination of their own dedication and support from their parents.
“They have developed into a band who communicate well, not only with themselves but with the audiences they play to.” he told us.
“I’ve been impressed with their dedication. Not many kids of that age will put as much effort into something as they have, so I am incredibly proud of them.”
Already established on the local scene, the band have worked hard to define their style, which they describe as ‘rocked-up pop songs with a little ska and punk’ with influences as diverse as Katy Perry, Queen, Dolly Parton, Slash, Blondie, Thunder and The Specials.
“When we write our owns songs we all try to make them memorable, unique and cool.” said Beanie.
“The first original song we have recorded is Wait For Me. We tried to make it our own, so when people hear it on the radio, just from the beat and strumming you know it is Tan.Trum playing.”
When asked if they still get nervous before a gig, the young rockers display a clear confidence in their abilities. Louis said: “It’s just what we do.” GG told us: “I never get nervous.” And Ellis joked: “Well, I don’t have to take spare pants anymore.”
Beanie added: “Now when I’m not gigging it doesn’t feel right. Tan.Trum’s home is on stage. When I’m getting ready, I’m buzzing and I almost leap on stage. It is an absolute thrill and all I can say is I love it.”
Looking towards the LG gig, an under-18s music festival called OMG Live, Andy has no doubts Tan.Trum will be able to fill the stage.
“Its like they’re playing Wembley every time they play, regardless of the venue. They’ll play anywhere and they’ll play their hearts out each time.”
“I’m really excited and can’t wait.” said GG. “I’m shocked and proud we have made it this far.”
OMG Live features more than 30 bands playing over 9 hours in the LG Arena on April 24. Visit www.omglive.co.uk for tickets.