After a very successful appearance at last years’ School Games closing ceremony, Soul Patrol were invited back by the School Games to close out the opening ceremony on 31st August this year.
The School Games is a national sports competition hosted at Loughborough University and featured Britain’s best young elite athletes competing against each other in an ‘Olympics’ and ‘Paralympics’ style competition. The weekend’s competition featured up to 4000 athletes performing in a variety of sporting disciplines.
We arrived at Loughborough University amid tight security and had a lot of waiting around as the staging and technical equipment was set up. Once the stage was ready we then had to practice with the tech crew getting our mics set up and ready to go. Before we were going to play the organisers were playing a two-minute video for the audience to watch whilst we were setting up on stage. This meant that we had a two-minute window to get all of the instruments, amps and microphones on stage and set up before we had to perform. It was very clear that in order for the ceremony to run smoothly and as professionally as possible, that we had to be ready to play as soon as the video had stopped playing. The tech crew were practicing getting the drum kit on and off even when we weren’t there!
Soul Patrol were booked to perform two songs, ‘Respect’ (sung by Mae Dudley) and ‘Treasure’ (sung by Adam Pugh). They were the closing act of the opening ceremony and performed just after the games were officially “opened”. During our last song ‘Treasure’, we were told there were going to be ‘Pyro FX’ happening. At last years’ ceremony there were fire balls and lasers, but we were surprised to find out that there were going to be confetti canons and fireworks going off when we reached the two climax points in the song. Despite the band being told that there would be a very large bang as the canons went off, they weren’t prepared for it, and during the final song they all jumped out of their skin! Thankfully the audience didn’t notice because they were too busy watching the confetti/steamers falling down on to them.
As the band played their final note, the sun had set and the fireworks were lit behind the stage. It looked fantastic.
As always, the band behaved and performed beyond their years, with everybody commenting on how impressed they were with their performance skills, confidence on stage and professionalism. The organisers and management of ‘Youth Sports Trust’, the sponsors of the games, the technicians, and the other performers all commented on how brilliant they were.
We’ve even invited to perform at another ‘Youth Sport’ events later in the year off the back of this performance, so watch this space.
The performers who did Robert Smyth proud were:
- Lyle Burton – Drums
- Elliot Baker – Bass
- Taran Mann – Keys
- Charles Witcombe – Guitar
- Holly Barnett – Baritone Sax
- Kim Jeffs – Tenor Sax
- Alice Riches – Alto Sax
- Josh Watson – Trumpet
- Amirah Bobat – Vocals
- Mae Dudley – Vocals
- Ellis Barthorpe – Vocals
- Adam Pugh – Vocals