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The Power Tour 2011

The Power Tour 2011 is a collaboration between five Youth Music Action Zones, which aims to identify and develop musical talent and potential in young rock band musicians. The 2011 Power Tour project has been run as two separate mini-tours: a North of England leg, involving Music4U (Humber), More Music (Morecambe) and CoMusica (Gateshead) and a Midlands leg, involving Make Some Noise (Staffordshire) and The Hive (Shrewsbury).

Video from The Power Tour 2011 - Junction, Goole

The first leg of the tour saw Hull-based alternative rock group The Dead Hormones team up with folk singer Katy Pickles and her band from Morecambe, and five-piece female rock band Frock-On! from Gateshead. Their story began on 25 October at Junction in Goole, where the tour kick started with a song-writing masterclass with Leeds College of Music's Craig Lees and Gavin Stevenson.

Images of the band - Dead Hormones

This gave the bands a chance to hear and discuss each other's music and start getting to know one another for the journey ahead. Their first performance together that evening, supported by Music4U's Goole School of Rock participants Molly, Beth and Friends and compered by Music4U's 2010 Power Tour band Rhodes, went down a storm with the audience. One local supporter, Bill Simpson, said: "I was privileged to be in the audience at Junction for such a fantastic show. For these very talented young musicians, The Power Tour will be the experience of a lifetime - exciting, enjoyable, challenging and rewarding."

Images of Frock-On!

Images of the Katy Pickles band

From this strong start, the young bands launched eagerly into the next day of the tour - a visit to More Music's newly refurbished venue The Hothouse in Morecambe. Here they were given access to wisdom from music industry professionals, including singer/songwriter Karima Francis, Goldblade's John Robb, representatives from Tambourine Management and venue owner Kev Baxter, through a panel discussion and Q&A session. After much networking and an impromptu performance from Karima Francis, the three Power Tour bands pulled together again to put on a fantastic gig, this time with support from More Music's band development programme, Stages.

The final day of the tour saw the groups arriving at the Sage Gateshead, a venue which never fails to make an impact on visiting bands; as 2010 Power Tour band Rhodes recalled: "The Sage is the most impressive and humbling (and shiny) building you'll ever see!"

The afternoon was spent with The Sage Gateshead's Community Music trainees, who tried and tested the rapport that had developed between the 2011 Power Tour bands by swapping members around to form new groups. In their new 'session bands' participants were given a song-writing brief and asked to compose and perform new songs in new styles within less than two hours - something they achieved with great skill and creativity. To conclude their Power Tour journey, the three bands took to the main stage of the Northern Rock Foundation Hall to perform one last show together, with support from local acts, including CoMusica's urban drumming group Afinado.

By the end of the final night the performers were exhausted but elated, as The Dead Hormones youth worker, Lyn Hubbard described: "On the way home after the final show, the band was just buzzing with excitement, starting to think about how they'll move forward from this experience. They are looking at meeting up again with the sound engineer they met in Morecambe, who was interested in recording their work, and are also trying to set up future gigs with More Music and their Power Tour act, Katy Pickles".

The Dead Hormones added: "We have been blessed with the awesome opportunity on The Power Tour and we are very, very excited to have had this chance to play in major venues and learn from playing around the country."

Emily Crossland, Project Co-ordinator for Music4U, said the tour had been a fantastic experience for all the bands who took part. The experience of travelling around the country, playing on different stages to new audiences and making new musical connections had been exhilarating and it had been a great learning experience for everyone.

Images of Molly, Beth and Friends (who played support)

Follow the The Power Tour blog here