We’ve been reminiscing about Sprog Rock ever since the last gig on Saturday 4 November at Lyra, and we’re not the only ones! Sprog Rock have been too – and we’re delighted to share this final blog by band member Pete Lannon about some of his most memorable moments . . .
We’ll be the Same . . . But Different . . .
Hello! I’m Pete, and I play guitar and sing in Sprog Rock. I also sometimes press buttons to play samples of people shouting and making sound effects.
The Sprog Rock tour has just finished and I am GUTTED. This project has been one of the most fun and creatively satisfying processes I’ve been a part of, and performing the new songs we’ve made with the nursery groups has been amazing!
It’s been hard to pick out a favourite moment or single best thing, but here are some of my highlights:
- Finding the chorus of Same but Different (‘I’ll be the same…. but different’) with the class at Kelly Street nursery, and them all singing it out of the door and through the playground as they left after the session. That song especially has been one of my favourites to write and play. It feels really bittersweet (to me as an adult), and came from some beautiful and interesting conversations with the children about how they felt about getting older and all of the things that might be different. These ranged from ‘being in a different gymnastics class’ to ‘going to the big school and doing homework’ and a huuuuge list of all of the different things we wanted to be (spider-man, wonder woman, a reindeer, a mermaid…). It was funny listening to 3 and 4-year olds be nostalgic about how they were getting older but also really nice hearing what they were hopeful for, and I think it means the song works really well for people of all ages.
- Dancing like crazy dinosaurs to a rockin’ 12 bar blues with the other Kelly St. class
- Seeing children from each nursery in the audience at each venue and them joining in with their songs
- Parents’ reactions to the lyrics that the children and written with us – sometimes they mean different things or are more touching for the adults in the audiences, and I love how there can be lots of layers to the songs with different feelings for different people
- Rory’s Sousaphone dressed as an elephant!
- Ronan being a lion
- Geraldine, Rory and Ronan being rappers
- Kim being a crocodile
- Greg, Kim and Ronan being dinosaurs
- . . . all of the great costumes and visuals we’ve had! It feels really exciting that as well as all these great songs the gigs are also really visual and exciting to watch. The projections, props and costumes that Katy and Ewan have created and designed for how the band and the performances look are brilliant and sometimes I can’t quite believe that I get to do something that looks this cool.
I have also learnt loads from the tour and I feel like the time we’ve been able to spend practicing and playing together means we work much slicker as a band. One of the things that an audience member has said was ‘It’s so great to see something for children with so many performers in it!’ Often it seems hard to properly fund projects with more than a few people involved. It’s really exciting having 8 people playing in the band as it means we can try loads of different ideas that would be hard with just a few of us. It’s quite a set-up with 8 musicians who are often switching instruments! Sometimes that can be a challenge trying to figure out who should stand where, who needs to introduce what song, and how we make it all sound as good as possible. It’s quite a big job (and we’ve had great help from all of the technical teams at the venues)!
That feels like part of what make Sprog Rock really special – everyone works really hard so that it sounds and looks as good as we can make it, and so it feels like any other gig for adults. Except that it’s WAY MORE FUN!
So fun that we just want to keep doing it… next stop, recording all of our new songs!
Did you attend the Sprog Rock Tour? Watch this space for our 2017 Tour film!
Sprog Rock toured this Autumn to four local authorities in Scotland, creating brand new music with children in local nurseries. They then performed that new music at gigs at local community venues, enabling the children and their families to share their first live music experience together, with a full live band.
THE AUTUMN 2017 TOUR
Beacon Arts Centre | 30 September | 11:30 & 14:30
Macrobert Arts Centre | 7 & 8 October | 11:30 & 14:30
Platform, Glasgow | 21 October | 14:00 | 22 October | 10:30
LYRA | 4 November | 12:00 & 14:30