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Every year at ACM Guildford we host ‘Summer Live’, a showcase of the next generation of the music industry.
This year’s event was bigger and better than ever with four days and nights of performances in the Electric Theatre.
Having recently acquired the lease for the theatre, we were proud to celebrate Guildford’s thriving live music scene by putting on a showcase of such quality, and we were honoured to be able to donate the proceeds of the event to a worthwhile cause, mental health charity Music Support, which was co-founded by ACM wellbeing advisor Mark Richardson (a well-known drummer in his own right).
In line with our principles of learning-by-doing, we had our Technical Services students on hand assisting backstage, alongside a Music Business student reviewing the event for a music blog. The event emphasised the depth and variety of genres that ACM students can lend their hand to, from folk to jazz, to metal and electronic.
For the Thursday evening showcase, we invited a number of music industry professionals and packed the venue for a series of performances by some of the very best artists currently studying at ACM.
All-female group Mardhys opened the evening with ‘John’, an eclectic song driven by acoustic guitar and violin, and had the audience captivated throughout their performance. With a cinematic sound, the atmospheric opening really engaged the crowd and warmed them up perfectly for the next band, China Bears.
Comprised entirely of Songwriting students, China Bears is fronted by 2015 BASCA Scholarship winner Ivan Proctor. Having already performed at ACM’s showcase at The Alternative Escape in Brighton, as well as having released their debut single ‘Hydra’ earlier this year, the band are well on their way to a successful career, if their performance at Summer Live is anything to go by.
Following on from China Bears’ upbeat indie set was a stellar performance from Neon Islands. An ethereal voice-over on a quest to ‘find the Neon Islands’ filled the auditorium before the band took to the stage. In front of what could be an intimidating crowd to some, Neon Islands performed with such energy that they had everyone up on their feet from their very first song.
Next to take the stage was Chinchilla, an urban artist with a powerhouse vocal, who brought the first half of the evening to a triumphant close. After a short interval featuring DJ performances in the foyer, Nabsora delivered a unique set of soulful songs, a capella, and spoken word art.
The evening concluded with yet more stand-out performances from the likes of AIA, Unsigned Music Award nominees UHURU, and This Rose.
We were blown away by the sheer talent and creativity displayed by our students; a real testament to their hard work and dedication to their craft.
If you’d like to be a student at ACM and perform at events like Summer Live, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.