Sounding Out, Day 5: In which the band veto Sara’s suggested name of ‘Spicy Llama’…

I arrived in time to watch the recording of ‘System’ – the first song I heard the band perform at the start of the week. In that short time it’s come a long way; it was sounding slick on Monday, but by now it was positively shining.

Likewise with the band – they were a collection of talented individuals; now they’ve come together as a unit – and the big news for the day was that they’d finally agreed on a name! Wait for it…

Introducing… Platform 7!

The band considered a number of options for name (“I really liked Spicy Llama… others didn’t feel the same,” Sara told me sadly), veering towards using Gary’s song-title ‘Strangetown’, before settling on Platform 7, a suggestion from Sara:

“The idea is that Sounding Out is a platform and there are 7 in the band. I also happened to be driving past Euston at the time. Valter said it should be Platform 12 as there are 12 musicians in total, but Charles thought 7 sounded better.”

I wasn’t the only one to be impressed by the professionalism and quality of the band; two visitors from Trinidad watched opened mouthed as I explained how short a time Platform 7 had had to fuse together as a band and generate a set for their forthcoming performances. The visitors were from a rehabilitative project in Trinidad which is considering adding a musical component to its programme for improving prisoners’ life skills. They took copious notes.

Platform 7 has spent the whole day recording the six songs they’ve collaborated on. As well as providing all the material for project leader Nick to mix off-site to create what promises to be a brilliant CD, it also gave the band the chance to review and galvanise their songs, and to see just how far they’d come during their time together:

“It’s been fantastic… there’s no other word for it… sometimes it’s been hard, but I can see the light shining through,” said Valter.

“We’ve had to put in some work though,” Selwyn agreed. “Can’t have it handed to you on a plate.”

And it wasn’t only the participants who came away from the project smiling; “It’s been one of the best weeks of my life,” Sara stated.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s been fantastic,” Joe from the Royal Academy of Music Open Academy told me. “An amazing week,” fellow RAMOA musician Hermione agreed. They both kindly agreed to speak to me in detail about their experiences on the project, so you can expect to hear much more from them soon.

After a serious hugging session, some had to leave to catch trains; some lingered to help the project team pack away the equipment; Jim produced a hot chocolate fudge cake to Charles’ visible approval; in a group exodus the van was loaded, and with that, the week was over.

But that’s not the end of Sounding Out! In many ways, the creative week is just the beginning, and there’s only a short wait until the band’s first two performances in July – which will give Platform 7 the public platform to demonstrate what a thoroughly talented bunch they really are.



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