Coopers Rage to play Bestival
By Linda Serck
One of Reading's youngest bands are on the bill with Lily Allen and Kraftwerk at the 20,000-strong Bestival 2009 in September. We chat to 14-year-old Dan Bartlett from Coopers Rage about how it all started.
Imagine you're 14, you're in a band, and this summer your average audience will be in their thousands.
This is the reality for Reading teen rockers Coopers Rage, who will be playing at the 20,000-strong Bestival on the Isle of Wight this September.
"We're over the moon, we're just thrilled to bits to be part of it," enthuses 14-year-old frontman Dan Bartlett, whose band mates Henry Colborne and Ed Roberts are also 14 apart from drummer Andy Wilder, who's 16.
The three-dayer festival is one of the largest in the UK, and Cooper's Rage are sharing the billing with Lily Allen, Massive Attack and Kraftwerk.
Playing on the first day, Friday 11 September, the young band have bagged an excellent slot on the band stand at 6.30pm.
"It's the biggest thing we've done," says Dan, "we've been at Festinho which is a small festival but this is the biggest gig that we've ever been involved in, so we're so excited!"
The festival is curated by Radio One's Rob Da Bank, who was able to listen to the band's demo CD thanks to them winning a recent battle of the bands contest in Reading.
I was on the judging panel for that contest, at Plug 'n' Play, and was amazed by the band's skill and performance. Their prize was to record a demo at the Plug 'n' Play studios, something they'd never had before.
Dan Bartlett - only 14!
"Recently winning the Reading battle of the bands we sent off a CD," says Dan, "(manager) Linda's worked with him a few times before so had contacts, so we got into it that way."
Despite their young years the band have been together for three-and-a-half years, and I don't know about you, but when I was ten the idea of forming a band was far from my mind.
But Coopers Rage have always been driven to forge a career in music. Henry the bassist and Ed the lead guitarist were in a previous band called Rocktational, and Dan was evening singing on TV as a child.
"I've always sung along to stuff, and when I was seven-years-old I was on GMTV in a singing competition called Top Stars," says Dan, who has also performed in the West End in the stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
"Also my parents bought me a guitar for Christmas once," he adds, "and I just picked it up and started playing, got a few lessons and so really got into music that way."
As well as Bestival, Coopers Rage are also booked to play Rob Da Bank's Camp Bestival in July at Lulworth Castle).
They'll also be appearing at Suffolk's Festinho, a boutique festival in aid of the ABC Trust and their third appearance there.
Locally Coopers Rage are performing at the Wargrave Festival on Saturday June 27, and what's more, they've reached the semi-finals in Maidenhead's battle of the bands, taking place in May.
If they reach the finals they'll be performing before thousands at Kidwells Park in June for the Maidenhead Carnival.
While many musicians will only ever play before a couple of hundred spectators at most, here is a young band who clearly have the potential to play stadiums.
Find out more at: www.myspace.com/coopersrage.
last updated: 31/03/2009 at 10:24