University of Northampton grads and student set to storm the stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals

Date 18.08.2017

Four University of Northampton graduates and a current student will be following in the footsteps of their musical heroes when they play one of the world’s most famous festivals.

Indie garage rockers Surge and the hip hop slacker collective, Ginger Snaps, have been added to the bills of the Reading and Leeds Festivals, which take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Essex four-piece Surge feature Alan Jones on guitar and bassist, Will Smith, who both graduated from the University’s Popular Music course this summer.


Surge – from left: Billy Fenton, George King, Alan Jones and Will Smith

Will said: “Having been to Reading Festival a handful of times as a teenager, it’s quite surreal to be able to say that I’m playing there with Surge this year. It’s a huge opportunity for the band to be playing a festival that has a prestigious history of artists and is known worldwide. The line-up this year boasts huge names including artists who have inspired the band, like Liam Gallagher and Kasabian, as well as incredible up-and-coming bands that we are lucky enough to represent through the This Feeling/Jack Rocks stage.

He added: “The University really helped in preparing me to be able to work within the music industry and it boosted my drive to succeed, as realistic assignments were allocated where the work had to be of a professional standard. If I didn’t go to university, I wouldn’t have had as many opportunities or connected with as many like-minded individuals that were as passionate about music as I was, and I also wouldn’t be in Surge!”

Watch Surge’s single Shame, below.

Joining Surge will be the hotly tipped Ginger Snaps, who are led by graduate Jay Brook and feature Popular Music graduate Stacey Pierre and undergraduate Nicole Obiefuna, on vocal duties.

Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps’ Jay Brook, Stacey Pierre and Nicole Obiefuna

They play the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds, and their appearance comes after a recent successful session on Edith Bowman’s Virgin Radio show.

Jay said: “It’s such an amazing opportunity to be asked by BBC introducing to play Reading and Leeds. When our Northampton BBC Introducing legend Lal Muttock phoned me to tell me I was, for once, lost for words.  BBC Introducing have been so supportive to Ginger Snaps and I feel really honoured to perform on their stage.

“Introducing is one of the few music development programmes in the UK and so important for new artists. I also feel indebted to the musicians who are playing in the Snaps band for these festival performances. They are working so hard and it sounds amazing.”

Watch Ginger Snaps’ latest single, Number Crunching, below.

Surge are on Twitter and Facebook.

Ginger Snaps are on Twitter and Facebook.