Sidcup band win competition to play hit author’s book launch

PUBLISHED: 17:36 12 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:36 12 February 2014

Brothers Murray and Miles Ashdown performing in the group Lowercase. Picture: Murray Ashdown

Brothers Murray and Miles Ashdown performing in the group Lowercase. Picture: Murray Ashdown


The chance to take your band to perform before industry-types and film crews at the book launch party of a mass-selling author doesn’t come round too often -- but Sidcup competition winners Lowercase are preparing for their great opportunity.

An online battle of the bands, which saw groups fight for Facebook “likes”, was triumphed by the teenaged foursome as they beat off about 60 bands with nearly 500 virtual votes.

The band now will play at Camden’s Lockside Lounge on February 27 at the launch of bestselling novelist, who wrote the popular young adult’s novel CHERUB, Robert Muchamore’s latest book Rock War.

The book’s premise is that of three teenagers all on their separate quests to achieve fame and glory -- perhaps after winning the competition, Lowercase’s journey will follow a similar path.

Singer and guitarist Murray Ashdown, 17, of Cray Road, is eagerly awaiting the show.

He says: “They say there will be a couple of film crews and important people there and I’m really excited about the prestige of it.

“The drummer’s even more excited, he imagines everything that’s going to happen in his head like we are going to be in an encore and have a jazzy last song.

“I don’t really think it’s going to happen but it sounds good in your head.”

The voting was tight throughout and Lowercase were neck and neck with another band for most of it.

Murray says: “I was quite surprised but we were ahead a lot of the time so it was also a massive relief not to be beaten at the last minute.”

Heavily influenced by Muse and Radiohead, Murray describes the band as indie rock but has recently “mixed it with dance”.

He has been making music with his brother for four years but the current line-up is fresh after they teamed up with a new drummer, Jacob Oguntimehin. Therefore nerves on the night must be expected to be high as he reveals that it will be the first time the current line-up will perform in front of an audience.

They are arduously practicing for three hours a week until the big show so they have a tight performance.

“We are playing three songs and they are quite solid,” Murray says.

Murray and his bassist brother Miles, 18, have a different background than most teenagers that are into rock music.

“I started playing classical music when I was about 11. It’s not exactly cool but it’s my passion,” Miles says.

His approach too is different to most young bands.

“There’s a lot of thought that goes into it and we think intelligently about it.

“We’ve spent a long time developing our sound and we are firm believers that if you sound like another band around, no-one will listen as everyone’s heard it before.”

He says that the band use unusual chord progressions and a lot of harmonies to set themselves apart,” says Miles of Hamilton Road, currently on a gap year teaching choir singing.

The pair, along with Jacob, 17 and second guitarist James Qureshi, 16, who both attend Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School with Murray, may not take over the world with Lowercase but, continuing with their attitude to innovate, they just stand a chance of competing in the Rock War.

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