to all those who came to Twelfth Day's album launch last night. What a fantastic night - we could barely fit everyone in.We'll upload a video of the girls' set as soon as possible.
Cat and Esther have recently finished studying at the Royal Northern College of Music (I would say graduated, although they haven't yet) and it was great to see so many of their college peers attending the launch, many of them with instruments in hand having just finished their own rehearsals.
I think there is a stereotype that music colleges (perhaps all specialised arts colleges) breed real, bitter competitiveness. And that 'classical' music institutions are stuffy, constrained atmospheres where students are prevented from experimenting with other musical genres and styles.
But I've seen absolutely no evidence of this through my minute window in to Twelfth Day's world - musician friends have helped record and produce the album, even designing the artwork for the CD. The loudest whoops and cheers last night came from Twelfth Day's musical colleagues, and one of the support bands, Tawse, consisted of RNCM students and graduates.
Twelfth Day might make music very much bound to their trad Scots backgrounds, but their peers have embraced Rabbie Burns like Bartok. The Spotlight sessions at the RNCM actively encourage students to perform their own music in whatever format they choose.
Music colleges have always fascinated me - for the past couple of years I've been gathering sound bytes and interviews from those who have attended or teach at the Folk and Traditional Music course at the University of Newcastle - and it was lovely to experience such an open-minded, supportive atmosphere last night.