Four multi-talented Year 12 students are beginning to make a name for themselves as a band called Park Bench Society which has already had considerable success in the music charts and on the festival circuit while at the same time as achieving superb academic results. Murray Matravers, David Young and Laurence Thomas formed the band just over a year ago and were joined by Sam Hewitt in October 2011. Describing their music as “melodic indie”, they had to put the band’s ambitions on hold during the GCSE exam period but this was clearly a decision which paid off spectacularly by their amassing an astonishing 36 A grades between them, 29 of which were at A*.
Their music success has come from hard work over the last year during which they released their first EP, Forest Gate, on iTunes which reached #23 in the alternative charts and #110 in the Official Album chart: this was largely due to making it onto the Radio 1 Playlist for a week, which boosted their sales dramatically. As well as being Radio One play-listed, they have also made it onto Radio Two and Radio Six (6Music) and BBC television courtesy of a brief mention on East Midlands Today and the BBC Red Button. During the summer holidays they performed at no less than nine festivals, including those at Reading and Leeds.
After talks with Atlantic Records, and EMI and XIX Entertainment, they have secured a management team which has strong connections with major labels and other recording artists and which works alongside them giving them expert guidance, particularly useful in the circumstances in which they find themselves – a developing band the members of which are still full-time students with all that that implies regarding academic work.
As Murray says, “It is hard to strike a balance between music and school but for now it seems that holidays are for music and school is for school” and it is clear that this level-headed approach has paid off handsomely.