Rocksteady Bands at the Portsmouth Music Festival by Band Leader Sam B

Author: Stephanie House

How many children aged 7-10 can say that they have performed in a rock band at the Portsmouth Guildhall? Not many, I bet…… 

For those of you who don’t know, the Guildhall is Portsmouth’s grandest and most famous music venue. It has welcomed The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and now six amazing Rocksteady bands – “The Missing Links”, “Five Mistakes”, “Reece’s Pieces – The Nuttiest Band in Rocksteady”, “Mic Drop”, “The X’s” and “The X Factor”.

For the 5th year running,  Rocksteady bands joined with other local music services to perform to an audience of more than 1,000 people each night, over 4 consecutive days. Supported by Band leaders, Luke. H, Tom.O, Callum and I.


This is what happened on the night my bands performed:

Once the children had excitedly amassed on the steps of the iconic building, it was time to make our way inside and set up camp in our very own dressing room. Fellow bandleaders Tom and Erin set up instruments and sound-checked on the stage, myself and Luke stayed in the dressing room with our bands to practise the songs and make sure everyone was feeling happy and confident with their parts.


After a short while, it was time to head down to the venue. Showtime! I’ll never forget the excited, wide-eyed stares on the children’s faces when they saw the huge stage! The instruments lay beneath a haze of smoke from the smoke machine and multicoloured lights. This was the real deal.

Luke’s band ‘Five Mistakes’ were the first to take the stage, dazzling the audience with a great performance of Immortals by Fallout Boy, complete with awesome drum fills, brilliant keys, superb guitar playing and strong vocals.

Next it was the turn of ‘The Missing Links’, a Year 3-5 band who have only been doing Rocksteady for seven weeks (a total of 3.5 hours of lessons) but have blown me away from the day I started teaching them. They have always worked together brilliantly as a band, and as a result, they’ve been able to learn a complex arrangement of Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd (who have also played at the Guildhall) which had the audience cheering and whooping with joy by the end. The song started with the whole band singing the famous line “We don’t need no education!” before kicking in with pounding drums, guitars and keys playing.

After the show, I was brimming with pride at just how well the Rocksteady bands handled being on such a big stage, and the confidence and talent they had shown during their performance. Well done to the bands, and a massive thank you to the parents and to the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival for giving them this great opportunity.

Sam B, Band Leader

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  • Friday 29, 2018