Former Neale Wade student hits the high notes when he plays the main stage in the opening band at Sundown Festival

Doug Beckwith in the VIP backstage area at Sundown Festival. PICTURE: Kath Sansom

Doug Beckwith in the VIP backstage area at Sundown Festival. PICTURE: Kath Sansom - Credit: Archant

A 22 year old music student from March has spoken of the mind blowing moment when he stepped on stage to play bass in the band chosen to open Sundown Festival at Norwich.

The two day festival, which boasted top name artists like Tinie Tempah, Rudimental, Jaguar Skills and Sub Focus, saw former Neale Wade student Doug Beckwith open the show as part of London-based band James King.

Doug, of Westwood Avenue, said: “We’ve only been together as a band for three months and have been rehearsing solid. We played a few pub gigs around London so to go out and open Sundown was a little bit mind blowing.

“It was really exciting. To find yourself on a massive stage with a crowd like that was a fantastic experience.”

The band was chosen to play after winning a competition to find a newcomer run by Sundown organisers.


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Singer songwriter James King, well known on the capital’s gig circuit, put the band together in June when he advertised for musicians.

Doug, who studies at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in London, saw the advert on a pin board and was chosen to make up the band along with James Porter on drums and Harrison Blackmore on lead guitar.

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Doug learnt to play guitar at the age of 11 when his older brother Matthew taught him - but there are no sour grapes for watching his sibling climb the successful career ladder so quickly.

Matthew has already bagged himself a sought-after job working on special effects on hit fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.

Doug, who is about to start his second year at college, said: “Sundown was just the start. We are releasing an EP soon and from here we plan to carry on keeping busy with gigs and getting the band name known.”

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