Rock stars of the future have been cutting their teeth at a pub’s open mic night.
Musicians as young as 12 have been strumming and singing at The New Pot Oil in Wrenthorpe.
Josephine Hanks, 13, whose music-teacher dad helped set up the Tuesday night sessions, said: “It’s a really good opportunity for people to perform their songs because usually you never get the opportunity to perform because you’re too young to do gigs.”
The teenager, who plays in a band called The Lost, added: “There is all sorts of music, there’s rock, singer Sophie Williams, 16, does classical stuff. At the end of the night we all jam.”
The open mic night came about after a chance conversation between landlord Tony Padgett and Josephine’s dad Chris, 46.
Mr Hanks, the head of music at Spen Valley Sports College, heard Mr Padgett wanted to have more live music at the Wrenthorpe Road pub.
The dad-of-four suggested an open mic night, which is both for children and adults.
It started in January and has been become a magnet for budding stars, including experienced trio The Dead Vixens - made up of three boys from Wrenthorpe and Alverthorpe.
Mr Hanks said: “The opportunity to perform is completely different to practising your instrument in your bedroom.
“If you are performing in front of an audience you get an experience of enjoyment of sharing music with other people.”
His daughter Josephine, of Outwood Grange Academy, said the fame of the open mic night had spread via their own social network site, by word of mouth and through the help of her sister, Bethan, 16, who also performs.
Now Josephine, who excels on the Cajon - a Flamenco percussion instrument, is busy practising for the open mic night’s first ever festival on The Spring Bank Holiday on May 27.
For more information please visit: www.facebook.com/OpenMicNightAtTheNewPotOil?ref=hl