Top billing for Norfolk school band

High school band Shadows on the Ceiling's combined age is only slightly more than a single Rolling Stone. But youth is not holding back the five teenagers from Wayland High School, in Watton, who yesterday headlined the National Rock and Pop Festival at Birmingham's NEC arena - the biggest event of its kind in Europe.

High school band Shadows on the Ceiling's combined age is only slightly more than a single Rolling Stone.

But youth is not holding back the five teenagers from Wayland High School, in Watton, who yesterday headlined the National Rock and Pop Festival at Birmingham's NEC arena - the biggest event of its kind in Europe.

The success story continues on Friday when the group competes against 10 other young UK bands in the finals of the rock section of the National Festival of Music for Youth at Barfly in Birmingham.

Their growing repertoire of original material deals in melancholic and punchy riffs, beaten into shape by some violent drumming and the tempered thunder of 16-year-old vocalist Emily Creed.

The band is made up of Michael Sewell, 17, on guitar, Nathan Kerr, 17, on bass, Daniel Badcock, 15, on drums, and Charlotte White, 17, on keyboards.

They are seasoned performers, having played at previous festivals at the NEC, as well as packing in the punters with gigs on a river boat on the Norfolk Broads, at the Royal Norfolk Show and the Carnegie Rooms in Thetford.

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Miss Creed said: "To be given the longest set at the National Rock and Pop Festival is fantastic.

"It is a great opportunity to get spotted by an agent and it would be brilliant if we were."

She said they had all sacrificed a lot to get the best sound possible from the band and now had their own studio/soundproof shed.

"We practice every week, it has become important to all of us and we have all given up a lot for it.

"We tend just to sit in the shed and think about something that we want to get off our chests to come up with the barebones of the song and then all tweak it until it sounds right," she said.

"Our music is not like anybody else's because we all like different music so we include lots of different styles."

When reflecting on the band's future Nathan is slightly less modest.

He said: "Where do we see ourselves in five year's time, I'd say nothing less than world domination."