The afternoon featured 32 acts with singers and musicians, duos and orchestras, soloists and choirs, classical and modern, jazz and rock.  Too many highlights to mention but the confidence & competence of the students was impressive and the enthusiasm infectious.  Actually I will give a name check to one band – Downloaded are a Year 6 band from The Raleigh who played Boulevard of Broken Dreams made famous by Green Day.  The boys sported matching red T-shirts with their world tour dates listed on the back – HowardFest 17 on 24 June was the only date – hilarious.

    Huge credit to Mrs Finch and Mr Lockyer for preparing, co-ordinating, conducting, cajoling and managing this part of the show.  We also saw master Louie Heaton working some magic on the sound control desk – a sign of big things to come for sure. Anyway on to the evening and first up were Altitude – Year 11 band fresh from their GCSEs.  An excellent performance by the young musicians and even a spot of political commentary from Jack Gorman – clearly Mr Trump has a powerful affect on all ages.

    Master Will Cassidy and his band got us off to a great start.  They were followed on stage by The Renegades who covered a number of famous hits and got the audience up for some dancing.  The next band were The Island Club featuring two ex-Howard students and a full set of their own material.  They missed their slot for a sound check as they were taking a trip down memory lane with a quick trip around the school.  The headline act were The Cheap Shots featuring Rob Myers on the drums – a great set to bring the day to a rocking conclusion.  Many thanks to all the bands who generously gave their time and musicianship to the cause.











    Originally formed by aspiring Howard students Will Cassidy, Oli George and Jacob Hickey, Altitude began as an instrumental cover group playing tracks from rock bands such as the Foo Fighters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse as well as writing some of their own songs.  Over time, new genres have influenced the band ranging from Funk to Heavy Metal.

    More recently the band have worked with vocalist/guitarist Jack Gorman to produce a more complete sound.  The popular Year 11 band will showcase some covers and original music at HowardFest.



    None of The Renegades could afford a Maserati, which is why these 40-something chirpy chappies decided to embrace their midlife crisis by forming a band. Four of the band - Jason 'Doc' Cox, Adam 'Windy' Miller, 'Stranglers' Jim Drury, and Tim 'Liberace' Allard - met at Sussex University in 1990. The fifth member - Dave 'Washboard' Evans married one of their fellow Sussexians.

    The Renegades play a selection of rock/pop/alternative/indie covers dating from the 1950s to the present day and hope you'll enjoy watching them roll back the years.



    Island Club are an established band with an impressive track record.  Here are a few reviews of their work: "Gorgeous, bleached out indie pop with a neat rock twist, The Island Club recall those early Peace demos, or even the more ethereal side of Tame Impala... All sun-kissed melodies, dappled textures, rippling chords and soaraway vocals, it's an instantly contagious cut... Packed with pop aspiration..." - Clash Magazine 

    "Refreshing, psychedelic vibes... Just imagine walking around on the wettest of days – all of a sudden the sun comes up and everything is right in the world. Well that’s The Island Club." - Vulture Hound

    Two of the band – Barney (keyboards) and Julien (guitar) attended the Howard Of Effingham from year 7 through to the end of sixth form.  Both did music A-Levels according to my research! 





    The Cheap Shots are a self-styled Surrey-based ‘party covers’ band, playing an irresistible mix of pop, rock and dance music hits from the past 30-40 years aimed squarely at getting people dancing (or at least tapping their feet anyway!)  

    Rob Myers (drums) has two children at the school and the band have a history of playing fund-raising gigs at The Raleigh so are well-known in the area.