Sting Gives House To Sea Power Rock School
, April 1st, 2013 05:07
Country house donated for Lakelend art and music venture
Sting is to donate a Cumbrian retreat to Quietus favourites British Sea Power to set up an education centre and rehearsal space for young musicians. Sting, who owns a number of properties around the world, is parting company with the 17th century High Score Crag cottage and barn near Grasmere in order that BSP might set up "Cumbria's most prestigious school of rock".
According to the band's ever-eloquent spokesman, "Sting is said to be aware of BSP's north-eastern parentage, so the combo of the Lakes and the 'greater geordie nation' really appears to the cerebral superstar composer behind 'The Dream Of The Blue Turtles' and 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da'.
"We were amazed when Sting approached our management." says BSP's Cumbrian-born frontman Yan. "We couldn't believe he'd even heard of us, but it seems he really is giving us this amazing house. It's worth... well, a lot of money. He has some sheep there... Some people say Sting is a wanker, but this proves he isn't."
The band add that they are "thrilled" with the rock generosity, and promise to personally teach young Cumbrian bands – everything from basic chords and record techniques to ideas on presentation, the latter underlined by the statue of BSP stage bear Ursine Ultra that will sit by the entrance.
The rock school will host some impressive artefacts from Cumbrian rock history. A Gibson Les Paul donated by Spooky Tooth and the tea-chest bass that renowned Cumbrian Melvyn Bragg played in a skiffle band at Wigton Grammar School. BSP are most excited by a possible loan of a unique instrument, the Tap Board, created by Cumbrian hitmakers It Bites.
It Bites – from Egremont, close to the nuclear reactors at Sellafield on the Cumbrian coast – had a number six hit in the UK singles charts, with ‘Calling all the Heroes’ in 1986. The Tap Board is a unique combination of guitar and keyboard, partly constructed from an egg-timer and a shower hose.
"It Bites!" says BSP's Yan. "This is beyond our wildest dreams. Liverpool may have The Beatles, but we have It Bites. It just feels like everything's come full circle or something. To us this is like stepping onto the moon or being given the crown jewels, amazing..."