Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Ryan Halsey’s hitting the big time
A YOUNG Bridport musician is beating a path to the big time having been picked to join a new band set to tour some of the country’s top venues.
Drummer Ryan Halsey so impressed the judges with his atmospheric audition video, filmed at the town’s Lyric Theatre, that he has been picked as one of a handful of young people in the grassroots Think Big band.
Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, a staunch advocate of new music, teamed up with O2 Think Big to offer up to 10 talented but unsigned young musicians from different backgrounds across the UK the chance to shine in a showcase tour of in Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, and London alongside headline acts yet to be revealed.
The new band members will work with Huw and a team that includes a songwriter and producer.
Together they will create and produce an original piece of music that reflects everything that is great about British musical culture and its social diversity.
Ryan, 22, is now due in London to meet the other band members and start rehearsals.
The former St Mary’s and Sir John Colfox School student has been working in a supermarket to help make ends meet, helping out at the arts centre and teaching drumming as well as playing drums with country-rock band No Country for Old Men.
Ryan said it had not really sunk in that he had been successful in being picked and says he has to thank all the people, including the Lyric, who helped him.
He said: “I was really shy as a kid, but I have always loved music and I tried all sorts of things, including guitar and piano.
“But it was the drums that I loved and all the experiences I have had with that have really brought me out of my shell.”
He added: “We had almost finished filming the video when I was browsing Twitter and saw the details of the band being formed, so I uploaded it and heard that I was on a shortlist.
“I guess how the band will turn out will be one of those things that we will only find out when we are all in the room together.”
The shows, which start in Glasgow on October 29, will be organised and run by young people who volunteered to take part, from lighting and sound to make-up and engineering.
DJ Huw Stephens said: “There are so many talented young people across the UK who don’t have the chance to showcase their musical ability.
“That’s why I’m working with Think Big to find new talent and offer them the opportunity to shine.
“There is so much untapped talent in this country and not just music-related.
“Schemes like O2’s Think Big exist to provide youngsters with the opportunities to show their creativity.”