Tuesday 24 November 2009

Schools For The Unnaturally Gifted

Before anyone gets overly excited, I am not referring to Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. On the contrary, I am highlighting the regularity with which certain ‘muggle’ educational facilities seem to churn-out musical starlets.

I have trawled through the dusty alumni records of my old school and I have failed to locate one contemporary musician of note. This galls me. It is almost as if, because my dear parents sent me to an institution famed for producing clergyman and accountants, I was destined to fall on the creative scrapheap. For someone who spent many of his early adolescent years caressing Jim Morrison posters, this seems like a gross miscarriage of godly justice. Had I attended a so-called ‘rock school’ I might now be playing synthesisers one-handed whilst Agyness Deyn look-alikes hung flirtatiously from my free arm; doubtful admittedly, but still possible.

Let us begin by examining Elliott School in South London, which counts the XX among its most recent progeny. Usually, playground pastimes include exchanging soggy Marlboros or sniffing glue. However, for the pupils of Elliott School, break-time activities are of an altogether more refined nature. My wild imagination tempts me to picture the arrival of new teachers at Elliot School. Although perhaps initially puzzled to find Four Tet and Burial positioning microphones to record hopscotch contestants, they would soon be actively facilitating their protégés pursuit of the percussive ideal. Meanwhile, assembled before the Headmaster’s desk one might encounter, not uncontrite truants and bullies, but the future members of Hot Chip and the Maccabees facing suspension for guerrilla gigging. How can one school serve as the breeding ground for such an array of precocious, pimply talent? There must be something funny flowing through the communal water fountains at Elliott School.

Interestingly, such high concentrations of budding talent are not unheard of; Kings College School in Wimbledon spawned electro-kid triplets, Patrick Wolf, Tom Vek and Jeremy Walmsley. It might surprise many to learn that Phoenix and Daft Punk were school-yard chums. Ultimately, schools exist which promote an environment that is conducive to musical creativity. Forget the Brit School. Take my advice and enroll your unborn children into one of the 'real' rock academies.

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