Lack of underage live music venues hurting young bands says Rock Scholars Osborne Park owner


Karen and Sam Simmonds from Rock Scholars.        Picture: Andrew Ritchie  d462523
Karen and Sam Simmonds from Rock Scholars.        Picture: Andrew Ritchie d462523

ROCK Scholars Osborne Park owner Sam Simmonds believes Perth lacks underage live music venues where young bands can perform.

Mr Simmonds said the ethos of Rock Scholars, an after-school music program, was to provide a safe environment where children could play rock and roll music with the support of industry mentors.

“Young kids growing up in WA have heaps of opportunities to do supervised sport, anything academic, or even music if they want to do classical or the school ensemble, but there’s no real programs that allow kids to access contemporary music and rock music, which is the kind of music they want to play,” he said.

“We see kids leave the program with so much more confidence – they can connect with others who have shared interests, particularly for those who are going through that difficult adolescent stage.

“We see some of the more shy kids find a like-minded group that they can hang out with and play in a band with; it gives them a chance to play to an audience.”

Rock Scholars will hold its annual festival next month to showcase bands and will present annual awards to young musicians.

Mr Simmonds said each band at Rock Scholars was assigned a mentor from the WA music scene.

“All of the guys that work for us; the tutors and mentors all came through the band program as student and have retained their attachment with the place and have become good friends outside of Rock Scholars and are all playing in their own bands around Perth,” he said.