THE organisers of the Battle Arts & Music Festival have revealed Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane as their new patron.
Rice-Oxley will lead the festival’s programme of nurturing talented young musicians which will culminate in individual mentoring sessions in Battle during the festival in October this year.
Organisers have been in discussions with Tim for several months and are currently finalising plans for the initiative which will offer assistance, advice and promotion to emerging singers, songwriters and bands.
The festival team has been eager to introduce a more contemporary feel to complement the classical music aspect of the festival.
Festival chairman David Furness said: “We are all delighted Tim Rice-Oxley has joined us to help us mentor and develop talent in the 1066 Country region.
“This gives budding musicians a wonderful opportunity to receive advice from an internationally acclaimed musician to help them develop their talent even further.
“It is a great boost to the festival and will help focus attention on world-class contemporary and classical music right here in Battle.
“October will prove to be an fantastic month for the town.”
Tim Rice-Oxley grew up in Battle and formed Keane with his life-long friends, singer Tom Chaplin and drummer Richard Hughes, later inviting bassist Jesse Quin to join the fold.
Band members have previously recalled how, unlike today, Battle didn’t have an active live music scene during the early stages of their careers.
In fact Chaplin recently recalled in interview how one of the few times the band received assistance from an experienced musician was during a chance encounter with rock legend Roger Daltry of The Who, who gave them rudimentary but invaluable advice.
Now the table has turned full circle and, as an internationally renowned musician himself, achieving five consecutive number one albums with Keane, it’s Tim Rice-Oxley’s turn to advise and mentor young musicians.
As Keane’s Ivor Novello award-winning song-writer, Rice-Oxley’s lyrics have long been inspired by growing up in and around Battle.
Keane’s 2012 number one album Strangeland name-checks many places and spaces in Battle, Bexhill and Hastings which have themselves become local landmarks attracting national and international visitors to the towns.
Tim Rice-Oxley is delighted to be involved with Battle Festival’s mentoring initiative and said: “I’m incredibly excited to have an opportunity to work closely with some of the young musicians in my hometown.
“I’ve been extremely lucky to have spent a lot of time writing, recording and playing live, and hopefully I’ve learned one or two things that will be helpful to the up-and-coming musicians I’ll be working with.
“I know from experience how important it is to help each other out as musicians, how helpful it is to have a sounding board for ideas, and how hard it can be to get honest opinions and specific advice.
“It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to something I feel so passionately about, in the town that has been such a big part of my life and Keane’s music.”
The next concert by Battle Arts & Music Festival is a summer concert on Saturday July 19.
Titled The ‘Seasons: Vivaldi meets Piazzolla’, the programme fuses dance and tango with the exhilarating music of Antonio Vivaldi.
The concert features performances of Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons together with Summer from The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by the great tango composer Astor Piazzolla.
Performers include Patrick Savage, former principal first violin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Daniel Bhattacharya who currently leads The Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End.
Tickets and further information are available on the festival website www.BattleFestival.co.uk.