A dream come true, absolutely wild and pretty crazy – these are the words of a former Alnwick pupil as he gears up to play at two major music events this weekend, in what will be the biggest performances of his life.
Cameron Hurley cannot wait to step on stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals with his band Calls Landing, after the talented five-piece won a competition to appear at both.
The 24-year-old – who used to go to the Duchess’s Community High School – and his fellow group members will be opening the Lock Up stage on different days of each event, in front of thousands of people.
And for Cameron, that will mean playing on the same stage as some of his music heroes – a prospect which has left him totally blown away.
“These will be the most memorable sets of my music career so far,” admitted Cameron, who is from Swarland, but now lives in Leeds.
“It is out of this world and the buzz of performing at Leeds and Reading is really hard to describe. I have never played on stages as big as this.
“When I first started going to Leeds Festival, the bands I most wanted to see usually played on the Lock Up stage, so to be playing on it the same day as some of my heroes like New Found Glory, Simple Plan, The Bronx and The Menzingers is phenomenal. It doesn’t seem possible.”
Cameron and the rest of his alternative rock/emo band – comprising Joe Armitage, Charlie Thomas, Jordan Rio Hill and Jason Blackburn, who are all from Yorkshire – secured their place at both events after impressing industry judges in a tough and high-calibre competition.
“Basically, Futuresound, which is a big event promotions company, run a yearly competition open to any band from the Leeds/Bradford area to be in with the chance of playing Leeds and Reading festivals,” said Cameron, who is bass and backing vocalist in the group.
“More than 100 bands apply for 40 available live-heat places, which are judged by four or five secret judges in the crowd, who gives a score and a vote. Each band also gets points for how many tickets they sell for the event.
“Of the 40 bands, six go on to play at the festivals – the five runners-up play on the BBC Introducing stage, which is a huge achievement, and the winner is meant to go on to open the Republic Stage. But because of our musical stylings, the competition organisers arranged for us to open the Lock Up stage.
“I never thought we’d win the competition. I was blown away and I feel really humbled that industry judges felt we deserved it.”
The band are performing at Reading tomorrow and then Leeds on Saturday,
They will be playing tracks from their debut album, Heirlooms, which was released in May.
Cameron said: “We are looking forward to presenting these songs to thousands of people. It will be amazing.”
For Cameron, it is the result of more than four years of work, which started when he formed the group while he was at Leeds College of Music studying music production.