By Graham Chalmers
A band from Ripon Grammar School has triumphed at this year’s AMP Awards final in Harrogate.
Backyard Bisons, a musically unusual four-piece consisting of three girls on stunning folkie vocals and one boy on fuzzed up indie guitar impressed the judges and the crowd of teenagers and parents amid the grandeur of the Royal Hall.
Emma Bloodgood, Tilly Fallows, Alex Elvidge and Tom Willis played four of their own songs with dramatic arrangements and a sense of humour which wowed the judges Simon and Sharon Colgan of the Blues Bar, Jason Odle of Ont’ Sofa and Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser.
MC-ed on stage by Josh Hill, with sound by CYC, it was the seventh year this successful music and enterprise awards has been held.
Coming narowly second in the results after a storming set were crunching, energetic rock band Outside South from St Aidan’s High School.
Coming a close third were the lovely -sounding acoustic duo A2Z from Nidderdale High School.
All the finalists’ performances on the night were recorded by Dan Mizen of leading Harrogate studio Active Audio for possible uture release by the AMPs.
Traditionally, the AMPS final, which is run almost entirely by students themselves, is as much about learning business skills as musical skills.
Each of the seven bands was accompanied by a business team of students with mentors from local organisations such as Harrogate and Knaresborough Lions.
The winning business team this year was Fortissimo from King James’s School in Knaresborough.
The VIP Hospitality for this year’s final was expertly handled by students from The Forest School in Knaresborough while the poster, which the Harrogate Advertiser published on teh front page of its Weekend section recently, was designed by King James’s School business team - with a bit of help from Sian at Ion Creative.
Money raised goes to the water charity in Africa - Pump Aid.