Fame comes to Swindon

LIVERPOOL's showbiz school, backed by Sir Paul McCartney, will soon have heavyweight competition from a Wiltshire town.

Swindon's answer to the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts opens next week, and like its counterpart, the new institution is making much of its rock 'n' roll roots.

Swindon School of Contemporary Music says it will help the town to "strengthen its pop music associations".

For the benefit of those who are unaware of these associations, the school proudly boasts that Swinging Swindon, gateway to the West Country, was once home to teen singing sensation Billi Piper, as well as Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, Rick Davies of Supertramp and 80s group XTC.

And the opening day's special guest will be none other than "sought-after" session guitarist Nick Copper, keyboard player and designer John Maul and Steve Williams - - a drummer who has played with The Human League and Gary Barlow.

The college, to be launched by Swindon Young Musicians and the council on July 9, will offer weekly Monday evening classes.

The school is sponsored by Roland UK, the musical instrument manufacturer - so there shouldn't be any shortage of kit.

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