Cooking in the charts

5th May 2006 at 01:00
A couple of dinner ladies have become legends in their own lunchtimes after a group of pupils released their first CD.

The compilation that features the Kitchenettes has sold 250 copies in less than a month and executives at Attitude Records, formed by the music into enterprise class at Govan High, are confident of a sell-out.

Ten S5 and S6 pupils ran each stage of the operation from finding talent through X Factor-style auditions, to recording, manufacturing, designing and marketing the CD, called "Attitude Records Presents Tuned In, Spaced Out".

Laura Nimmo, an S5 pupil who chairs the company, said success had come as a surprise: "The point was to learn the business, so any sales we make are a plus."

The track, a version of the Kelis song Milkshake, has attracted media attention with regular airplay on Radio Clyde 1 for its singing stars, Bridie McBride, aged 46, and Angela McDowall, aged 31.

Mrs McBride said: "The kids asked us to do it and we just thought we would go for it, for a laugh." Mrs McDowall said: "I thought everybody in the dinner hall was doing it so, when I found out it was just me and Bridie, it was too late to back out."

Since the launch on March 21, the two Fuel Zone workers have had to cope with a lot of attention, inside and outside of school. Bridie said:

"Everywhere I go in the school, everyone starts singing Milkshake at me.

And when I was out in the pub last week, all the customers started the song. I think my brothers had something to do with it.

"My daughter in primary school said: 'Mum, I hate you. Everyone in school is asking: is that your mum on the radio?'."

In an unusual change from most artists, the Kitchenettes are refreshingly honest about their first CD. Bridie said: "It's not that I don't like the song, I just think it should be sung by a young person. I would rather have sung something from the seventies, like Paper Roses." Angela added: "I like the song; I just don't know how a song like that should be sung."

The Kitchenettes were joined on the CD by nine other groups and singers drawn from the pupils.

Laura Nimmo said: "I never realised how hard it is to run a record company.

I thought it was just a case of seeing bands and then releasing a record, but it is so much more than that."

The company negotiated funding from Glasgow City Council, the British Phonographic Industry and the school fund, and held various events in the school. Laura said: "We are hoping to put any profits we make back into the school fund and donate the rest either to a local charity or to one that means a lot to us."

The experience has made her rethink her career plans. "At first, I thought I was going to do psychology, but now I've got the business bug - so I don't know."

Kevin Sweeney, depute head at Govan High, whose idea it was, first contacted Stow College in Glasgow where the course is run. "I am not surprised that the course has been so successful," Mr Sweeney said. "It's a very good enterprise course and the group of students were very committed to the project."

The sales are a bonus rather than the main purpose of the exercise, he adds. "In terms of team-working, communication, literacy and numeracy, doing a course like this allows them to develop these skills in a real life environment."

The official launch at Glasgow Science Centre was another coup, with Clyde One DJ Gina McKee agreeing to be host.

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