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Tracking on long and winding road

Aspiring pop chart-toppers took the tour road to Hamburg - tried and tested since the days of the Beatles - to prove they could make the grade for their BTEC national diplomas in popular music.

Bands from Clarendon College performed in gigs across Germany for 10 days as part of their two-year course. Many have become familiar names in the clubs of Nottingham: Jumble Sale, Cheese Machine. Orange Peel Implosion, Pogo Patterson, Colour Wealth, Perpetual Feeling, Double Trouble and Malaika.

But the Germans were a much tougher audience to convince, according to Heie Gelhaus, programme manager for the BTEC course.

"It's been a tough assignment because it's real. Last-minute hitches have been sorted, just as they have to be for professional bands. The students have all kept cool and done brilliantly."

The trip was arranged by the students, who did everything from planning, negotiating venues, transport and accommodation, to equipment handling and kit maintenance. They arranged repertoires and penned new material to suit the different audiences.

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