Climbing stairway to rock heaven

Stairwell 17
Stairwell 17
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LOCAL young rockers Stairwell 17 are on the rise to success after being invited to play at a youth music festival in Harrogate.

Four out of five of the teenagers are still at school, but it hasn’t stopped them playing at pubs and other venues across the area as they hone their skills and win new fans.

The five-piece band comprises 17-year-old Matthew Stonehouse, a Yorkshire Coast College student from Scarborough, 14-year-old Esme Rookes, who attends Graham School, and Henry Whitehead, 14, Charlotte Raistrick, 14, and Joe White, 15, who are all from Hunmanby and attend Filey School.

Proud dad Neil Raistrick said the current line-up had been together for about five months, after Matthew and Esme were recommended by a guitar tutor.

He said: “They’ve been gigging quite a lot. Next Thursday (MARCH 10) they’ve got a return booking at The Merchant in Eastborough, and there are others coming up in Bridlington and Thwing.”

Fronted by vocalist Charlotte Raistrick, who first showcased her ability by winning a talent contest at Filey School, the band specialise in up-tempo rock covers ranging from Blondie to Nirvana.

The group’s previous three-piece incarnation reached the last eight of a Bridlington-based talent search last year, and there are live clips of them on YouTube.

Mr Raistrick said: “I’m proud of all of them. The current line-up have all bonded really well, and their parents have all been supportive.”

This is just as well, as the committed teens rehearse together twice a week, and their instruments and equipment have required parental hands in pockets. Their regular rehearsal venue is Cross Hill Methodist Church hall in Hunmanby.

Now, after submitting a DVD, they will be representing the Scarborough district in the Music For Youth regional festival to be held at St Aiden’s C of E High School in Harrogate on Saturday, March 26.

The band will be one of 19 acts taking part, the others coming from the Leeds, York, Ripon and Harrogate areas.

More information about the festival is available on the national organisation’s website.