Portico rub shoulders with the stars

A FORMER Melbourn Village College pupil has been nominated for one of the biggest prizes in music. Duncan Bellamy is the drummer for Cambridge band Portico Quartet, who have been named on the ten-band shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize. They were nomin

A FORMER Melbourn Village College pupil has been nominated for one of the biggest prizes in music.

Duncan Bellamy is the drummer for Cambridge band Portico Quartet, who have been named on the ten-band shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize.

They were nominated for their album, Knee Deep in the North Sea, which was released last year and received widespread critical acclaim.

Duncan, who is from Fowlmere, said: "We felt really happy and a bit surprised to be nominated.


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"There's no doubt it will boost our profile significantly, and it's great to be getting our music heard to a much wider audience."

The band, who formed in 2005, face competition from big names such as Radiohead, Robert Plant, and Last of the Shadow Puppets, and have been installed as 25/1 outsiders.

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Duncan said: "We all met while studying in London at different universities. I knew Nick Mulvey from college in Cambridge, and we had been friends for a while before we started playing together.

"It's tough to describe our music, but I would say it is contemporary instrumental music that draws largely from jazz and classical, as well as hip-hop, jungle, and West African music.

"Lots of people refer to it simply as jazz."

Duncan was a pupil at Melbourn Village College between 1996 and 2001, and believes that the "college played a role in his musical education."

"I didn't actually do GCSE music," he said.

"I think I owe more to my dad's interest in music, rather than anything else."

The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday September 28.

For more information on Portico Quartet, visit the band's website, www.myspace.com/porticoquartet.

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