Music is very much a family affair for Mark and Carl Banks.
Having both picked up the bug for beats and bars decades ago, the brothers feel they owe their life-long love for making music to South Leeds Music Centre after going on to play thousands of gigs and festivals and record numerous albums.
The Beeston pair now hope Leeds’s next generation of musicians will learn their trade at the centre, now based at Cockburn School, in Gipsy Lane, Beeston.
Carl was just 12-years-old when he took up the keyboard and drums at the centre, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Carl, 31, whose career in the industry has seen him play live on BBC Radio 2 and at Liverpool’s famed Cavern club, said: “Music is a universal language – I went to live in Poland, and the first thing I did was look for a band to join. You meet like-minded people, make friends, you’re accepted.”
He said that the expense of paying for private lessons and the social nature of music centres mean young people can improve by playing with those around them at a fair price.
The South Leeds Music Centre is one of eight centres provided by Leeds City Council’s music and arts service Artforms.
Mark began playing the trumpet as a youngster, following in his dad David’s footsteps, and also took up the drums at the Leeds centre before taking his talents into touring and recording with Northern Soul band The Atlantics.
Now playing in the Northern Vinyl function band and giving lessons in drumming at his Morley studio, Mark, 46, said: “Music is a special thing – if you’ve got an interest, you need good teaching and support and it will give you a lifetime of pleasure.”
Visit: www.artformsleeds.co.uk/musiccentres or call 0113 2475499 for details or see: www.mb-drumtuition.co.uk for more on Mark’s teaching.