Jungle Doctors beat 15,000 in battle of the bands
Five teenagers from Teddington have beaten nearly 15,000 applicants to reach the final of an international music competition, Surface Festival.
The 17-year-old boys, Sam Budd, Angus McGuinness, Will Tyler, David Thomas and Louis Watton formed the band while they attended Teddington School, when they were just 15.
All but one of the boys are now at Esher College and Angus goes to Strode’s College.
Their music is guitar-based indie, and they write all their own music.
The boys’ first gig came last year at a street party in Munster Road, in celebration of the Royal Wedding, which they followed up with a performance at their school leavers’ assembly.
The feedback they were receiving was increasingly positive, so they looked around for festivals and competitions to enter.
Despite all being under the age of 18, which makes it difficult for Jungle Doctors to arrange gigs in most venues due to licensing laws, the band applied for the competition.
Their age has evidently not put them at a disadvantage, having stormed through four rounds, performing at venues with bigger capacities each time and knocking out rival bands.
The most recent round was the regional final in London, in which they were one of only seven artists from 20 to be put through to the international final, which will be held at Indig02, a venue that holds more than 2,000 and is based in the 02 Arena.
At the end of the month they will compete against 27 other unsigned bands from across Europe, and will be awarded scores from three music industry judges. The public can also help them win by voting via text message.
Sam’s father Steve Budd says: “It’s a big deal for anybody to play, let alone a bunch of 17 year old boys. It’s a great experience for them whatever happens.”
If they win, they will receive a slot at the Sziget Festival in Hungary, as well as other prizes valued at more than £100,000.
The boys are remaining level-headed and not thinking too far into the future.
David says: “We are just enjoying performing at the moment, we will have to see how the next few years play out.”
For more information on the band, or to find out how to vote for them, visit jungledoctors.com.