Penny drops for young musicians in lockdown

May 27, 2020

RIC headlining at the Notting Hill Arts Club. Left to Right, Greg, Lucien, Ed and Marlon

Marlon Reynier shares his experiences of being in a band called RIC and how they’re surviving through the crisis

I’ve always enjoyed expressing my ideas and feelings through music. I have played the guitar since I was ten and I started learning keyboard at eight.

When I’m feeling frustrated or bored, picking up my guitar focuses my mind.

Creating music on my own, but especially with the band, makes me feel connected, inspired and happy.

In Year 10, when we were 15, me (bass/vocals), Ed (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Lucien (drums) were put together to play at school events. We got on really well and, after a few practices, we decided to start playing the music we liked outside of school.

When we went to sixth form college together and were joined by Greg, our lead guitar and vocals, our band, RIC really kicked off. We named it after our best mate’s dad, Ric Gibbs. He’s a good guy, so why not?

We take inspiration from Arctic Monkeys, Slaves and have been told we unleash “a mass turbulence similar to Queens of the Stone Age.”

The four-piece are no longer strangers to turning their live performances into a show of strength and notorious sing-alongs

It’s been inspiring experimenting with the band, trying various creative techniques. Gigslutz described our sound as, “A delicious mix of off-kilter indie and dark, fuzzed up garage rock.”

The first gig we played was at The Basement Door, a new charity set up to provide performing opportunities for young people. The venue was well equipped and professional. We all worked hard to make sure we had a full house, messaging as many people as possible. The place was packed. It was a great night!

As things were going so well for RIC, I decided to take a gap year to work and plan a UK tour. Between the four of us, we wrote over 100 emails to venues all over the country to fix up some dates.

We managed to get gigs in London, our home town, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

Playing at Manchester Uni Student Bar was such an amazing gig. We played to over 300 people. The crowd were vibrant and energetic and, to top it all off, we were paid in beer!

RIC in Shoreditch. Left to Right, Marlon, Greg, Ed and Lucien

At the end of last year we went to east London docks for BBC Music Introducing LIVE, an event dedicated to discovering and supporting new music. I’d recommend this event to make contacts and network because it was where we met our now manager, Connor Willis.

We work hard to make our performances as engaging and entertaining as possible. In the words of our manager and music journalist, Connor, “The four-piece are no longer strangers to turning their live performances into a show of strength and notorious sing-alongs”.

We are gutted that our upcoming gigs have been cancelled and our band practice has been bought so abruptly to an end, due to the coronavirus outbreak. We usually practice two, three, sometimes four times a week and we are all really dedicated, so it’s a big loss.

It has been, and still is, an invaluable experience making music and songwriting with the band; building on each others ideas always creates the most rich and distinct tunes.

Keep picking up your guitar, beating your drums and writing tunes, as it is such a good way to stay focused, motivated and, generally, feel upbeat

When London first went into lockdown, we struggled to come up with new ideas and ways of working as a band. All we can do now is share new beats, music we’ve just discovered and anything else we find, in terms of branding, that will help us when we’re through these times.

At the moment with the obvious inability to play live, I am working at Morrisons. This keeps me busy and earning money. It not only helps the general public get their food safely, but the money I’m saving will go a long way when we get out on tour again.

Check out our lastest big tunes and add them to your quarantine playlist!

Last month, we released two new tracks: ‘Silence Stays’ and ‘He Loves To See It’. Elli Chappelhow at Gigwise praised ‘He Loves To See It’ as, “that whirlwind soundtrack to moshing with your mates, emerging drenched in sweat and rushing with endorphins. Nice.”

But even if you don’t want to try to take your music to the next level, I would highly recommend that you keep picking up your guitar, beating your drums and writing tunes, as it is such a good way to stay focused, motivated and, generally, feel upbeat.

Check out our music video, Penny Drop.

Marlon loves football and going to gigs but his biggest passion is writing and playing music, especially with his band, RIC.

Other work

Donate via PayPal

Exposure is an award-winning youth communications charity giving young people in north London a voice.

Please support us to continue our work. Thank you.