Rockers Deaf Havana open new King’s Lynn college studio

Official opening of the new Creative Studios at the College of West Anglia with special guests, Chris 'Pennells and Tom Ogden from the band, Deaf Havana. LtoR Tom Ogden, Chris Pennells and music students Steve Stenton and Ellie Hill. ANL-140112-173323009
Official opening of the new Creative Studios at the College of West Anglia with special guests, Chris 'Pennells and Tom Ogden from the band, Deaf Havana. LtoR Tom Ogden, Chris Pennells and music students Steve Stenton and Ellie Hill. ANL-140112-173323009
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Members of rock band Deaf Havana were among those eager to see the brand new Creative Studios unveiled at Lynn’s College of West Anglia on Monday following a £2.5m makeover.

Alternative rockers, Chris Pennells and Tom Ogden, who previously studied music at the College, were keen to check out the state-of-the-art equipment on offer to current students.

Official opening of the new Creative Studios at the College of West Anglia with special guests, Chris 'Pennells and Tom Ogden (left) from the band, Deaf Havana from the band, Deaf Havana ANL-140112-173302009

Official opening of the new Creative Studios at the College of West Anglia with special guests, Chris 'Pennells and Tom Ogden (left) from the band, Deaf Havana from the band, Deaf Havana ANL-140112-173302009

Lead guitarist Chris Pennells said: “It’s been a very long road for us and this is the first time we’ve been back on campus, where it all started for us. We haven’t been back in around eight years so its amazing to see how it all has changed.

“The facilities here were great to begin with, but this is a serious step up. The College have really upped their game. I studied audio technology at university in Lincoln and I remember being disappointed by the equipment after studying here.”

Deaf Havana are a shining success for the College, first forming there in 2005 before moving on to greater fame that saw them hit the top of the rock album charts and supporting Bruce Springsteen at the Hard Rock Calling Festival, and Muse, on the German part of their tour.

Chris and Tom were pleased to see the new state-of-the-art facilities at the new studios, with teaching rooms, media facilities including the award-winning Springboard TV, performing arts and dance, music production facilities including recording studios, plus ceramics, 3D art and design.

Drummer Tom Ogden said: “What they have here is what we are using in the industry – you could use the College’s microphones to perform at Wembley.

“You can lecture students until you’re blue in the face, but what they really want is to be hands-on and having the opportunity to use all this equipment in your spare time as well is just amazing.”

The new Creative Studios are part of a wider project to redevelop education and training facilities on the Lynn campus and have been supported by £1.7m of government funding. They can now be found in the former sports centre after the Sports Campus moved to Lynnsport in 2011.

Principal David Pomfret said: “This is a great day for the College of West Anglia. The studios allows us better use of staff expertise, gives us the opportunity to extend the curriculum and enhances the quality of the learning experience for our students.

“These studios are important in helping our students to develop very practical and usable skills to help them find jobs in the future. We’ve had very positive feedback so far and the students are really appreciative of the scale of the investment.”

Nick Sellars, of Springboard TV, said: “Having this amazing facility makes everything so much more professional. We see a lot more cross-departmental work now which is great. Springboard TV moved in here first, and we’re so glad they decided to move the whole creative department over here as well.”