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Ancaster talent Will Blankley tours Europe with King Zepha band

From local gigs to the international stage, a drummer has set off on his inaugural European tour with a renowned northern sound band.

Ancaster's own Will Blankley, a former St George Sleaford student and a regular on the Grantham and Leeds music scene, started his tour with King Zepha on February 8 in Nottingham.

King Zepha is a five-piece rocksteady, ska, and reggae-influenced band.

Will Blankley on stage with King Zepha.
Will Blankley on stage with King Zepha.

The tour will include the sights and sounds of Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Bruges and is slated to culminate in Leeds on Friday (February 23).

Joining forces with King Zepha in December was a serendipitous turn of events for Will.

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The band, renowned for their original jump blues, rocksteady, ska, and dub fusion, sought a new drummer after their previous member opted out of touring commitments.

Impressed by Will's university band performance, they invited him to audition, which he embraced.

In order to do so, Will mastered 30 original songs and was after just one rehearsal, underscoring his exceptional talent and dedication to his craft.

“Wow! My First European Tour,” he said.

“From my first gig at my local village hall five years ago, I’d never dreamt of touring Europe playing my favourite music.”

“When I got the chance to join King Zepha in December, I couldn’t believe it.

“This feels like the next step up in my career, and it’s great playing with such talented musicians.

“This tour is great! Meeting new people and musicians, playing lovely venues and drinking strong Belgian beer.”

Will's journey into the world of music began at the age of nine when he first picked up the drums.

Under the tutelage of local instructor John Monahan, he honed his skills, eventually attaining proficiency up to grade eight.

He's in several bands, including The Element and Scarred for Life, performing regularly in the area.

His dedication and passion for music led him to pursue further studies at the Leeds Conservatoire, where he is currently immersed in the vibrant musical scene.

Will's father, Colin, also expressed immense pride in Will's achievements, highlighting his determination and hard work.

“Both mum and I are proud. He's worked hard and is determined,” he said.

As Will continues to make his mark on the music scene, his journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians across the region.

Will’s eventual dreams hope to take him into a teaching career, and he hopes his experiences and musical successes will help feed into that.

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