Marsden, Sound Thieves, Take The Seven play at Chesterfield bands showcase

Opportunities for young unsigned bands to get their music heard in a live setting are limited.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 11:25 am
Updated Friday, 12th November 2021, 11:26 am
Marsden playing to a crowd at Real Time Live, Chesterfield.

You can write the best songs in the world, rehearse them until you know the chords in your sleep but nothing beats the buzz of playing them in a venue and seeing whether an audience love them as much as you do.

Britpop/indie-rock band Marsden are one of the lucky ones. Still in their teens, they have seven gigs under their belts - and another one on the way.

The lads will team up with Sound Thieves and Take The Seven for a night showcasing Chesterfield’s talent at Real Time Live on Saturday, November 20.

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Apsley Wood, James Murcott, Isaac Saint and Jake Stephenson, left to right, are in the band Marsden.

Marsden’s lead guitarist Isaac Saint, 18, said: “We are all really looking foward to the gig - it's an amazing venue to play. We met Take The Seven at Britfest, they played after us; a really great set of lads, very supportive and positive."

Real Time is like a second home to Marsden, who all learned to play there and were encouraged by their mentors’ passion for music.

The venue is owned and run by drummer Jake Stephenson’s parents. His dad Mark, who is popularly known as Stevo, and mum Niki opened Real Time Live in 2012, above their shop Real Time Music which they launched 28 years ago.

Jake, 17, said: "My biggest inspiration is my dad; he’s my absolute drumming hero and taught me how to play drums. My mum is a very talented singer. They met through music in Jersey and played together in bands both nationally and internationally for many years before they set up Real Time. They have always supported my musical aspirations in every possible way.”

Marsden members Jake Stephenson, Apsley Wood, James Murcott and Isaac Saint.

Marsden was formed six years ago by Jake and bass player James Murcott, 17, who have known each other since childhood when they were pupils at Brockwell Infants and Junior Schools.

The current line-up of the band, which includes 16-year-old lead singer Apsley Wood, has been together since 2019. Jake said: “I met Isaac through Real Time, when Isaac was doing his work experience, we got to know each other better when I started working with him at Real Time." Both are working as barmen at the venue where Jake is also training to be a sound engineer.

Jake and Apsley met through Mark Black, guitar teacher at Real Time and guitarist for the band Arizona in which Stevo plays drums.

Aspley said: "My biggest inspiration is my grandad Phil, as he has inspired me to both play the guitar and sing and supports every gig."

Marsden’s favourite gig so far was at Real Time Live, supporting Percy and the Peanuts with both of Jake's parents performing in the Marines band. Stevo was in the corps of drums in the Royal Marines Band Service and was awarded the Prince's Badge by Prince Philip for best recruit in 1983.

Teamwork and friendship are what bonds Marsden. The band take a collaborative approach to songwriting about day to day experiences, citing The Beatles, Oasis and Arctic Monkeys as their musical influences.

Apsley said: “The best part of being in a band is hearing an original coming together and sounding awesome." Jake added: “The best part is doing what we love with the people we love," James said: “The best part is when the crowd sings along with the songs" while Isaac commented: “The best part is when the crowd sings the originals.”

Marsden recognise that it's tough for any band to get noticed these days, particularly young rock bands. "We find it's difficult to know where to start finding gigs, however we’ve found jam nights at pubs such as the Neptune are a great way to start," they said.

Jake added: "Shamefully, it took me three and a half years to come up with the name Marsden, and it's the name of the street Real Time is on, a bit of a tribute to the place that gives everyone in Chesterfield such musical support.”

Like most bands Marsden have big dreams of topping the charts and doing a stadium tour….so watch this space.

The Local Lineup gig at Real Time Live on Saturday, November 20, starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £5 (advance), £7 on the door, go to