A former recent CONEL student is about to see her band, Bee Stings, launch its debut album, Life by Misadventure, at the West End?s 100 Club.

The band follows legends like the Sex Pistols, Muddy Waters, The Clash, The White Stripes, Sinead O'Connor and Nico, who have all performed at the world famous Oxford Street venue.

Lead singer, Valkyrie Beestings, had been making music as a guitarist and singer for some time but felt that she lacked an understanding of the technical side of music making. "I saw everything about recording from the artist's perspective," she says. "But I longed to know more about the technical side of recording and mixing, especially in live music. I stared with admiration at the sound engineers in big gigs, wishing I could do it."

Tottenham resident, Valkyrie, gained a place on Women Making Waves, an award-winning training project in media production run by the College of North East London (CONEL). The six-month course ran during the last academic year and gave 45 women intense tuition in practical video and sound recording skills. Both these fields have low representation of women in practical production work.

Holborn studio, Overtones, is run by women and records artists such as Sting and Ms Dynamite. Valkyrie was welcomed there and learned fast. "The mixing desk at Overtones, a huge Amek Galileo, was mind-boggling at first but it's amazing how quickly that was demystified. It turned out I already spoke the language, just from being around music and bands and getting the technical basics down was a lot easier than I'd thought."

The skills that she acquired are in demand. In addition to releasing Bee Stings' debut album, Valkyrie takes on work as a roadie: her experience was highlighted in a recent Guardian article, under the headline, Ladies who Lug. She also does sessions as a live sound engineer, with performers such as Lupe Fiasco and MOBO-winning rapper, Sway.

Women Making Waves project manager, Jessica Pickard, said, "Valkyrie's success is down to her own talent and hard work. She has made great use of the contacts she gained on the course and it?s great that her technical skills are in demand. We?d like to wish Bee Stings every success with Life by Misadventure.?

The launch party for the album is at the 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, W1 on June 7th. Tickets are £6 ? visit www.beestings.co.uk for information.


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