WATCH: The Sunderland band Holly Willoughby dubbed '˜cute'

A rising band whose sound was dubbed 'cute' by Holly Willoughby are gearing up to play their biggest crowd yet.

Saturday, 21st May 2016, 8:09 am
Sunderland band Picnic

Despite forming less than a year ago, Picnic have already had their music featured on This Morning and have been added to the bill at July’s Sunniside Live festival in the city centre.

The seven-piece, made up of Sunderland College and Sunderland University students, submitted their track, France, to This Morning to be played as part of its fashion segment after Phillip Schofield put out a call for unsigned bands to soundtrack the latest trends.

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Producers liked Picnic so much they snapped it up for the show.

Guitarist Eddie Scott, 19, from Millfield, said: “We saw something on Facebook about This Morning looking for bands’ music, so we sent in a 30 second demo. “They replied straight away, which was great. We had some great feedback and after the segment Holly Willoughby said our sound was ‘cute.’”

The band - which is also made up of lead singer Robyn Walker, 17; drummer Matty Rawding, 20; guitarist Ryan McQuillen, 19; keyboard player Olivia Ord, 16; trumpet player Jessica Chilton, 18 and bass player Calum Wilson, 17 - juggle studies with regular rehearsals to hone their sound.

The hard work is paying off with the band’s recent EP launch at Port of Call in Park Lane attracting nearly 400 people.

Lead singer Robyn at the front centre

They’ve also caught the ear of bosses at Sunniside Live who’ve booked the band to perform at the day-long music festival in Sunniside Gardens on July 16.

“We’re so excited about Sunniside Live,” said Robyn. “To be on the same bill as Brand New Heavies is insane, it’s great to be able to say we shared a stage with them.

“We were going to enter the Battle of the Bands slot but they said they liked us so much we could have a slot of our own.”

She added: “We found out about the festival after playing a couple of times at Pop Recs, it’s such a great venue for the city. It really supports emerging bands and gives them a platform to perform.”

Speaking about their sound, Robyn said: “It’s a mix of everything really: indie, jazz, funk, folk and pop. I’d say we’re a bit different to other bands in the area. We’re female-fronted for a start, and there aren’t many bands like that in Sunderland. We sound a lot less angsty too, our music is more happy and we embrace that.”

•Tickets to Sunniside Live, which also features Shola Ama, Smoove and Turrell and local favourites Dennis, are available at

Lead singer Robyn at the front centre