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Access Tutor: Millie Manders answered some of our burning questions…

Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
I am a singer songwriter who plays ukulele and sax, mostly in a cross genre punk band, but also acoustically

How did you find playing at the Manchester Punk Festival?
Both nerve wracking and wonderful. It’s an amazing festival and I had an incredible time there.

Any other festivals planned for this summer?
Yeah loads!! We are playing Pop Punk Pile Up, Boomtown (both band and acoustic), Late Summer Skank, Rebellion (band and acoustic), Bearded Theory, Illusive, Nice n Sleazy, Oddballs Scooter Rally, Darwen Live and Hard Drive!

Whats your most memorable gig to date?
There have been so many incredible moments for me. Rebellion last year stands out in my brain because we were on the Intro stage and had no expectations, but the room was heaving! The last Skank Fest we played was incredible too. Minutes before we played it was pretty much empty, and then suddenly it was wall to wall with awesome crazies and we had the best time!

You are the front woman in your band ‘Millie Manders and The Shutup’. The industry is still heavily dominated by male front men – any advice for women?
I think there are a tonne more women coming to the forefront in every genre right now. The spotlight is on us! So right now, I say EMBRACE IT! Take it by the horns and ride this wave. Doors are opening all over for us and all we need do is walk through…

What are you working on at the minute?
We have kickstarted our crowd funder for a new EP which is due out this summer. We have raised 80% so far and we have been in the studio doing writing sessions for new material. I’m currently working on my next acoustic release too, so over the next year we aim to be releasing more music and keeping the gigs to a minimum, in order to go in with force touring next year.

How do you find working at Access?
I love it! I get to teach young musicians not just how to sing, but how to book their first tour, how to market themselves effectively, how to be a performer and everything else that comes with being a part of the industry. It’s really satisfying to know that I’m part of helping the next wave of musicians reach their potential.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Writing a book about being a DIY musician in the back of a tour van somewhere.

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring musicians, what would it be?
Be kind, always. Work harder than you think you need to, and ALWAYS play above the level that you’re currently at.

To keep up to date with what she’s up too, head to her YouTube or Facebook.

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