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Ozric Tentacles star studies at Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:34 02 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 30 June 2010

As Vinny Shillito wanders the corridors of Great Yarmouth College his fellow students are unaware that they are in the presence of an international music star.

As Vinny Shillito wanders the corridors of Great Yarmouth College his fellow students are unaware that they are in the presence of an international music star.

As the music student strolls anonymously around the college and its home town it is a stark contrast to the scenes of pandemonium when he takes to the stage in front of 25,000 screaming fans.

For the last two years Mr Shillito has been the bass guitarist of the psychedelic instrumental band Ozric Tentacles.

Although known as an “underground band” in Britain they are a global phenomenon selling millions of album abroad.

Since joining the band the 44-year-old has played in front of 25,000 fans in Chile, headlined a rock festival in Finland and toured America.

On their journeys the band are treated like music legends, such as Madonna and Mick Jagger, as they are put up in five star hotels and chauffeured to concerts.

The Ozric Tentacles were formed in 1984 and have recorded nearly 30 albums which have flown off the shelves in countries such as Italy, Holland and Israel.

Mr Shillito played with the band briefly in the early 1990s and he joined the group again after he played with them at the Eastern Haze Festival in 2007 which he helped organised at the Somerleyton Estate in north Suffolk.

He played his five string bass guitar for the band's latest album - Yum Yum Tree - and he will be embarking on a national tour later this year.

In September Mr Shillito, who is from Liverpool but has links with Yarmouth stretching back to 1985, started a foundation degree in creative music at Yarmouth College's new £2m school of arts and creative technologies.

He hopes that by learning the intricacies of song writing, music production and organising concerts he can go on to teach music when he finally quits the Ozric Tentacles.

Mr Shillito said: “I choose to study here in a way because of the anonymity. If I studied music in America, Tel Aviv or Europe I would not be able to walk down the street or get off the train without some fan coming up to me - we call it being “ozriced”.”

He said that he was very impressed with Yarmouth's new school of arts and creative technologies which has 45 music students.

“I hope that with my experiences I can help the other students. They are lucky to have these facilities which are just massive for Yarmouth,” Mr Shillito added.

Music lecturer Richard Todd said: “It looks good on our CV to have Vinny here. It is very good that he can share his knowledge as about 50pc of the students want to be rock stars.”

Anyone interested in Yarmouth College's music foundation degree and national diploma courses should visit www.gyc.ac.uk


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