Foundation five: The Midnight Beast

The Midnight Beast bill themselves as a trio of comedy upstarts with musical know-how and internet savvy…

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 14 May 2013
  • min read
The Midnight Beast bill themselves as a trio of comedy upstarts with musical know-how. It’s a pretty accurate description for a band that excel in goofing around to homemade musical parodies.

But there’s more to south west Londoners Stefan Abingdon, Dru Wakely and Ashley Horne than first meets the eye. Underneath the goofy exterior, they’ve got an extra-terrestrial sense for creating YouTube phenomena and their prankster web series have seen them rack up more than 50 million views so far.

With one album down and a string of web series under their belts, the trio made the leap onto mainstream telly last year with their Warp-produced E4 show based around the capers of a group of musicians who live in a grotty flat and are trying to get their foot in the door of the music industry. Cue musical skits and slapstick comedy routines.

Later this week they’ll be playing a rare live gig at the Brighton Dome as part of The Great Escape.

Here, in the latest instalment in our Foundation Five series, Dru talks to PRS for Music Foundation’s Sarah Thirtle about their peculiar brand of musical comedy…

What inspired you to create music?
The main thing that inspires us collectively is everyday life, experiences and songs everyone listens to daily. Some good and some bad… very bad. Stefan and myself (Dru) come from quite a music making backing ground. We grew up playing in bands together and aside from The Midnight Beast, Stefan song writes with and for other artists and I myself produce music.

Ashley comes from more of an acting/theatre back ground so when we all come together as a group we kind of attack songs from all these aspects which then pretty much inspires each other.

How would you describe the music PRS for Music Foundation supported?
Sounds like good.

What has the funding enabled you to achieve?
We had hoped there was an appetite for a comedy music group like us in America but it felt like it'd be years before we'd ever get to land on US soil and show our stuff to US fans. Thankfully with the help of the PRS for Music Foundation/British Music Abroad funding we've now achieved this!

Have you any tips for other artists applying for funding?
I think the main and only tip really would be to definitely check it out. I guess some people could be put off by something like this at first but I would really encourage people to read up about it and apply. It can definitely help out and who knows, have the possibility of paving another way to your career.

What's next for The Midnight Beast?
We definitely have a few things we're working on. Some new videos and songs and also starting to think about album two as well. Maybe even some more live appearances too! We’re at The Great Escape later this week too, if you’re going?