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Thatcham's Mini Band meet heavy metal giants Metallica

Teen rockers 'blown away' after opening The Pit at Reading Festival before meeting their idols

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Thatcham's Mini Band meet heavy metal giants Metallica

IT WAS a rockin’ weekend for Thatcham and Cold Ash’s Mini Band as they played Reading Festival and met heavy metal giants Metallica.

Four years after their cover of Enter Sandman at the Bucklebury Beer Festival went viral and caught Metallica’s attention, Mini Band members Harrison Read, Harry Esson, Zoe Thomson, Charlie Emmons and Archie Zolotuhin hung out with Metallica on Saturday. 

The West Berkshire band said on their Facebook page: “Reading Festival, Lock up your Haribo – we are coming to ROCK you today.”

The two bands met backstage before Metallica’s gig, with managing director of Cold Ash- based Let’s Play Rock Ltd, Leo Westby, saying that the day had been absolutely extraordinary.

He said that Metallica were “very genuine down to earth people” and the two bands chatted and laughed – although he couldn’t hear what about because of the live background music.   

“The Mini Band were all laughing and joking and enjoying themselves.

“They were just blown away. It was a hell of a day,” he said.   

The up-and-coming Thatcham rock stars are also receiving gear from Metallica, coming with a personalised message from lead singer James “Papa Het” Hetfield.

“See you somewhere on stage. Thanks and God bless,” it says on the drumkit. 

The Mini Band met the heavy metal legends after opening The Pit stage, playing their new single Step into the Light and Enter Sandman.

“Starting a mosh pit in front of 12-year-olds was quite extraordinary,” Mr Westby said.

“They were absolutely on it. They were extraordinary.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“They said it was the best thing they had ever done.”

The youngsters also met Sheffield band Bring Me The Horizon, whose keyboardist Jordan Fish comes from Newbury, and watched from the wings as they performed.

Since performing at Reading, The Mini Band have appeared on the BBC and have had an interview request from America’s Ellen Show and could have their picture in Kerrang! magazine.

Ticking Metallica off their list adds to the Mini Band’s accolades.

In 2012 American virtuoso guitarist of Dream Theater, John Petrucci, invited the youngsters backstage at Wembley Arena, then in 2013 rock legend Slash of Guns N'Roses tweeted “so cool” after watching a 10-year-old Zoe perform Sweet Child of Mine.

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