Boogying back to the ’70s

Deborah Haile

THEY may be a generation too young to remember the discos of the ’70s, but youngsters at Oakwood High School, Chorlton, proved they could still get down and boogie when Bee Gees Barry and Robin Gibb dropped in.

The pupils turned the clock back more than 30 years with a series of performances of Bee Gee hits including Night Fever, Words and Jive Talkin’.

And the brothers – who were at the school to open a recording studio bearing the name of their brother Maurice – were clearly impressed.

“The one thing I notice here is how talented everybody is,” said Barry. I think there are stars here and within the next 10 years I think we are going to see them.

“We are overwhelmed and very complimented. We thought you were fantastic and we are very flattered.”

The school hopes that by naming the recording studio after Maurice Gibb it will inspire future generations of musicians, performers and writers. And that’s a hope shared by Robin.

“We’re very proud to be here and we hope there will be many years of successful young artists getting their start here,” he said.

The school wrote to Barry and Robin last year to see what they thought about naming the studio after Maurice, following his death. Staff were stunned when the reply said they not only thought it was a good idea, but that they wanted to open it too.

Even yesterday, after Barry and Robin had looked around the state-of-the-art studio – pausing to look at Maurice’s photo on the way in – headteacher Peter Kennedy was having difficulty believing it wasn’t all a dream.

“It’s hard to believe what is happening,” said Mr Kennedy, after admitting to being a fan of the band for many years.

“I am standing in our theatre, just about to open the recording studio, and the Bee Gees are sitting in the front row. This is a dream . . . but it is actually happening.”