Three school friends have formed a band and started busking to raise money for their university fees – aged just 11.
Twin brothers Raul and Jacob Gibson and friend Molly Hardwick founded ‘Mini Attack’ in bid to raise enough money to secure their future education.
The talented trio have earned up to £200 in one session and have even performed with singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
Raul and Jacob’s father Nick, 39, said that despite their tender age, the friends want to make a head start on their savings.
He said: “The kids are well aware of how expensive university is going to be and they know if they carry on doing what they are doing it’s going to make the whole thing easier.
“They have had such an incredible response out on the street, drawing flash crowds in the city centre who really take to them.
“It’s given them a great sense of confidence and the more they play the more they feel like they can take on any challenge.
“They totally love to perform and have made the possibility of actually busking to save up for university fees a realistic one.”
The band, who attend Redland Green School in Bristol, already have a YouTube channel, Twitter and Facebook page to build up their profile and “save up for uni”.
The trio, who all live in the Westbury area of Bristol, started busking in July and earn an estimated £100 from their weekly busking sessions.
But in one session in Bristol city centre they raised just under £200 for BBC’s Children in Need.
They have even performed with singer Ed Sheeran after they were invited to perform at a wedding he attended during the summer.
The former busker was so impressed with them that he spent hours coaching them and listening to them play.
He even agreed to jam with them while they played a few of his top-ten singles and has since kept in close contact, following the group from success to success.
Twins’ dad Nick, a musician, encouraged his sons to form a band with Molly after being “totally blown away” by her singing.
He said: “I saw Molly singing a few years back in a primary school play and I was totally blown away by her.
“I thought to myself, one day I am going to get her to sing with my boys.
“There was an opportunity at the end of July for them to perform at the school concert and they did a couple of numbers which went down amazingly so they just carried on.”
Frustrated by the lack of opportunity for school children to perform in front of a crowd, Nick decided to encourage the youngsters to busk instead.
“They are doing something quite amazing,” added Nick.
Raul, who has been playing the drums since he was three, plays the “cajon” – a box shaped type of drum – when busking.
He said: “I started playing drums using all the pots and pans in the kitchen. My dad bought me a drum kit when I was a bit older and I have been playing ever since.
“After I finish school I want to go to college and study music and, after that, go to university.”
Jacob, who plays bass guitar, added: “We don’t really do pop music because we’re not really into pop.
“We prefer to play old stuff, we enjoy it more.
“The first time we played was great. I didn’t feel nervous. It was a lot of fun.
“Ed Sheeran was really great fun too and he taught us loads. We just sat down and talked about busking because that’s how he started out too.”
Lead vocalist Molly added: “We have always been friends at school and one day they invited me to their house to play music.
“We worked well as a group and we have never had any problems since then.
“The first time we played out I was quite nervous when we started but then we got into it. I still get butterflies every time before we play but it goes away as soon as we start.
“The reaction from the crowd is always great. It’s a good feeling and makes you feel like you have done the job well.”
Their set includes hits like Somebody Else’s Guy, Roxanne, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover and Higher Ground.
To keep up with the band log on to their website www.miniattack.net, or Facebook page www.facebook.com/
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