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We Met at King's - The Kings of Soul

After meeting as undergraduates during big band rehearsals, King's alumni Rob Landen (Music, 2013), Anna Holloway (Music, 2013), Felix Higginbottom (Music, 2013), and Rory Sadler (Mathematics, 2013) went on to set up a band named The Kings of Soul. We caught up with band leader Rob to talk about the continued success of the group.

Why did you choose to study at King's?

The King's BMus course is one of the country's most highly regarded music courses and its partnership with the Royal Academy of Music meant that I knew the instrumental lessons would be world-class. I was also incredibly keen to study in London and to immerse myself in the amazing music scene of the capital.


How did the band meet?

We met playing together in the university big band during our first year. The Kings of Soul started as the brainchild of our drummer, Felix Higginbottom, who wanted to play old school soul, funk, and disco tunes with friends. We started meeting late in the evening after the big band rehearsals. The band clicked immediately and we realised we were onto a good thing – which meant it was time to go out and find some gigs!


What are your memories of playing together at King's?

Our first gigs came from our links with the university. We played some fantastic events for the King's community such as the King's Summer Balls. We soon found ourselves gracing some of London's finest event venues, including the Waldorf Hilton, Royal Automobile Club, Grand Connaught Rooms, and the Tower of London.

600x600 Rory Sadler

What have you gone on to do since graduating?

The band has gone from strength to strength since leaving university and has now become one of the UK's leading wedding and event bands. The band's core is still made up of the same group of friends who met at King's. It's a real joy to be able to perform and travel all around the UK and Europe with such close friends. 

Personally, I have enjoyed an exciting and varied freelance music career. I've performed for pop acts including Mae Muller and Raleigh Ritchie, as well as recorded at studios including Abbey Road, Metropolis Studios, and Konk. Felix Higginbottom is the drummer for UK indie act Low Island who have been championed on Six Music and Radio 1, racking up millions of plays on Spotify and touring all over the UK and Europe. Our sax player Rory Sadler has recorded for the likes of Max Romeo and Lee Scratch Perry and toured all over the UK and Europe with reggae band New Town Kings. Our lead singer Anna Holloway is a member of leading choir London Contemporary Voices, who have performed and recorded with Elbow, Wolf Alice, U2 and Alt-J, to name but a few.


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