Music success adding up for Cleethorpes band EVER - but GCSEs come first!

EVER band members, from left, Connor, Max, McKenzie, and Isaac
EVER band members, from left, Connor, Max, McKenzie, and Isaac -Credit:EVER/Submitted

A Cleethorpes band is hoping to multiply its musical success - once its youngest members have finished their GCSEs!

Three of the four-strong band EVER have put their passion for live gigs and writing music on hold until their exams are over next month. But the group will be straight back on stage as one of the headline acts at this year's Armed Forces Weekend at the end of June in Cleethorpes.

EVER is made up of McKenzie Hillyard, 15, Isaac Stratford, 16, his elder brother Connor, 28, and Max McNiven, 15, on drums. Within just 12 months they have attracted 350,000 live streams on Spotify and 100,000 followers on Instagram. The band's first single Don't Know How To Love was a viral sensation and has been quickly followed this year with Overdrive.


The run of exams next week includes English, history and maths and they are hoping it all adds up to success in the music industry.

EVER's viral streams runs into millions, though they are known locally for their fun nights performing in front of live audiences at a variety of venues. Over the Bank Holiday weekend they turned Docks Academy into a "mosh pit" with fans of all ages dancing to their rock music.

EVER have been inspired in their beginnings by the likes of The Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Green Day. The band write a lot of their own music, with Isaac on vocals and rhythm guitar, McKenzie, on guitar, Max on drums and Connor on bass.

EVER perform at Docks Academy Fresh Catch on May 4, 2024
EVER perform at Docks Academy Fresh Catch on May 4, 2024 -Credit:EVER/Submitted

They have performed multiple gigs in the area but it is their stats online that has catapulted them to the attention of rock producers worldwide. They hope to have some news about contracts later this month and Isaac said he is keen to get into a recording studio to create the band's first album.

Their class teachers will be pleased to hear they are focussed on their GCSEs and will only have one gig during the mid-term break when they are performing in the car park at The Grosvenor, in Humberston, on Sunday, May 26. They will also have a free gig on Saturday, June 29 at the Armed Forces Weekend, in Cleethorpes. EVER will also be at The Signal Box Inn that weekend.

In the meantime they are rehearsing at home. Isaac's mum Shelley said: "There are no bookings during the GCSEs as they come first. But they love what they are doing and would be writing songs and performing every day if they could. We just ferry them around everywhere and, because they are not old enough, we look after their streaming and online support."

EVER members, from left, Max, Isaac, McKenzie, and Connor
EVER members, from left, Max, Isaac, McKenzie, and Connor -Credit:EVER/Submitted

Isaac and McKenzie said all the parents had given immense support to the band. "We are loving it and writing our own songs a lot. It is a joyful struggle," told Isaac. He said he had been inspired by his dad Rob who formerly played in a band Ideal in the Nineties. He said all the band hope to tour in Europe and the US.

McKenzie said: "I have been with the band since we started and love it. I can't think of anything else in my life. We had a great Saturday night at Docks with a few mosh pits and being able to feed off the audience's energy."

Meanwhile, they have their fingers crossed for a "meet and greet" with their idols Green Day ahead of their Cleethorpes Armed Forces gig. See more from EVER here