AFTER touring internationally with chart-toppers The 1975, one band member returned to his musical roots in Prudhoe last week.

Saxophonist, John Waugh has spent the last year on a whirlwind, worldwide tour with the band, playing to huge crowds at Madison Square Garden in New York and Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage.

And on Wednesday he returned to the scene of his debut performance, the hall of Highfield Middle School.

John (28), first picked up a saxophone aged 10 and took lessons at the school.

Now an internationally-recognised artist, John, who grew up at Hedley on the Hill, met with pupils and one of his former teachers, Cate Haslam.

The musician, who joined Highfield Middle School in 1999, said he had been a quiet and shy pupil at the school.

He said: “I was quite quiet when I was younger and a big thing for me was that I felt more confident through playing music.

“The first time I started to get really into music was here.

“Every school concert here I started to take full advantage of moments where I would try to shine and be a bit of a show off.

“It’s lovely to come back. I only have very happy memories here.”

John spoke to a group of children from all year groups in the school who had been involved in a recent performance of Beauty and the Beast.

He described his musical career, from performing in the school hall, studying music in Leeds and the years he spent gigging and working that led to playing to 80,000 strong crowds at Glastonbury with The 1975.

He encouraged the pupils to follow their passion, whatever it may be.

He said: “If you want to become successful at anything, if you want to do something you love, you have to work hard.

“You have to be patient, you have to take your time with things.

“And it’s so important to be good to people and to be kind.

“If you are a bully, you won’t get anywhere; the better you are to people, the better people will be to you.”

Recalling his time at the school, teacher Cate Haslam said: “He was very quiet, very shy, but very talented.

“We’re just so proud of him.”