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Eight of the South West’s best up and coming bands and artists have been named to play in a live gig at Bristol’s Colston Hall as the battle for Glastonbury Festival hots up. Following district heats across Somerset, Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire back in November, 13 bands and performers were selected from all the entries to go through to the next stage of the Live and Unsigned competition run by Avon and Somerset Police. Following a day-long boot camp style workshop last weekend, those 13 bands proved beyond doubt that the South West is still producing a wealth of music talent. Some of the shining stars of the competition so far include Bristol grime group GY and The Pioneers, also from Bristol, Weston-super-Mare indie rockers Nine Lights, singer songwriter Dominic Malin, from Bristol Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), Yeovil metal band Undertryyke, Bath rock band Cedarwood and Bath ska funksters Largo Embargo. They now have just over two months to polish their performances ready for the final showdown at The Colston Hall on April 10 where they will aim to win their performers pass to the Glastonbury Festival. In addition to bagging themselves a slot on the Glastonbury line-up, the winners will also walk away with a day in the recording studio at The Real World studios owned by ex Genesis star Peter Gabriel.
Sixteen year-old Larry Turner, frontman for Undertryyke, said: “We are absolutely chuffed to bits to have got through and now we get to play at The Colston Hall. Loads of our influences have played there. It’s an amazing venue. We are definitely aiming to go all the way and ultimately get to Glastonbury! It’s great that the police are holding this event and giving young people amazing opportunities.”
Previous winners acoustic duo Two in a Boat and rock group The Fuel both went on to play on the BBC Introducing Stage at the Glastonbury and have gone from strength to strength since their appearance – recording albums, touring and attracting attention from US and UK based promotional companies.
Chief Inspector Mark Jackson said: “This competition is an excellent way of building bridges between the Police and young people. I think it is really important to find ways for all young people to express themselves through positive activity, hopefully diverting the most vulnerable away from crime and anti-social behaviour. Any young musicians who have the courage to get up on stage and enter this event immediately have my respect. They are the kind of role models we need.”
Tickets for the Colston Hall gig available at the Box Office on 0117 922 3686 or online at www.colstonhall.org/boxoffice

Photo by Paul Holloway via Flickr