BurySound celebrates 20 years of championing new music in the area with record entries

King Blood perform at BurySOUND at The Apex, Bury. Picture LUCY TAYLOR

King Blood perform at BurySOUND at The Apex, Bury. Picture LUCY TAYLOR - Credit: Archant

A hugely popular Suffolk band competition which champions new musical talent will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.

King Blood perform at BurySOUND at The Apex, Bury

King Blood perform at BurySOUND at The Apex, Bury - Credit: Archant

BurySOUND was originally launched in 1998 by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Jackie Smith and local promoter Paul Johnson with the aim of instigating a contemporary music scene in the area.

The competition is now one of East Anglia’s best-known and longest running band contests – which endeavours to discover, nurture and promote up and coming talent.

The original 1998 competition featured 16 bands over three heats – this year saw a record number of applications, with 45 artists applying for the 25 slots available.

Paul Johnson, founder of Bury SOUND in 1998. Bury St Edmunds.

Paul Johnson, founder of Bury SOUND in 1998. Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Gregg Brown

The full line-up for this year’s anniversary competition has now been announced.


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Over two decades, BurySOUND has showcased more than 200 artists and previous winners include Huntar, currently enjoying success on The 1975 and Biffy Clyro’s label Good Soldier Songs, Laura Kidd AKA She Makes War, and celebrated record producer and musician Tom Peters.

A host of bands, including Miss Black America, The Exiles, The Secret Hairdresser and The Dawn Parade were also snapped for session by legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who once described Bury St Edmunds as “the new Seattle” on the strength of its music scene.

Last year's BurySound winners Tundra. Picture: TARYN DRISCOLL

Last year's BurySound winners Tundra. Picture: TARYN DRISCOLL - Credit: Archant

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BurySOUND 2018 sees five heats on consecutive Fridays in January and February, taking place at The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill Arts Centre.

One winner will be chosen from each heat by our judging panel and the grand final will be held at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday, March 9.

The judging panel comprises musicians, promoters, DJs, journalists, producers and other industry professionals.

Bands are judged on musical ability, entertainment factor, stage presence, lyrical content, originality, professionalism and band togetherness.

However, organisers say the competition element is secondary to the enjoyment of meeting other like-minded artists, the pleasure of discovering incredible new music in a positive and supportive atmosphere, and the thrill of playing in front of a music-loving crowd.

For more information about BurySOUND 2018 and the bands taking part – visit www.burysound.com

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