Gallery: Unsigned music acts get judged

IPSWICH: More than 200 up-and-coming acts have auditioned before the judges of a national competition aiming to find the top unsigned talent in the country.

IPSWICH: More than 200 up-and-coming acts have auditioned before the judges of a national competition aiming to find the top unsigned talent in the country.

Solo artists, indie bands, folk singers and heavy rockers were all grabbing their chance to show off their abilities at the Regent Theatre's Circle Lounge.

Among the acts hoping to impress the judges were Felixstowe rockers Seratoner, who have been together for nearly three years.

With each act getting only about 30 seconds to win over the decision-makers, singer/guitarist Paul Veal, 25, said the band had been rehearsing a lot over the previous few days.


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He said: “We play around Felixstowe and Ipswich and have also played in London and Brighton. We've seen a few friendly faces here today but we're confident of getting through.

“We're just going to see what happens - 30 seconds is not a very long time, but it will be interesting. We're going to give it our all.”

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Also waiting for their shot were The Mosquito Effect, from Witham and Clacton, who have been playing together for just over a year.

Guitarist Nick Griffin, 24, said the group signed up with the intention of getting as much exposure as possible, more so than actually winning the contest.

He said: “The people that surround these events are the people we need to play to. There's a little bit of an Essex circuit and we bump into some bands from time to time but there are so many people doing it (playing live).”

This is the third year of Live and Unsigned, the country's biggest search for undiscovered and original talent, and the Evening Star's Jenny Lock was among the judging panel for the Ipswich auditions - part of a nationwide tour.

All the successful performers will proceed to the next round and perform in front of a panel of industry experts at some of the UK's most prestigious venues.

Then the chosen few will go on to the grand final to share the stage with some of the country's finest talent at the Live and Unsigned Festival 2010.

Dave Payne, who has been running the auditions, said the standard had been very high.

He said: “I have to give the 'yes' or 'no' out after the auditions. The people of Ipswich have been very nice - we normally get a few divas, but people have been very friendly.

“On the whole, the recession is making people do some good music.”

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