Open Mic UK 2014 – Singing competition audition dates announced

Singing competition audition dates have been announced for Open Mic UK 2014 – the nationwide singing competition searching for the UK’s best singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists!


Open Mic UK is brought to you by Future Music, the company behind the discovery of artists such as Luke Friend, Jacob Banks, Warner Music’s Birdy, Columbia Record’sLucy Spraggan, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Jahmene Douglas, both of whom are now signed to Sony Music. Open Mic UK is an exciting competition to get involved in, and the singing competition audition dates for 2014 have just been announced!


Singing competition audition dates announced – Open Mic UK 2014


We’ll be holding singing competition auditions at the following regions for Open Mic UK 2014! Book your singing competition audition now to secure your place!


Saturday 23rd August at Concourse Suites 29-30, National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham,B40 1NT.


Sunday 24th August at The Palace Hotel, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 7HA.


Sunday 31st August at Vincent Harris Suite, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, S1 2JA.


Sunday 31st August atDingwalls, Middle Yard, Chalk Farm Road, Camden Lock, London, NW1 8AB.


Saturday 6th September atStudio 1, City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, G1 1NQ.


Sunday 7th September atBritannic Suite, The Liner Hotel, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool, L3 5QB.


Sunday 7th September at Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Road,  Southville,  Bristol, BS3 1TF.


Sunday 14th September at Palace Theatre, London Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 9LA.


Sunday 14th September at The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, Westgate Road, Newcastle, NE1 4AG.


Sunday 14th September at Ferneham Hall, Fareham (near Southampton/Portsmouth), PO16 7DB.


Saturday 20th September atMilton Keynes C.C., Strudwick Drive, Milton Keynes, MK6 2TG.


Saturday 20th September atCommittee Room 1, Hove Centre, Hove, Norton Road, Brighton, BN3 4AH.


Sunday 21st September atSub89, 110 – 117 Friar Street, Berkshire, Reading, RG1 1EP.


Sunday 21st September atBoardroom, Beck Theatre, Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex, London UB3 2UE.


Sunday 21st September atBritannia Hotel, St James Street, Nottingham, NG1 6BN.


Saturday 27th September at Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BW.


Saturday 27th September at Kings Hall, Balmoral, Belfast, BT9 6GW.


The Open Mic UK singing competition auditions are allocated on a first-come, first served basis, so get your singing competition audition booked now to avoid disappointment!


Get your singing competition audition booked here.

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL: Do you want to play at The Isle Of Wight Festival?

Do you want to play at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer? The line-up for the Isle of Wight Festival this year includes Kings of Leon, Biffy Clyro and Red Hot Chilli Peppers! Would you like the chance to join them and perform at the Isle of Wight Festival?


Walkabout have teamed up with the Isle of Wight Festival and Future Music to run a Road to The Isle of Wight Festival Competition for musicians of all types to win a slot on this year’s Isle of Wight Festival which takes place on 12th-15th June. The Isle of Wight Festival competition is supported by Jack Daniels, so the winner will not only get a slot at the Isle of Wight Festival but they will also receive £500 expenses covered and lots of Jack Daniels goodies including limited edition Jack Daniels Guitars!


The Isle of Wight Festival competition runs nationally through May at every Walkabout venue, with the Grand Final taking place in London at Temple on Sunday 8th June to decide the winning act. Last year’s winning act FELLA came from Reading and performed on the Rising Stage.


For more information and to enter please email your name, number and closest Walkabout venue to You can find all the Walkabout venues here.


Find more information about the Isle of Wight Festival Competition here.



‘Side By Side’ EP out now from Jess Thristan

The press notes for this new EP from 18 year old Yorkshire songwriter Jess Thristan paint her as ‘raw’ and ‘classy’, an acoustic artist with real talent. You see a lot of performers these days who claim quality, and I’m pleased to say that – in this case – the press info is correct.

While not as ‘raw’ as some acoustic artists I’ve heard (there is an unmistakably professional sheen to all four tracks – check out this video if you don’t believe me), this is definitely classy stuff.

The lyrics are not the simple, straightforwardly lovelorn words you might expect from someone still two years from 20, but instead pointed – an introduction to a world view beyond her years.

Add to that the switches of style between each song, and this is a strong start from Jess Thristan. The EP is on iTunes now.

Free Download: The/Das – ‘Parallel Worlds’

German electronica due The/Das have released single ‘Parallel Worlds’ as a free download in the run up to their album ‘Freezer’, coming later this year.

The Berlin based pair, who have used the new album to experiment with a more spontaneous, organic songwriting approach, will be releasing the album through the Sinnbus label.

You can get the download here:

Nuborg, ‘Sliding Off the Edge of the World’

Dark and atmospheric with a killer – if subtle – bassline, ‘Sliding Off the Edge of the World’ is the title track from Nuborg’s new album. The single is out this very day, one of series of singles from the album being released on the 15th of each month.

With comparisons to the likes of Kate Bush, the clear, precise female vocal really compliments the foreboding, light instrumentation. A little gem.

McCarrons Interview

A three piece indie/rock band from Halifax, The McCarrons are a band on the up. Influenced by the greatest of Brit rock and indie, their debut album ‘Whatever Next’ is out now (order here), so we thought it would be a good time to get to know them.

The McCarrons:

Michael McCarron – Vocals/Guitar
Louis McCarron – Vocals/Bass
Andy Farrell – Vocals/Drums


Question: Two thirds of The McCarrons are brothers Michael and Louis McCarron, how long have the pair of you been playing together before third member Andy came along?

Michael: We’ve been playing since we were ten or eleven years old. We were playing pubs and clubs up until about two years ago when Andy came along and broadened our horizons.


And how did you meet Andy?

Louis: We knew his two older brothers who were in bands and we needed a drummer so we just got hold of him!


Most of our readers won’t be familiar with The McCarrons – how would you characterise your sound and influences?

Michael: We’ve based the sound pretty much on Brit Pop and classic British bands. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who. We’re also big fans of the Mod scene, the likes of The Jam, The Specials, Ska. I would say we do take on every single style of music but these are the main ones.


And is that a common trait for bands in Halifax?

Michael: No I wouldn’t say so.

Andy: I think Halifax is quite a big town for music to be honest, so there’s all sorts up here. There are a lot of people coming out of Halifax who are indie musicians but there’s also heavy metal, scar. So there are all sorts here.

Louis: We get a lot of people at our gigs, so there are people who are into what we do, so hopefully we’re starting something.


‘Whatever Next’ is your debut album – how did it come about and how long has it been in gestation?

Michael: We started off playing covers but a lot of people told us to try writing our own stuff, and I always wanted to try it so that’s how it came about. So I’d say we started writing about two, three years ago. For the album we just started collecting songs together.

Louis: There are nine tracks on the album. There were originally ten, but one got dropped.


And why was that?

Louis: We weren’t happy with the sound to be honest.

Michael: It was sort of a last minute job so we weren’t happy with the recording or the sound, so we thought we’d save the song for maybe an EP later on or it could go on the second album.


The album is produced by Pete Maher (U2, Beady Eye, The Killers) – how did that introduction come about?

Michael: We’d recorded the album, and we wanted that professional sound, so we researched on the internet and came across Pete Maher. We thought that, if we wanted to sound professional, then we’d like to work with someone who’s produced the likes of U2, Beady Eye, Nicole Scherzinger, all the top dogs.

Louis: If you want the best you have to work with the best really, so that’s what we tried to do.

Michael: A lot has been put into the production side of the album, and 50% of it has been produced by ourselves too so it’s the sound we want. We also worked with a producer called John O’Halloran, a DJ who’s had some hits in the charts.


Just going back to the music scene in Halifax, where would you say are the top live venues in Halifax?

Andy: I would say The Last Drop. But you’ve also got Hebdon Bridge which is just outside Halifax which is a good place for musicians as well.


Finally, where are the best places to find you online?

You can find us at and search for us on Facebook and Soundcloud as well.


Revere offer free download cover of Scott Walker’s ‘Boy Child’ – one week only

For one week only, until April 11th, Revere are offering a free download of their beautiful cover of Scott Walker’s song ‘Boy Child’.

The track is a B-side to their next single, ‘A Road from a Flood’ (April 28th) which is released one week ahead of album ‘My Mirror / Your Target’, and if you like the sound of that you can catch them on tour soon too, starting with the album launch gig this Thursday in London:


Thursday 10th April: The Lexington, London

Thursday 8th May: Brundell Social Club, Leeds – Newly Added

Sunday 11th May: Spiegeltent, Brighton **

Monday 12th May: Night & Day, Manchester  – Newly Added

Tuesday 13th May: The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

Wednesday 14th May: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

Thursday 15th May: King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

Friday 16th May: The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool

Saturday 17th May: The Marr’s Bar, Worcester


**A double-bill with Gabby Young & Other Animals