Homegrown musicians battle for festival spot

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SEVEN homegrown bands and musicians are among those who will battle it out for a chance to play Leeds and Reading festivals and film their own music video.

Since it began in 2009, the Centre Stage competition has raised more than £180,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice.

This year’s final takes place at the O2 Academy, Leeds, on Wednesday night and seven of the ten finalists are from the city.

The contenderes, who are all under 21, will be judged by a panel including festival booker Jon McIldowie, Mike Heaton and Mickey Dale from Embrace, Ross Jarman of The Cribs and James Brown from Pulled Apart by Horses.

The local finalists are Lone Guns, Porl Whos, Atlanta House, Jack Haining, Absent Parachute, Blyss and Huw Eddy.

Each gained their place by performing in one of three heats at The Belgrave Music Hall earlier this year, and since then have been putting in hours of rehearsals, writing new material, and fundraising for the hospice.

They have also been given professional mentor sessions at the Old Chapel Studios ahead of the all-important performance this week.

Tickets for the final are available at www.o2academyleeds.co.uk or on the door from 6pm.