Local bands play to win

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: The Sighting are among the acts competing in the Live and Unsigned regional heats.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS: The Sighting are among the acts competing in the Live and Unsigned regional heats.
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THE best unsigned bands and singers from the North East will take to the stage in Dewsbury this weekend for the regional heats of a national music competition.

Local bands Cherry Picasso and The Sighting are among the acts aiming to impress the Live and Unsigned judges and win a place in the area finals.

Cherry Picasso’s John Hodgson, who teaches drums at Mirfield Free Grammar and Castle Hall, hopes a win this weekend could be the start of something much bigger.

He formed the band along with former students after deciding that he “wanted to play to people instead of a garage” – but it’s not his first taste of life in the limelight.

In the 1970s, he toured with prog-rock star Rick Wakeman before 16 years as a solo artist.

Speaking about his time on the road with Rick, he said: “Oh it was fabulous, I can tell you that – it was everything that I had worked towards.

“We were doing big venues as well, we toured all over the world; Australia, America, Brazil, all over the place.”

Meanwhile, Dewsbury band The Sighting has been working hard to get ready for Sunday’s show.

Guitarist Dave Martin said: “We have to do one of our own songs blended into a cover track which has thrown a bit of a challenge down for us this time.

“We’re fully practised but each stage gets a bit harder. The chance to play at the O2 if we make it through to the national final would be fantastic.”

The second round of Live and Unsigned is at Dewsbury Town Hall on Sunday. Turn to The Guide for ticket details.