Wanted: New bands to play original music showcase
THIS year's first Liverpool International Music Festival promises to bring a hugely diverse offering of music to the city.
I'm particularly looking forward to the indoor music stages, which will see the best new talent on at venues around the city.
This year I'll be curating a stage featuring some of the best new bands and some reworkings of Liverpool favourites at Eric's on Mathew Street.
Some of the names already lined up to perform include The Coral's Ian Skelly, who released his debut psych-pop solo album last year Cut From A Star to rave reviews and former Black Velvets man Dave Dutton.
The Sums' frontman Digsy will be performing a special acoustic solo show. "As the rest of the band are all busy off sunning themselves I was contemplating doing a Freddie Mercury or Steptoe tribute but I'll stick to doing myself, " laughs Digsy who promises to play a real mix of The Sums' and Smaller's back catalogue.
Teen rhythm and blues sensations will be performing. They are already being championed by Dr Feelgood's Wilko Johnson and have recently supported Bill Wyman and McFly - despite only leaving school this week.
Lead guitarist Tom Hamilton-Hughes says: "We've been recording in Parr Street Studios and we popped into Eric's to see a gig a couple of weeks ago and thought this is one place we'll have to come and play so we were really excited to be asked by Jade to play at their bank holiday festival. "
Look out too for Liverpool three piece The Bad Penny's, who have been locked up rehearsing for most of the year and are really looking forward to playing live again.
Ex Bo Weevils bass player Andy Holland from The Bad Penny's says: "We've been itching to play live and show off our new tunes including Gooseys which we released a video too catch it on you tube and hope to see you at Eric's''
Also on the bill will be 10 Reasons to Live, The Marc Kenny Band, The Mac Brothers and Ukebox, with more names to be announced.
Ethan Allen, music director at Eric's, says: "We will be putting on free music across the bank holiday weekend. As well as our usual free live cover bands at Rubber Soul and Mathew Street Live, we have some great original music in Eric's.
"With the success we had with Jade Wright's Mathew Street stage last year at Eric's we are delighted to be working with her again and are really excited to be bringing another eclectic mix of original talent, with the likes of Ian Skelly and new bands like The Bad Pennys or if you are into your blues sound with The 45s to a musical veteran like Digsy. We've definitely got something to suit everyone's taste."
We are looking for the freshest talent so we want a new Merseyside band or solo artist to join the original music line-up.
To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is send me a demo CD, along with a bit about you. Include the full names and ages of everyone in the band and all your daytime contact numbers.
Send them to Jade Wright, Fringe Festival Competition, Liverpool ECHO, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB. We will not be able to return demos. Entries close on August 3. Normal ECHO rules apply.