Norfolk’s Next Big Thing band finalists revealed

In recent years it has provided a springboard for the likes of The Kabeedies and Ed Sheeran, but now a dozen new musical acts are ready to battle it out to become the Next Big Thing.

The competition, now in its seventh year and previously backed by the Evening News, has seen more than 90 acts whittled down to just 12.

Six acts will go head to head in two semi-finals held at the B2 venue at the Brickmakers pub in Sprowston on October 24 and 31, before just six will contest the final at the Open venue on Bank Plain on November 14.

The six acts who will be taking to the stage in the first semi-final are: We Can't Dance, Lady Panther, Strawberry Forks, Girl in a Thunderbolt, Grenouilles and Teka.

Those competing to impress the judges in the second semi-final are: ...Of Diamonds, Hello Bear, Curtis Road, C.O.L.L., Karenin's Smile and Keith Brown.

The final 12 were chosen by a panel of judges, including representatives from Drowned in Sound, One Little Indian, Norwich Sound and Vision, Outline and Future Radio, who are running the competition.

Tom Buckham, station manager of Future Radio, which has run the contest for the past three years, said he has been delighted with the number of entries and the quality of the acts to have entered this year with everything from folk and hip hop featuring, as well as electronica and metal.

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He said: 'I think we've had another high amount of entrants. What's nice is that we're constantly seeing new groups and new acts every year, it's not just the same old names.

'There is new emerging talent which is encouraging for the region. In previous years there's been a few bands that have stood out.

'When Ed Sheeran won a couple of years ago he really stood out, but this year it's a difficult one to call, which is a good thing and speaks highly of the standard of entry we've had.'

Prizes include professional studio time, musical equipment and �1,000 in cash, as well as the opportunity to play at leading venues across the city and provide support for touring bands.

The first semi-final takes place at B2 on October 24 from 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at �4, while the second semi-final takes place at the same venue on October 31, again, from 7.30pm. Tickets are �4.

The final will be at Open on November 14.

Have you gone on to big things after winning a talent competition in Norwich? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email