Norwich bands battle it out for the Next Big Thing crown

Six up-and-coming bands are set to battle it out in tomorrow's Next Big Thing final, after organisers succeeded in a last minute hunt for a new venue.

In recent years, the competition, which is now in its seventh year and previously backed by the Evening News, has provided a springboard for the likes of The Kabeedies and Ed Sheeran.

And now, half a dozen fresh acts will go head-to-head in the hotly-contested final after beating off competition from more than 90 other acts.

The finalists are Lady Panther, Girl in a Thunderbolt, Strawberry Forks, ....Of Diamonds, Hello Bear and C.O.L.L.

Their bid to perform in the final, however, was put in jeopardy when organisers Future Radio had to find a different venue due to licensing issues.

The final had been planned to be held at Open in Bank Plain, which was unable to secure an alcohol licence for the event, but will now be held at Norwich Arts Centre.

Kate Roma, Next Big Thing co-ordinator, said: 'It's going to be a great night. We've got six diverse bands of a very, very high standard this year.

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'They have come through two semi-finals and to get this far they have beaten 90 other bands.

'The judges this year have said how the standard has been incredibly high.'

The winner walking away with studio time at former Darkness star Dan Hawkins' studio Leeders Farm, music equipment worth �500, professional photos and support slots for touring bands as well as �1,000 cash.

The final will be held at Norwich Arts Centre, St Benedict's Street. Doors open at 7.30pm, with a limited number of �5 tickets on the door. People are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

See Monday's Evening News for coverage of the event.

Go to for news of gigs in and around the city.

Have you gone on to big things after winning a talent competition in Norwich? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email