Monday, 7 July 2014


CentreStage 2014

Back in April, Martin House Children’s Hospice held their fifth, annual Centre Stage Heats at The Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds. The venue hosted three nights of young, local bands and artists  battling it out to earn themselves a place at this month’s Final, where they will compete for a place on the bill at both the Leeds and Reading Festivals this August and also a performance video shot by local filmmakers, Sodium.

The Final is now looming and very eagerly anticipated, and is set to take place on Wednesday 23rd July at O2 Academy, Leeds. The event will see the most diverse range of contenders to date and will be judged by a high profile panel, including Jon McIldowie (Booker for Leeds and Reading), Mike Heaton (Embrace) and James Brown (Pulled Apart by Horses). The evening will be hosted by local Music Producer, Ed Heaton, who also offers a recording prize to the competition.

The Finalists:

CONFLARE: an exciting four-piece from Castleford with catchy guitar riffs. Their third time in Centre Stage! 

DEMORALISED: four-piece from Otley. In their words “Showing people how Metalcore should be done”! 

BRYONY DRAKE: singer/songwriter from Tadcaster, playing acoustic folk and well-crafted hooks. 

RANDOM BEHAVIOUR: a young, four-piece alternative rock band from Prince Henry’s in Otley.

ARCARODE: a new, ambient alternative rock band, from Leeds, with a slight hint of folk from the violin. 

OLIVER PINDER: young, fresh, singer/songwriter from Halifax playing upbeat pop/folk music. 

GIRLS ON DRUGS: two-piece electro from Selby. Deep bass synths and sultry vocals. 

THE CONCETINES: four-piece playing catchy, infectious indie rock. Been on the Leeds’ scene for a while.

CHICKADEES: young, budding band from Leeds. Uplifting saxophone, synth and melodies! 

SHUPADUM: from Tadcaster/ York. Their sound is centred around ‘playing fun music’ and ‘rocking hard’!

PREMONITION: a teenage rock band from North Yorkshire made up of four students from Selby College.

THE PUPPETEERS: four-piece bluesy, rock band from Prince Henry’s in Otley. Also finalists in 2013.

 ....and Special Guests King No-One (winners of 2013) and Rock School UK. 

Since securing their places, the finalists have been busy upping their rehearsal time, writing new material and getting lots of gigging practice, not to mention continuing their fundraising and helping to raise the profile of the competition and charity. As preparation for the final, Martin House have organised professional mentor sessions at Old Chapel Studios, Leeds, to answer any last minute questions and deliver some constructive advice for their big performance.

To date, Centre Stage has been a great success and last year welcomed its first winning band from North Yorkshire, King No-One, who received an amazing reception at Leeds & Reading, and still remain close supporters of the charity. Previous winners ‘The Mexanines’ reaped the benefits of the exposure that Centre Stage has given them as they enjoyed life on the road as the main support for The Pigeon Detectives at the end of 2013. Also, 2012 finalists ‘Carnabells’ have just played this summer’s Glastonbury Festival on the BBC Introducing Stage. 

The competition has now raised almost £150,000 for the charity, which has been channelled directly into the care of the children and their families at Martin House Children’s Hospice. 
Fantastic prizes also awarded to ‘the best fundraisers’, ‘the runners up’, ‘best promotion and publicity’ and ‘best door tally’. Blacks Solicitors are assisting with sponsorship for the event.

The Final will be held on Wednesday 23rd July at O2 Academy, Leeds. Doors 6.15pm. Show starts 7pm. Tickets are available at at £6.50/£4.50 (concs). The event will also be pay on the door.

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