On the talent trail

Live and Unsigned: Stacey Murphy

Live and Unsigned: Stacey Murphy

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Talented Chorley singers are making their way into a regional final showcase after impressing judges in a nationwide competition.

Stacey Murphy, 22, and Brian Hobbs, 29, are both on cloud nine after beating off hundreds of auditionees in the BBC’s Live and Unsigned 2012 contest.

And now Stacey, who attended Holy Cross High School, will have to go through the nerves all over again, when she performs at The Royal College of Music on April 14.

Brian’s second audition will take place on March 31 at Dewsbury Town Hall.

Stacey, whose musical inspiration is American country star Taylor Swift, said: “I had my first audition at The Palace Hotel, in Manchester.

“I went into this room with other auditionees and we had to play one-by-one.

“I am really excited to have got through and I can’t wait to perform again.

“I am a little bit nervous because I will be playing my own song.

“I probably got through because I do country music, and it’s different.

“My family are very proud of me, and are glad that I am getting somewhere.”

And Brian, whose style is acoustic pop, said: “I applied for the competition online.

“I know it sounds a bit cliche, but I love music.

“I have been in bands since 2007, and then I broke away from that to do it on my own.

“I can’t wait for the final, and I am preparing like mad.

“It goes without saying that if I win, it would mean the world to me.

“Music is something I have wanted to do all my life.

“I have written my own music as well, so I would like to get that out there too.”

If Stacey and Brian make it through the regional finals, they will win the opportunity to perform at the 02 Arena, in London, as well as £10,000 to be spent on development, a further £10,000 publicity investment, gigs from over 30 festivals including from Canada, Sweden, Italy and Latvia, a UK tour of up to 100 shows and a UK festival tour including slots atNorfolk Spectacular, Boardmasters, Strawberry Fields Festival, Brownstock, London Summer Jam, Bingley Music Live and Butserfest.

Celebrity judges involved in previous years include former Slade front man Noddy Holder, R’n’B star Shola Ama, Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale, Ras Kwame, Tom Deacon and Daniel P Carter, as well as members of bands such as The Libertines, and Funeral for a Friend.

Chris Grayston, events director of Live and Unsigned said: “Live and Unsigned is all about originality, live ability and credibility.

“We don’t accept demos or submissions and everyone auditions live.

“We’ve got some fantastic prizes up for grabs this year in a £100,000 prize pool, including a new main cash prize of £10,000.

“The festival slots and other prizes available make this year’s competition our biggest ever.”