Live and Unsigned, the UK's biggest original music competition for unsigned bands and singers, is returning in the new year and is coming soon! The competition travels all over the country in a bid to find the UK's next break through recording artist and, of course, the ultimate unsigned act, with the overall winner being offered a two year management and recording contract.
Open to all genres, Live and Unsigned promotes and supports all types of musicians from Rock and Heavy Metal to Indie Pop and RnB, and this versatility could have something to do with the competition's huge popularity. Over 30, 000 acts have auditioned live in front of the judging panel in its three years on the road.
This year's auditions are set to kick off in January 2010, and one man who knows all about the rock and roll world of music is eagerly awaiting its return. Former Sex Pistols Manager and notoriously outspoken, Malcolm McLaren is returning to the Live and Unsigned Judging Panel in 2010, hoping to find that diamond in the rough who could be polished into the UK's next big thing. When talking about his experience of the competition last year, McLaren is full of excitement. Describing one former act as dysfunctional, impossible to define and wonderful and another as a post karaoke act that cuts up all of those groups Best Of, it's clear to see the music mogul is eagerly anticipating what 2010 will bring.
Describing his journey to the 2009 Grand Final, McLaren notes the vast differences in acts today and warns the dangers of imitating someone else's craft,
Two words sum up today's culture: authenticity is one, and the other is, well karaoke. Most artists spend their lives trying to authenticate (or make true) today's karaoke culture, but you have to be a magician to do that. Karaoke is mouthing other people's songs: it is life by proxy, liberated by hindsight and unencumbered by the messy process of creativity. Everything and everyone in a karaoke world is for sale, and so successful are its TV shows Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent that I am racing to judge a talent contest, Live and Unsigned. I am on a mission: I have this undeniable thirst for something authentic.
As McLaren touches on, Live and Unsigned is truly unique. The competition promotes live and original auditions (there are no demos or recordings), offers participants the opportunity to perform in some of the UK's most prestigious venues and the Grand Finalists go on to perform at the Live and Unsigned Festival sharing the stage with some of the UK's most influential musicians.
And Impresario McLaren seems eager for its return and gives us a taste of what judging last years final was like,
Surrounded by talent scouts and DJ's, I am told that 10, 000 acts across the UK have entered this competition: the names on the paper in front of me are the finalists. The panel has to award marks out of 20, according to look, originality and performance. The bands thunder forth like horses at the Grand National.
Live and Unsigned Events Director Chris Grayston adds, This last year has seen Live and Unsigned explode and it's set to be even bigger and better in 2010. The involvement of some fantastic industry names and judges, an increased prize pool for winners, a UK winner's tour and a National sponsor courtesy of Marshall Amplification will mean we're in for a great competition. The Grand Final at the Live and Unsigned Festival is something new and exciting and will give acts the opportunity to perform alongside some of the UK's best musicians. We can't wait for the 2010 competition to begin!
McLaren will be joined by a host of other celebrity judges and industry insiders for Live and Unsigned 2010, including Radio 1's Annie Nightingale. Auditions for 2010 are in high demand and are limited. For more information and to register for an audition visit the websitewww.liveandunsigned.uk.com