MILLIONS of radio listeners across the country have been enjoying the sounds of an unsigned band from the borough who received an unlikely boost in their bid for the big time.
Four-piece The Lottery Winners, pictured, whose indie-pop sound has seen them draw comparisons to The Smiths and The Cure, were offered the prestigious slot as the house band on Manchester-based Key 103 and its network of associate radio stations.
The Leigh group, made up of singer and guitarist Thom Rylance, guitarist Rob Lally, bassist Katie Lloyd and drummer Joe Singleton, got the chance to perform on one of the station’s comedy and entertainment-based programmes and struck up an immediate rapport with the presenter and crew, leading to a weekly slot.
Their role involves live performances of short jingles throughout the programme, including specially-written pieces to introduce celebrity guests, and performing some of their own songs for the show’s audiences.
Singer Thom, 23, said the chance to put their music out across the region’s airwaves was simply too good to turn down, and has put their creativity and ability as musicians to a whole new range of tests.
He said: “It was a very easy decision for us to make. With the music industry the way it is and radio play being so hard to get, no band in their right mind would turn this opportunity down.
“Some of the things we do are a bit weird, such as writing a short song about Kerry Katona, but it’s a big platform for us and there’s a big emphasis on the fact that we are a local band. I know a lot of bands and none of them have got a deal like this.
“I think we’ve learnt from this how to write under pressure on a large stage, which is useful because we’re talking to labels and need to get a lot of songs written.
“We’ve also been able to try out our new tunes. Last week we played a song which doesn’t even have a name yet, and we asked listeners to contact us with their suggestions for titles.”
In addition to their commitments on the radio, The Lottery Winners have enjoyed a busy few months, with the arrival of new sticksman Joe Singleton behind the kit underpinning a stylistic change of direction which will be displayed on upcoming EP Somebody Loves You, recorded at The Lounge Studios in Wigan,
They also recently got to open their live account for the year with a sell-out gig at the iconic Barfly in London, and now have their eyes set on a summer of large festival appearances, including a slot at Glastonbury.
Thom said: “It’s been a strange year for us because last year we played a gig every weekend, but we’ve been recording a lot and our sound has really grown up compared to our previous music.
“We’re also doing a video for our single Elizabeth, which will be released on the Queen’s birthday. It’s not about the Queen, though.”
Somebody Loves You will be released later this year. To find out more about the band, search for The Lottery