Borough’s bands ready for battle

Indiependence

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WIGAN’S bands are preparing to do battle to scoop a £1,000 jackpot at a leading town centre venue’s new competition.

Groups from as far afield as Cheshire and Manchester will take to the stage alongside some of Wigan’s best up-and-coming acts at Indiependence on King Street West until the end of November.

The competition is made up of six heats running on Saturday evening, with bands looking to make it through to the semi-finals and then grab one of the three slots available in the grand final on November 15.

The battle of the bands contest started last weekend with indie-rockers The Chandeliers beating Mind The Gap, and continues on Saturday with Sky Valley Mistress, GrassRoots and Loor A Los Heroes looking to make it through.

Organiser Megan Wane said: “We run battles of the bands quite frequently and they’re always really popular with musicians. We did one at Revolution last year so this time it was Indiependence’s turn.

“We’ve got quite a varied line-up, there’s a few acoustic acts on the line-up and there’s one really heavy rock band which was keen to be part of it.

“It’s also a good chance for bands to impress and we will be offering support slots at gigs and events to those who do well in the future.”

Bands get around half an around to show off their best material although there will be longer sets for those who reach the final, with a panel judging them on content, originality, stage presence and musical skill.

Megan says she hopes to secure some high-profile guest judges for the later stages of the competition to decide who will win the cash prize.

The competition has certainly caught the imagination of the borough’s musicians, with around 80 per cent of the contest line-up hailing from Wigan and Leigh.

Hindley guitarist Dan Betts, whose band Cautious Retreat plays at the heat on October 4, said: “We’re really looking forward to it and we’ve done quite well at battles of the bands before.

“It would be great to win the cash prize as we’re looking to record an album before the end of the year and it would be really helpful for that.”

The battle of the bands takes place at Indiependence on King Street West every Saturday, starting at around 8pm. There are six first-round heats to be followed by semi finals and the grand final on November 15.

Tickets are £4 if bought in advance and £5 on the door.For more information about the contest, visit www.facebook.com/indiependencewigan