Make-over for Next Big Thing winners

They were made up at winning the region's biggest battle of the bands contest and now Next Big Thing winners The Kabeedies have been made over as part of their prestigious prize.

They were made up at winning the region's biggest battle of the bands contest and now Next Big Thing winners The Kabeedies have been made over as part of their prestigious prize.

Members of the Indie four-piece have been treated to a makeover at Norwich salon Kinki as part of the package of prizes which included a single release by Norwich label NR One records, £1,000 of advice and guidance from specialist music solicitors Steeles, and two days' recording time at Purple Studios in Trowse.

The band are hoping the haircuts given to them by stylists at the Lower Goat Lane-based salon will leave them looking sharp for the guaranteed support slot for a big name band at UEA or the Waterfront they also won as part of the competition.

Evan Jones, 17, guitarist and vocalist with the band, who won the package of prizes after grabbing the hearts and minds of judges and fans at UEA LCR in November, said the support slot was the best part of the prize package.


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“That's the one we're most looking forward to and is probably the most valuable prize for the future,” he said.

“Since we won we have received some great feedback from friends and fans, and even from people we don't know. It's funny because we can do much better than the performance we gave, and did not think we were going to win. We had a lot of energy but it was not our best gig.”

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The band, which also comprises 16-year-old bassist Rory Hill, from Norwich, vocalist Katie Allard, 18, from Norwich, and drummer Fab Bell, 18, from Lowestoft, only formed six months ago but has already sold out Norwich Arts Centre and played at Hyde Park in London.

Next year they've lined up gigs at London and Brighton, and hope to appear at one of the smaller festivals.

Rob Clews, owner of Purple Studios, said: “We want to do something really good with them in the studio, even if it takes more than two days. We're also thinking of entering The Kabeedies and Purple Studios in the Creative Norfolk competition as a non-broadcast entry.”

Ant Hall, 27, from Horsford, part of four-piece rock group Fortune Rookie, won the best drummer prize, which was a new drum kit. He said: “We've had great response and emails on MySpace since we won the prize. It's great to know that people really enjoyed the gig and my drumming.”

After four successful years, the Next Big Thing, which is organised by the Eastern Daily Press and the Evening News, has become one of the largest and most respected local band competitions in East Anglia.

Last years winners Rosalita went on to win the coveted Road to V competition, while 2004 winners the Pistolas scooped the Diesel U Music Awards and a record contract soon after being crowned Next Big Thing.

t Visit www.edp24.co.uk/nextbigthing to view a slideshow of pictures from the finals night, along with footage of the bands performing and MP3 downloads.

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