PHOTO GALLERY: Was the next Sam Kelly or Bill Downs unearthed at an open mic night at north Norwich pub?

Talent spotters were looking for another Sam Kelly or Bill Downs when they pitched up at the Brickmakers pub in Norwich for an open mic session.

Producers of TV talent show The Voice visited the award-winning live music pub in Sprowston Road on Wednesday night in the hope of finding contestants for the second series of the show.

More than 20 acts took part in the open mic sessions and each act was videotaped for the producers to later review. Those that impressed will now be asked to audition in front of the producers.

Charley South, one of the three owners at the pub, said: 'It was awesome. It was great to see so much talent in one place, and good that the talent scouts came to Norwich. We have so much talent here but in the past no one came up to Norwich to see it. Maybe they came because of the recent success of Bill Downs, who played on stage on the night, and others like Sam Kelly.

'Twenty-one acts took part in the open mic sessions. They were mainly individual singers, with some singer/songwriters, and a couple even sang a cappella.


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'We must have touched on virtually every genre of music and we had a soul singer and up-and-comers.'

Fellow licensee Emma Teasdale said: 'It was a fantastic opportunity for our local musicians and singers. Norwich has had massive success over the last year with singers Sam Kelly, Bill Downs, who both went to Sprowston High School, and the amazing voice of Toni Warne – hopefully this will launch more local stars to the national TV screen.'

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As reported, Spixworth singer Sam Kelly made it through to the final of Britain's Got Talent this year, and Sprowston singer Bill Downs also impressed on The Voice.

Are you holding an event in Norwich showcasing local talent? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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