Have you got what it takes?

It's back - East Anglia's biggest and best contest for tomorrow's hottest new music stars… Next Big Thing II. Join Event magazine and our sister paper the Evening News in our search for the best in unsigned talent, with some great prizes on offer.

It's back - East Anglia's biggest and best contest for tomorrow's hottest new music stars… Next Big Thing II.

Join Event magazine and our sister paper the Norwich Evening News in our search for the best in unsigned talent, with some great prizes on offer.

Follow in the footsteps of last year's winners The Pistolas, who have now gone on to win the nationwide Diesel unsigned bands contest and are exciting interest from record companies.

Simon Buller, lead singer of the Norfolk four-piece indie rockers, said: “It's been one hell of a year for us!

“Next Big Thing was a really good night and we had loads of fun. It helped give us positivity in what we were doing, and the publicity meant we definitely noticed more hits on our website and more people coming to our gigs.

“We're playing the XFM stage in In the City at Manchester on October 1, so we're really looking forward to that.”

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Fellow NBT finalists Turnstone have also been making waves, with prestigious London gigs at venues such as The Marquee under their belts.

Reckon you can emulate them? Then read on!

We are looking for bands or individual artists within the EDP's circulation area to take part.

We have got together with music store Soundcontrol Norwich, the UEA Students' Union (one of East Anglia's leading music venues), and Purple Studios to offer some great prizes - and a chance to appear in our prestigious finalists' gig at UEA on November 20.

The winner will pick up £1000 in musical equipment from Soundcontrol Norwich, PLUS two long days' studio time (and mastering) at Purple Studios PLUS £500 cash from Archant Norfolk, PLUS a guaranteed support slot to a “name” band at the UEA or The Waterfront within 12 months of winning.

In addition, the eight finalists will be invited to appear on a special Next Big Thing II promotional CD.

Plus, of course, they'll get oodles of publicity too - including a special preview of each finalist.

It works like this: fill in the form and send us two studio-quality tracks on CD. Please note it must be original material only. We will then send you a copy of the full rules.

Once the entries close on September 30 we will pick eight finalists. We will announce the finalists on October 14. That's also the date when tickets for the Next Big Thing II gig on November 20 will go on sale.

The initial judging panel will be Event music writer Colin Wilson, Event editor Trevor Heaton and music biographer and EDP journalist Richard Balls.

For the live final the panel will be Paul Ingleby of the Waterfront, Giles Massingham (Soundcontrol Norwich), Simon Dunford (ex-Bardots), music manager Jess Glister, Archant director of marketing Philip Preston, Trevor Heaton, Norwich Evening News deputy editor Tim Williams and Evening News chief reporter Lisa Horton (also a member of Norwich band Bearsuit).

Don't miss out - send your band CD with your contact details to Oliver Franzen, Next Big Thing, Events department, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE by September 30.


t Having traded in Anglia Square for more than 20 years, Academy of Sound Ltd joined the Soundcontrol group of companies last November to become part of the largest music retail company in Europe. Soundcontrol Norwich now holds an even greater range of stock and facilities at even keener prices, and they continue to offer an unrivalled experience for East Anglia's musicians. However, they are more than just another store - the whole team places great importance on the relationships that they have developed within the local music community. Through these relationships they are able to support the Norfolk music scene by using their resources to help musicians wherever they can and this is the main reason that they are proud to be supporting Next Big Thing again this year.

t The UEA Students' Union has hosted hundreds of the world's finest bands and has just undergone a major refurbishment to further underline its position as one of the leading East Anglian venues.

t Purple Studios, believed to be East Anglia's most famous recording studio, is proud to be a sponsor of this year's big event. The studio has just recorded The Pistolas - Diesel unsigned best new band 2005 - had countless radio plays and singles of the week. The winner will be in the coolest hands for two long days, including mastering.

MORE ON EDP24 and EN24

Look out for our dedicated Next Big Thing II section coming shortly. In the meantime you can listen to last year's finalists and use our Next Big Thing message board.

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