Local band to open top festival

They were tipped as the Next Big Thing - and it seems the judges of last year's EDP battle of the bands competition were right.Just months after winning the third annual contest, Rosalita will be sharing stages with the likes of Basement Jaxx, The Kooks, Lilly Allen and The Fray at this year's V Festival.

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They were tipped as the Next Big Thing - and it seems the judges of last year's EDP battle of the bands competition were right.

Just months after winning the third annual contest, Rosalita will be sharing stages with the likes of Basement Jaxx, The Kooks, Amy Winehouse, Lilly Allen and The Fray at this year's V Festival.

The five-piece band, based in Ipswich, was announced last night as joint winners of the televised Road to V musical battle to find opening acts for the Channel 4 stages at this year's V festival which runs tomorrow and Sunday in Chelmsford and Staffordshire, beating 3,000 other groups.


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Keyboard player Ben Groom said they were doing a gig when they were told the news.

“I had a voicemail message asking me to call them back. I was nervous and didn't want to do it in front of everyone so I went around the corner and was told the good news. I came back in and just had a fixed grin on my face. We were numb for a while but then we just got down to rehearsing,” he said.

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Rosalita and Grimsby four-piece The Brightlights, who will headline at each venue over the weekend, were chosen by an all-star panel made up of the infamous 'Mags' Revell from Metropolis music, top label executive James Endeacott and top pop/indie front man of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells.

The panel have spent the last few months reviewing performances and reading the reviews left on the website to decide which of the final 14 bands came top of the class.

Mr Groom, 24, said: “Winning the Next Big Thing was really the kick we needed. It was the first time we had really played a big stage and UEA is a really reputable touring venue which bands make a point of putting on their schedule.

“We formed in 2005 and have more than 150 gigs between us. We have worked hard and sometimes driven miles to play to just 30 people but it has all been worth it to get to this point,” added Mr Groom.

The band, which also includes Kris Andrew, John Randall, Jay Goodrich and Richard Tyler, who are all in their early 20s, describe themselves as a mix of indie/pop with an electro twinge.

David Banks, a Next Big Thing judge, said: “Whenever I listen to entries for the Next Big Thing I am waiting for something to jump out of the speakers. The first time I played the Rosalita track it was evident that this was something that not everyone was doing - it had a fresh vital sound and I'm not surprised they have gone on to something bigger.”

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