Next Big Thing finalists announced

East Anglia's biggest music showcase Next Big Thing III is heading for an exciting final this weekend. Two semi-finals at Norwich Arts Centre have reduced the 12-strong shortlist to eight for Sunday's live final at the UEA LCR.

East Anglia's biggest music showcase Next Big Thing III is heading for an exciting final this weekend.

Two semi-finals at Norwich Arts Centre have reduced the 12-strong shortlist to eight for Sunday's live final at the UEA LCR.

The music showcase - run by the EDP in association with the Evening News and our sister titles the Evening Star and the East Anglian Daily Press - aims to put the spotlight on the brightest musical talent from Norfolk and Suffolk.

And hundreds of music fans had a taster of that talent with the two semi-finals at the St Benedict's venue on Sunday and Monday night. The 12 semi-finalists had been chosen from a record entry of almost 140 solo artists and bands who entered the contest this year.


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The first semi featured quirky singer-songwriter Alex Sheppard, funkster Mondatta Funk, power popsters The Suggestions, indie band Social Group, three-piece outfit Vanilla Kick and rockers Chemical Cocktail, while the second contest had the line-up of pop group Sam and Daisy, singer-songwriter Master Solo, indie group The Rebecas, power rockers HellCat, plus rock band New Diesel Music and Ipswich outfit Rosalita.

After some tough judging, the panel - consisting of music writers and industry insiders - whittled the 12 down to just eight.

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The finalists are:

t Alex Sheppard

t The Suggestions

t Vanilla Kick

t Social Group

t Sam and Daisy

t The Rebecas

t Rosalita

t HellCat

The short-listed acts are competing for a superb package of prizes, thanks to generous support from our sponsors, NR One Records, Purple Studios, Steeles Lawyers Soundcontrol, UEA, HMV and Anglia Drum Centre.

Each of the eight finalists will play three songs at Sunday's final. Doors will open at 6pm, with music starting at 7pm prompt.

Tickets are on sale at £5 from www.edp24.co.uk, EDP offices at Millennium Plain and Prospect House, Norwich, Soundcontrol, HMV and usual UEA outlets. Listen to the bands' tracks at www.EDP24.co.uk/Next Big Thing

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