SCHOOLBOY band China Town are just one step away from the national finals of a top music competition.
The three 16-year old sixth formers from Wath’s St Pius RC School again wowed judges and the 450-strong audience at the Live and Unsigned regional final at Sheffield City Hall on Sunday.
Lead singer/guitarist Tom Hemingway from Rawmarsh, bass player Tom Blessed from Bolton and drummer Liam Simpson-O’Regan from Darfield now join six other bands for the area final at Manchester on May 8.
If they get through that, the lads – who have been together only a year – will play at London’s O2 Arena.
A world tour and full media spotlight is promised to the eventual winners, who will walk away with a recording and management contract with Future Music and investment of up to £50,000.
China Town members write their own material and have a repertoire of 16 original songs. They place themselves in the Indie-rock bracket, but with a liking for ballads.
Tom’s dad Andy, himself a former band musician, said the lads got together initially for a charity concert at Mexborough’s Boy and Barrel pub, then never looked back. They have a “unique sound” he said.
Live and Unsigned has attracted over 50,000 entries in the past five years and is established as the definitive music competition for original acts.
Previous winners of the competition include Kiddo 360 who went on to pick up a Vodafone Live Award, B-Kay, and Kazz who broke into the top 30 chart.
Last year’s winners were The Lottery Winners and Underline the Sky, who also won the “Road to V”.
For more information on the competition, go to www.liveandunsigned.uk.com. Tickets are also available from the website.