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archive head spider 2011_July 2011_July_15_2

Calling All Singer-Songwriters - The Third Annual 'All About The Song'

Over the last 2 years, the All About The Song, an event specifically designed to showcase local song writing talent, has grown in stature, attracting as partners in the event. 
BBC Introducing
Express Fm
The News
Gunwharf Quays
Nevada Music 
Portsmouth Live TV 
Who Can Enter?
Anyone within the PO postcode area who writes their own material and usually performs solo or as a duo / trio acoustically. You may have a band name, but you will need to enter as a songwriter (or songwriters if you are a duo) in your name(s) only. Acts which use drummers on occasional ‘special’ shows such as album launches are not excluded, but no drum kits are allowed for this event. A maximum of three performers will be allowed on stage together (we have expanded this from 2 in previous years to be more inclusive). Those who usually perform as electric bands are not eligible, but The Wedge Showcase is in August and they’d love to have you I’m sure!
How Do I Enter?
E-mail me, stating your name or the name you perform under if appropriate. (NB - I do not need the names of any accompanists, just the songwriters please).
I need a link to a website / MySpace / Facebook etc to verify who you are , your home address, a contact phone number and any unavailability for the following dates for the heats in August at The Cellars at Eastney :
Heat 1: Tues 2nd 
Heat 2: Mon 8th 
Heat 3: Tues 9th
Heat 4: Thurs 11th 
There are a maximum of 24 places available, 6 per Heat. Each artist performs 4 songs.  The top 2 artists from each heat go through to the semis, along with the closest runner-up from Heats 1 & 2 and then Heats 3 & 4.
Please note, Semi Finals will be on Tues 16th and Weds 17th at The Cellars and the final will be at Gunwharf Quays on Sunday 21st August at 1pm.
Previous judges of the final include Neil Ferris (former head of EMI UK and current manager of opera star Alfie Boe), Kairen Kemp from BBC Introducing:The South, Chesney Hawkes and Squeeze lyricist Chris Difford.
We are awaiting confirmation of judges for this year, but they will all be industry professionals as always. The opening rounds are judged by Express FM, myself and the News, along with audience vote (audience does not for the person they came with, this isn’t a popularity contest like some showcases!) and also you, the songwriters judging each other. It’s a robust system of voting which really works and is fair. In fact, only once in the whole of the 2 previous competitions was there a difference of opinion between artists, audience and judges and the final has always been unanimous.
for the Winner there will be a  £75 cash prize sponsored by the Cellars and £50 worth of Vouchers provided by Gunwharf for use in their stores and restaurants. The Runner-up will receive £25 cash and £50 worth of Gunwharf Vouchers. Our other sponsor, Nevada Music, provide goody bags for the other finalists. The Winner will also get to perform at The Kings Theatre in November as part of the Children In Need Gala Night, as well as being showcased on PLTV and on Express FM. In addition, this year there will be a £25 prize for the winner of each of the 4 heats.
Worth entering?
Is this just another competition aimed at conning you into bringing a group of mates along to put money in the venue’s till ? No, it most certainly is not. Is the winner picked by local promoters and people with no musical credentials? No, they are not. All we ask, is that you guarantee that you can bring 6 people to act as your part of the judging audience in order to ensure we have a fair cross section of people taking part. We charge them £1 to get in and that is all we receive as a venue towards costs. All artists will receive free drinks from the bar.
We’re not pretending it’s some kind of ticket into the music business, but we do know that it helps to highlight local talent and gives real industry recognition to Portsmouth songwriters and we happen to think that is worthwhile J. It also highlights solo artists in a world which often concentrates on ‘battle of the bands’ events and forgets that the art of the song is what is at the heart of music. Entered before and weren’t successful? It doesn’t matter, this is a showcase of people’s talents, an opportunity to show you are refining your craft and get feedback from your peers and professionals who have nothing to gain by buttering you up to get you to sell tickets.
What are previous winners up to?
Loz Bridge won in 2009 and is now in Bristol pursuing his career as a songwriter, seeking publishing for his songs and last year’s winner Becky Jerams has her song "La La Love" featured in the trailer for the new Mandy Moore film "Love, Wedding, Marriage". I also hear a rumour that Becky may be writing with  All About The Song judge Chesney Hawkes – hope that’s true! Two outstanding talents and worthy winners. Also worth mentioning that last year’s runner-up Dirty Sky Jones was featured on a BBC Introducing Live Lounge as a direct result of having been seen by Kairen Kemp when she judged last year’s final. Other previous finalists have staged successful headline shows at The New Theatre Royal in front of audiences exceeding 200 people.
Made your mind up?
Hopefully, you’ve decided to enter. Please be assured that this isn’t about whether or not you think you can win. It’s about celebrating what’s positive in Portsmouth music and getting the opportunity to see how others perform and enjoy and learn for the experience. We hope you can join us.
Steve and The Cellars Team