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Suffolk singer is one step closer to supporting Ed Sheeran at Chantry Park

PUBLISHED: 18:59 13 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:35 14 July 2019

Caswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEY

Caswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEY

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Suffolk music star Caswell was crowned the winner of the 'battle of the bands' semi-final in Ipswich - with just one final hurdle between her and the chance to perform at Ed Sheeran's Divide world tour.

Caswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEYCaswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEY

Five hopefuls took to the stage at Cult Bar in Ipswich on Friday night in the penultimate stage of the music competition which is being run by Hoax, a Suffolk clothing company for which Sheeran has been a brand ambassador.

The contest will see one up and coming artist warm up the crowds for the Castle on the Hill singer on his last night of the record-breaking Divide world tour in Ipswich's Chantry Park.

Caswell, who has performed at Latitude and is set to perform at this year's Reading & Leeds festival, was born in London but moved to Woodbridge with her parents.

Caswell, whose first name is Kristin, grew up in south London with her then punk rocker, now vinyl dealer mother. With the family influence and a godfather who was a buyer for HMV, she grew up immersed in music.

Caswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEYCaswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEY

The singer, who attended the BRIT School, crafts a flavour of neo-soul, downtempo electronica and elaborate pop.

Speaking of her triumph Caswell said: "It's absolutely insane - to have even been chosen for the top five is crazy so to have made it to the final is incredible.

"I am a big fan of Ed and how he fuses so many different styles and genres of music together. He's probably one of the biggest singers in the world at the moment."

After hundreds of entries were submitted to the contest, the judges selected Sam Ryder, Prey Drive, Yoji, OUTLYA and Caswell to perform at Cult Bar - which saw more than 450 spectators showing their support.

Caswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEYCaswell performing at Cult Bar in Ipswich for Hoax's competition to find a support act for Ed Sheeran. Picture: LEWIS BRADLEY

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Caswell added: "Ed is inspiring with how he's changing his music up - and there's a really amazing vibe in Suffolk at the moment which is partly down to Ed's influence.

"Artists of his scale would never usually give unknown singers even a glimmer of a shot on stage, so it's really nice to see him champion where he comes from."

Each of the five bands were given 20 minute sets to impress the judges, and Archie Carter from Hoax, said it was an amazing evening for Ipswich.

"It was a massive success in every sense of the word," said Archie.

"The standard was incredibly high and the turnout was excellent - massive congratulations to Ipswich singer Caswell who will be going into the final stage of the competition."

Ipswich was one of five host locations for the competition, which has been spread across the country.

The first round was held in Birmingham on Thursday, with further rounds to come in London, Bristol and Manchester.

Archie added: "It's such a rare opportunity and the range of artists is amazing."

The final five will then battle it out in front of a panel of expert judges on Friday, August 16 at Epic Studios in Norwich.

The winner will then perform before Ed, and alongside fellow Suffolk band The Darkness and chart-topper Lewis Capaldi at the final night of his tour at Chantry Park on Monday, August 26.

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