Suffolk acts make it through

THREE acts from Felixstowe and Ipswich have today made it through to the area final of the prestigious Live and Unsigned event.They are now just one step away from the national final in June - and determined to make it to the big time.

THREE acts from Felixstowe and Ipswich have today made it through to the area final of the prestigious Live and Unsigned event.

They are now just one step away from the national final in June - and determined to make it to the big time.

Ten thousands acts entered the competition and the winner receives a �20,000 package with Future Music to record their first single.

Felixstowe-based band Stratosfire got through the regional final in Basildon after what guitarist Ben Locke described as a thrilling experience but a nerve-wracking night.

“It was awesome, fantastic - we were first on the judge's list for those to get through,” he said.

“It was quite a night and we are so chuffed. It was an amazing experience.”

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The group - which describes its music as alternative rock or “rock with heart” - played one of their own songs and a version of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club.

Now Mr Locke, 25, his brother, guitarist Josh Locke, 19, lead singer Mike Adkins, 27, drummer Ashley Paul, 19, and bass player Murray Collins, 19, go back to Basildon for the London and East area final on May 12.

Teenager Aimee Wallace, from Cobbold Road, Felixstowe, is also through.

The 13-year-old Orwell High School student is following in family footsteps - and has a heart set on a career in showbiz like her mother Shez Southernwood, who was a dancer and magician's assistant, and her aunt Gemma Andrews, currently in Mamma Mia in the West End.

Ipswich band Slide are also through to the same final.

Silk and Steel, also from Felixstowe, are understood not to have made it through but still have one last chance to as part of a national public vote. People can go to the Live and Unsigned website to find the band's code and then vote via text - the two acts with the most votes in the next fortnight will get a wildcard entry in the area final.

The five-piece teenage group which plays glam and heavy metal music comprises guitarist Oscar Charlton, 14; lead singer James Beuchet, 15; guitarist Luke Wallace, 19; bass player Craig Lucas, 19; and drummer Curt Culley, 15.

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