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Music: Chapel service! Search is launched to find best live band.

Byline: Katie Campling

A Huddersfield gig venue is to host a heat of a nationwide hunt for the UK's best live music act.

The Chapel - the gig venue of The Parish pub on Kirkgate - will hold a heat of the Red Stripe Music Award 2008 on February 22.

The RSMA is a UK-wide hunt for top live acts. The winners will get slots at two major festivals and will be the proud owners of their own tour bus.

Hundreds of artists will apply to compete at 50 different venues to try and win the coveted Red Stripe crown.

Last year's winners, The Runners, have since played live sessions on Steve Lamacq's Radio 1 show, released their first single and are now well on their way to becoming the UK's next big guitar band.

Lead singer, Gus Cox, said: "The last year has been manic. We've been touring all over the place, played gigs to thousands of people and appeared on Radio 1.

"Red Stripe has really helped us out, not just by providing cans of the stuff, but by actually helping us to realise our dream.

Winning the Red Stripe Music Award has opened so many doors for us that just wouldn't have been possible."

The awards have been described as live music's answer to the Mercury Music Prize. Jonny Kirkham, of Red Stripe, said it was about looking for acts that have the talent where it counts - in live venues across the UK.

"We're not about glitzy award ceremonies or buying our way into the music scene. Red Stripe goes hand in hand with music - bands like The Klaxons and The View have brandished their cans of Red Stripe on stage.

"We hold this competition to help give acts a big break within the music industry and get exposure to key people."

The awards begin in January and the finals will be held in May. There's still time to apply, so visit www.redstripe.net to be in with a chance. You can also find out more about the competition at www.myspace.com/redstripemusicaward.

CAPTION(S):

WINNING ACT: Last year's triumphant band The Runners. Lead singer Gus Cox says: "The last year has been manic."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 17, 2007
Words:367
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