Bands will gig in front of members of The Pogues and The Libertines at competition


London’s O2 Academy Islington will be home to The Pogues’ Spider Stacy and The Libertines’ Gary Powell as they judge the winning band of The Pogues Irish Whiskey and Academy Events’ Shot At Discovery campaign, on Thursday 27 April 2017. 

Over 1,000 bands entered the competition and ten regional winners will battle it out at the final gig, hosted by DJ Matt Stocks (Scuzz TV / Life In The Stocks), in front of members of the public and music industry professionals.

Judges include Spider Stacy from The Pogues, The Libertines’ Gary Powell, Head of Academy Events, Ian Richards; 1965 Records founder, James Endeacott, who discovered The Libertines; Virgin Radio’s Head of Music, Stephanie May; BBC’s Introducing gigs presenter, Jack Suddaby and established music lawyer Stephen Kempner, from Sheridans, who has worked with high profile acts including Biffy Clyro, The Shires, Fun Lovin Criminals and Deadmau5. The winning band will be decided on the night from a combination of industry judges and crowd voting.

 The winning band will also win studio time to record an EP with members of the legendary band The Pogues as guest producers, nationwide gig opportunities throughout the O2 Academy venue network, £3,000 worth of music equipment, ongoing support through Academy Music Group and Brontone Management for development and assistance in releasing the EP and a case of The Pogues Irish Whiskey. 

“We’re made up at how many bands have entered the competition, it’s a great prize that could kick start a professional music career. From the bands we’ve seen so far there’s more than one that deserves to win. We can’t wait for the final and look forward to working with the winning band.” 

The Pogues

Representing the North, are Sheffield band The Velcro Teddy Bears, they are Sam Chadwick, brothers Mike and Josh Griffin and Mikey Holland. Neil Raymond Clarke the band’s manager had this to say about winning the regional heat and making it to the final…

‘It was one of the proudest moments of our career so far to have won the Sheffield heat. The competition was fierce and it is very overwhelming to have been chosen as the best of the best from the region. We all work reallly hard to make our joint dream a reality and we hope to fly the flag high for Sheffield when we travel to London. Whatever the outcome on the night we have achieved one of the goals we have set out to achieve as a band, and that’s pleasing the fans’

The ten finalists are:

Bournemouth – DD Allen

Bristol – IDestroy

Oxford – Garden

Glasgow – Real Life Entertainment

Sheffield – The Velcro Teddy Bears

Liverpool – Big Bambora

Birmingham – Charles Dexter Ward & The Imagineers

Leicester – Stupid Boots

Newcastle – Many Moons

London – Bare Hunter

Tickets to watch the final Shot at Discovery gig at London’s O2 Academy Islington on Thursday 27 April can be bought here.

The Pogues’ Irish Whiskey contains the legendary spirit and poetic rebelliousness of the Irish band. A robust blend of Irish grain whiskey aged in bourbon oak casks and single malt Irish whiskey aged in sherry casks, The Pogues whiskey has an aroma of malts and cracked nuts and an ABV of 40%, it’s not for the faint hearted. Available in 70cl bottles from online retailers including Amazon, Drinksupermarket and Master of Malt.


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