A POPULAR South Tyneside band are hoping to make some noise in a local music competition this month.
Jen Stevens And The Hiccups are taking part in North East Unsigned, a battle of the bands contest organised by pub group Head of Steam.
The piano-based outfit, from South Shields, are hoping to land a place on the bill of this summer’s Evolution festival.
They take to the stage at Newcastle’s LYH bar, off Northumberland Street, on January 18, and will come up against other local bands, The Pilots, Leddie and Smoggie and Four Star Hero in the race to make it to the next round of the competition.
If the four-piece impress a panel of judges, they will be in with the chance of playing the festival, on Newcastle’s Quayside, and recording a single at the city’s Blank Studios.
Lead singer, songwriter and pianist Jen Stevens said: “We found out about the competition online and thought we would enter.
“We had to send a couple of tracks in and a biography, and luckily they got back to us and told us we were through to the live shows.
“We’re a bit nervous, but had a chance to check out the bands we’re up against.
“Everyone is pretty different, so we’ve got as good a chance as any to get through. Some of our friends are in the competition, although we’ve avoided them, but to get through to the final, there is that chance we could be up against them. But it’s all healthy competition.”
The band, which also includes Jen’s husband Tony on bass, Aaron Dixon-Cave on guitar and Adam Barnes on drums, cite The Beautiful South, Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac among their influences.
Since forming in 2005, they have supported Squeeze’s Chris Difford, launched debut album Meg’s Hill at The Sage Gateshead and performed at Newcastle City Hall as part of the Sunday For Sammy concerts.
Jen added: “We’ve played some quite high-profile gigs, but our new music is really suited for the crowd at Evolution, so it would be great if we get the chance to play.
Jen Stevens And The Hiccups play North East Unsigned at LYH, Northumberland Road, on January 18. The gig starts at 8pm and entry is free.
For more details on the band, visit www.jenstevens.co.uk.