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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 September 2006, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Support acts picked via MySpace
Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap is playing 13 dates across the UK
Singer-songwriter Imogen Heap has announced she is choosing support acts for her UK tour via a social networking internet site.

Heap told the BBC News website she had used a similar approach in the US, advertising for tour support via her MySpace page with great success.

"I'd rather choose people I've never heard of... a couple of times in the US people got up and sang a song with me.

"It's a chance for me to give some local artists a boost."

US inspiration

Prospective support acts are invited to send messages to her MySpace page, where Heap will listen to their work.

Heap's UK tour begins at Gateshead's The Sage on 26 September, and finishes at London's Roundhouse on 31 October. The tours visits 13 UK cities in total, including Glasgow, Oxford and Warwick.

MySpace UK will run details of Heap's campaign on its front page. The site, where music and culture fans can network, has several million UK users.

Heap said she had the idea when her cellist on a recent US tour - who was playing as her support - got an invitation to attend a festival in France at the last minute.

"I said to her 'You have to do it', even though she was supposed to be playing for me in Florida.

"I put a message on my MySpace page and the response was massive. I got over 200 emails."

Heap then advertised for support acts for the rest of the tour.

Heap, whose second album Speak For Yourself was released in May, has become a word-of-mouth hit in the US through Heap's use of the internet.

Her music has also been featured on TV shows such as The OC and films including Garden State.

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