Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 11:29 UK

Band to contest UK talent search

Emerald Sunday
Emerald Sunday will perform an original song and a cover in the final

A band from Kirriemuir are gearing up to compete in the final of a UK-wide contest for unsigned musicians.

Emerald Sunday were among over 10,000 bands and singers to enter the Live and Unsigned competition.

After narrowly missing qualification at the area finals judging, they were voted into the final as wildcard contestants by texts from the public.

The five-piece will compete against 15 other bands in the rock category at Portsmouth's Guildhall on 27 June.

When the band formed in April 2008, Emerald Sunday comprised lead singer Gary Aitchison, rhythm guitarist Alan Hunter, bassist Scott Crawford and drummer and percussionist Craig Duncan.

It's been such a confidence boost to hear these judges say they like our music
Gary Aitchison
Lead singer

Singer Gary, 29, attributes "a new lease of life in the band" to the addition of lead guitarist Matt Flemming, who joined in February.

He said the final will be the band's biggest challenge to date.

"To get this far in a year, entering our first national competition and reaching the final, is a huge achievement.

"When we first started we never thought we'd get anywhere like this.

"It's been such a confidence boost to hear these judges say they like our music. It's really encouraging and it makes you perform better as well."

Rhythm is a Dancer

Every act will perform one cover version and one original song at the final, where former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale will be among the judges.

Emerald Sunday are planning to play their own song, Money Tree, and a rock version of 90s dance track Rhythm Is A Dancer, by Snap.

The cover has already proven popular with concert crowds, Gary said.

"One of the spins we put on it is mashing it up with Push It by Salt-n-Pepa. It just fell into place in rehearsal."

The winner of Live and Unsigned will be offered a recording and management contract and up to £20,000 to fund the release of their first single.

They will also be invited to play on the Live and Unsigned UK tour.

After rallying friends, family and local media to help vote them through, Emerald Sunday are looking forward to their chance at stardom.

Gary said: "It's the biggest thing we've ever done as a band. There will be lots of different people at this final, and you just never know if you might catch someone's eye.

Asked about his hopes for the band's future, Gary said creating new music and playing it would be just as important as chart success.

"I would love to tour up and down the country, maybe even Europe, meeting as many different people as possible," he added.

"Our goal would be to get signed and play as much as we can."

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