Sunderland band The Bolts through to regional music finals

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THE Bolts are hoping to be the next big thing from Sunderland after making it through to the area finals of a prestigious music competition.

The indie rock band, made up of teenage friends, impressed judges at the Live and Unsigned heat which aims to unearth the country’s top emerging talent.

They will now perform for them once more in the Northern area finals in Newcastle next month in the hope of making it through to the national finals at London’s O2 Arena.

The band made it through to the next round with a performance of their own track, Bus Stop Love, and a cover of Superbass by Nicki Minaj.

Singer and lead guitarist Liam Dickman, 14, from Grangetown, said: “We had some really good feedback from the judges. I was really nervous on the day as we had to change our set five minutes before going on stage to make it shorter, but the nerves worked for us.”

The Sunderland High School pupil added: “We practice around three times a week and will be practising even more now as we want to concentrate on the competition.”

The band has been together for about a year and consists of drummer Matthew Rawding, 16, guitarist Connor McCallum, 16, and bass guitarist Andrew Amour, 17.

They have previously won a battle of the bands contest at Bonded Warehouse in Sunderland’s East End.

If they go on to win Live and Unsigned they will scoop a slot at a music festival, studio recording time and £10,000 to spend on developing their act and music equipment.

The acts which receive the highest scores at the national final will perform at The Live Fest, an event showcasing the cream of the UK’s unsigned talent.

Chris Grayston, events director of Live and Unsigned, said: “Live and Unsigned is about originality, live ability and credibility.”

l If you would like to support The Bolts in the Live and Unsigned Regional Final at Newcastle Tyne Theatre on May 12, a free bus to the venue will be leaving from Gatsby pub in Park Lane.

Ask in the pub for more details.

Twitter: @sunechokaty