Leamington performers hope to take their big chance at O2 final

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PERFORMERS from Leamington are both among contenders in the Midlands finals of a national music competition.

Singer-songwriter Katie Dove-Dixon and dance-rock band Girls that Scream will be competing at the Live and Unsigned area finals in Bedford tomorrow (Saturday).

With a place in the grand finals at the 02 in front of Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale, Ras Kwame and Tom Deacon, Kerrang’s Alex Baker and R’n’B star Shola Ama at stake, each act has 3.5mins to make its mark with a mix of original material and a cover version.

After performing an Adele cover in the regional final, Katie Dove-Dixon says her next choice will be a surprise but that she likes the idea of playing a song by PJ Harvey, one of her heroes.

The 20-year-old sings with a band in London, where she is studying pop music at Goldsmiths College, but will be performing with a piano and cellist tomorrow.

As the only solo performer to win through from the regional final at the NEC in Birmingham last month, the former Kingsley School pupil hopes she will stand out and says she is determined to make music her career.

Katie said: “I want as many people to hear my singing as possible but I’m still sticking to my roots and songs that I like to cover.

“I’m not going to make myself more cheesy pop than I am. What I like is pop but it’s influenced by grittier stuff.”

Leamington boys Girls that Scream are also planning to add a twist with their version of a song by rapper Tinie Tempah.

The band formed four years ago with rock fans Ashley Maugham, singer Chris David and synth player Steve Scream setting out to be a party band, but took a new direction when drummer Kris Farrel joined.

Their influences range from Black Sabbath to Prodigy, Pendulum and dubstep and electronic music.

Bass player Ashley said: “Our aim is to be totally different but still mainstream enough to be marketable.

“We’re a rock band but if we can make people dance with our music then we’re onto a winner.”

He added: “When we spoke to the judges they said we’ve got something good here and they’ll keep and eye on us.

“The standard’s really high so we’re trying to up our game and push ourselves to get the best out of the band.”

The area final will take place at Bedford Corn Exchange. Tickets cost £7.50. Doors open at 12.15pm.