First finalist is picked for All About the Song

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THE first heat winner is through to the final of The News-backed All About the Song competition.

Jack New took the honours at last night’s closely fought opening heat at The Cellars in Eastney.

Jack New on stage at The Cellars

Jack New on stage at The Cellars

The contest aims to find the best new songwriting talent in the region, and voting is split between a panel of judges, the audience and the acts themselves. The top two acts from last night’s heat will also get play at the Southsea Show in early August.

Sophie Darling, from Henderson Road in Eastney, was the runner-up. She said: I’ve never done anything like this before – my mum entered me into this. I thought why not? You get to play with other musicians, and you get to play at The Cellars. I didn’t have any expectations, but I am so excited to be playing Southsea Show.’

The 18-year-old music technology student, who played with Olly Tuck on percussion and bass, added: ‘As long as I’m in the music industry and at least playing music as a hobby, I’ll be happy.’

The contest, which is part of the Portsmouth Festivities, is also backed by Nevada Music and Express FM.

Also playing in the first round were George Wedlake and Lewis Bennett.

The second heat, featuring Jamin Gallier, Emily and Chloe, Sarah Corcoran and Steve West, takes place tonight, at The Cellars from 7.30pm. Entry is £2. There will be four further heats before the final, which is at The Wedgewood Rooms on June 22.

The winner of the final will receive a package designed to help further their careers.

n To see footage of all last night’s acts, go to portsmouth.co.uk/video