Who will take the honours at this year’s Wedgewood Rooms Showcase?

The Bayonettes, the winners of last year's Showcase.
The Bayonettes, the winners of last year's Showcase.
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The Wedgewood Rooms’ annual battle of the bands returns next week with the first heat of its Showcase competition.

The contest has been a fixture of the Portsmouth musical calendar for more than two decades, giving a voice to local musicians on one of the country’s premier independent stages.

More than just a run of the mill battle of the bands, The Wedgewood Rooms Showcase puts artists of all genres in front of a panel of some of the industry’s leading organisations, with figures from BBC Radio, Creative Artist’s Agency, Ministry of Sound and Decca on its panel of judges.

The Wedgewood Rooms Showcase doesn’t just stop at giving acts a stage from which to display their talents,it will also be providing a bounty of prizes for the lucky winner, from recording time and professional video shoots to support slots with some of the touring artists appearing at The Wedgewood Rooms.

The line-up for this year’s opening heat features five diverse acts including:

n Rock’n’roll five piece Crown of Thieves

n Singer/songwriter Mike Keating

n New grunge act Outgun Empire

n Alt-rock trio Urban Legend

n Novium, who describe themselves as ‘ not your average band.’

Heat 1 is on Thursday, doors open 7.30pm. Tickets are £4. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk or call (023) 9286 3911. More heats follow on July 23 and 30.