The winner of the third heat of All About The Song has been decided.
Gareth Howells swept away the competition at the Cellars at Eastney to secure a place in the final. The 44-year-old from Eastney was supported on the night by friends, including members of his band Bemis.
‘Everyone did a really good set, and I am always critical of myself but I’m really pleased,’ he said.
‘When I play with the band I’m not nervous but being up there and judged by myself, I felt the pressure. In the final I hope I will be less nervous.’
One of his bandmates, Dillon Hughes, 20, from Southsea, played bass with him.
He said: ‘The charisma he has onstage and emotion that goes into his songwriting makes him stand out.’
The music teacher from Portsmouth College performed a four-song set with diverse themes, which he says reflect his songwriting.
‘All four songs are personal. The song about autism was written partly about my stepsister, who has Down Syndrome and autism, and Squinted Vision is about my scatty personality. Even my political songs are from the heart. My lyrics are confessional – I write about my mistakes, and I hope the audience will relate to it.’
All About The Song is open to all unsigned singer-songwriters and acoustic performers of original material within the PO postcode area.
It is part of the Portsmouth Festivities and backed by The News and Express FM.
The overall winner will be offered studio time with a professional engineer/producer to record their song at Air Studios in London as well as the chance to get advice from studio owner Paul Woolf, who will judge the final.
Paul is the CEO and co-owner of Air Studios and Strongroom Studio.
There will be two more heats at The Cellars on June 18 and 22 from 7.30pm, entry is £2. The grand final for the top six acts will be at the Wedgewood Rooms in Albert Road, Southsea on Sunday, June 28, when entry is £5.