An incredibly narrow opening heat at the annual All About The Song competition saw 56-year-old Matt Little go through to the final.
Matt, of Rowlands Castle, pipped Sam Cutbush to the post by just over one point and gained only a minor two points more than the third performer, Mike Keating at The Cellars at Eastney.
Having written songs for many years, it is rare that Matt performs his own music. He said: ‘I was surprised to win. I came down tonight just to tick a box really, so didn’t expect that.
‘The other acts were great. It’s difficult to mix genres like tonight, when we all have so many different genres.’
Matt may also be joined in the final by second place artist Sam Cutbush who will be entered alongside other runners up for the chance to be a ‘wild card’ in to the final.
The competition is open to all unsigned singer-songwriters and acoustic performers of original material within the PO postcode area.
It is run as part of the Portsmouth Festivities and is 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.
At the end of the day they will have a professionally mixed recording of their song.
They will also be able to pick the brain of studio owner Paul Woolf and get some pointers as to how to break into the music industry.
Paul is the CEO and co-owner of Air Studios and Strongroom Studio, where recent clients have included musical heavyweights such as Muse, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons and Ed Sheeran.
He will also be one of the judges at the final.
There will be three more heats at The Cellars on June 15, 18 and 22 from 7.30pm, entry is £2.
The grand final for the top six acts will be held at the Wedgewood Rooms in Albert road, Southsea on Sunday, June 28, when entry is £5