Signing up for success

Castleford band Lockin are through to the regional heats of the national Live and Unsigned band competition
Castleford band Lockin are through to the regional heats of the national Live and Unsigned band competition

IT’S the dream of any unsigned band to seal the golden deal – a recording contract and thousands of pounds worth of studio backing.

For Castleford band Lockin that dream may be creeping closer to reality after the trio secured a spot earlier this month at the regional heats of national talent showcase, Live & Unsigned.

Band members Dave Battle, Ben Dickinson and Martin Hills will return to Dewsbury Town Hall in March to try to repeat their audition success, which they hope will land them a place in the area final in Manchester later this year.

If their talent convinces a panel of judges which includes ex-Slade singer Noddy Holder, they’ll go on to play London’s O2 arena and compete for studio time, a world tour and the elusive dotted line.

Dave, 25, said: “I didn’t know anything about Live & Unsigned until I saw an advert on Myspace.

“It’s a big competition, 10,000 acts apply every year from all over the country, so it’s tough to get all the way through.

“If we win the rock category we fly out to India to play the largest festival in Asia and get £50,000 worth of backing.

“If we were to win the whole thing we would win a record contract which would be amazing.”

Vocalist and guitarist Dave and drummer Martin met at Brigshaw High School in Allerton Bywater and started playing in bands together in their teens.

Several name, sound and line-up changes later and Dave and Martin, 26, are hoping to reap the benefits of hours spent rehearsing at the Early Bath pub in Castleford.

Hot off a swift support slot opening for big name heavy metallers, InMe, the band are honing their sound and racking up the gig offers right left and centre.

Dave, of Hugh Street, Castleford, said: “This band has been together for about three years and things have really started taking off.

“We’ve have been putting a lot into gigging and getting our name out there as much as we can.

“We’ve been doing a lot of promoting ourselves and we’ve recorded a demo that’s had a lot of interest. We’ve just had it confirmed it’s going to be played on Rock Radio which is a pretty big station.

“We’ve got a lot of venues wanting us to confirm dates in the next few months and we’re looking at doing the festival circuit, ones like Leeds.

“Our next confirmed date is in April but we play at short notice a lot too.”

The local lads may be aiming for national stardom as they prepare for the next Live & Unsigned round but their roots are firmly grounded in Yorkshire.

Dave added: “There’s a lot of talent in the area, we’ve taken part in lots of Battle of the Bands competitions and there’s lots of good stuff out there.

“There’s a lot of different styles out there too, which is a blessing for us because when we play we do something different.

“Every band I’ve been in has been with Martin so we’ve done a lot of different styles along the way. It’s difficult to describe our sound, it’s a very raw sound with us only being a three. We get compared to Metallica a lot.”

With Martin taking a six-month sabbatical due to other commitments, the band have enlisted in the session skills of drummer Steven Hessleton, who will be with them during the Live & Unsigned events.

“We want to go all the way with it because we love music,” said Dave, “There’s not a lot of money in playing original material at the moment but if we could do it professionally and make enough money from gigging to live off, it would be ideal. We want to be out there.”

Visit the band’s Myspace at www.myspace.com/lockinofficial to find out more about the band.