Stars to judge bands’ battle

Embrace drummer Mike Heaton.
Embrace drummer Mike Heaton.

Bands from Wakefield are vying for a slot at the Leeds and Reading Festivals in August.

The Hyde and The Gallery are among 11 bands from across Yorkshire who will perform in front of top music industry experts – including members of The Cribs and Embrace – next week.

Judges for the Centre Stage competition include Ross Jarman from The Cribs, plus Mike Heaton and Mickey Dale from Embrace.

Mike Heaton said: “Centre Stage is an incredible event – it gives young artists the chance to make their mark on the music scene, and for the winners it gives them an amazing platform.”

The contest is organised by Martin House children’s hospice in Boston Spa and also acts as a fundraiser for them. Centre Stage has raised more than £225,000 for the hospice since launching in 2009. The hospice cares for children from across Yorkshire with life-limiting illnesses. Mr Heaton, an ambassador for Martin House, said he was proud to be on the judging panel.

Sarah Smith, Centre Stage organiser at Martin House, said: “We have a strong line-up of bands in this year’s final, so it should be a fantastic evening.”

The Hyde and The Gallery will battle bands from Leeds, York, Halifax and Barnsley. They were all chosen in a series of heats in April. They have received a mentoring day as part of their preparations for the final.

The Centre Stage final will take place at the O2 Academy in Leeds on Thursday, July 26.

The show will start at 7pm. Tickets cost £8 and £6 for concessions, from the venue’s website or on the door.