Hello. I’m going to tell you about a talent show I entered last summer. I’m sure you’ve seen these competitions on TV featuring young musicians from all over the country. The competition I took part in was just for bands in my local area, so my friends and I believed we had more of a chance than if it was open to people from a wider region, or to bands based in a big city like London.
Each band had to sing two songs and both had to be original – their own songs and not just their versions of well-known songs. There was a panel of six judges, including a professional singer. The main judge whose opinions really mattered was a record producer. I remember another judge was a music teacher, and there was a famous dancer too.
Everyone desperately wanted to win of course. Often in competitions like this the successful bands get recording contracts. It’s what every musician wants. However, the organisers decided to reward the band that came out on top with cash. One of the competitors said the winners should get new guitars, which would’ve been quite nice, but that didn’t happen!
The competition attracted a lot of interest so they needed somewhere with enough space. We’re lucky that a concert hall has just been built in our town so that was the obvious place. I think performing in a sports stadium would’ve been cool too. Maybe some other time! And the old theatre which has been used for similar events before was closed for repairs so was unavailable.
When we first got together as a band, my friends and I preferred to do classic pop songs. Gradually we felt much more comfortable doing rock music, and that’s what we chose for the talent show after long discussion. One or two of the band members fancied having a go at heavy metal but I thought that wouldn’t work for us.
The next challenge was writing a song. At first, I wanted a happy song about a party, but everyone else rejected the idea. I tried writing something about a great holiday I’d had a couple of years ago. I didn’t get very far with that either. In the end, I came up with something about world peace. It has a nice message so I think it was a good choice.
When the big day came, some of the band members were a bit nervous. We’d never performed in front of such a big audience before. The lighting seemed too bright in the rehearsal so we got that fixed and I knew it would be fine on the night. But even as I stepped on the stage, I kept thinking about the sound equipment. Fortunately, everything went smoothly.
We didn’t win, though the judges said nice things about our performance and even gave us some advice. But what the competition did for us was boost our confidence hugely. We really needed that. I hoped I’d get some good ideas too. You know, inspiration for new songs. But that came a few months later. Anyway, the whole thing was great!