Sounds Like Summer heats to kick off this weekend

Co. Antrim band The Red Velvetines, one of many acts performing at this year's SLS Heats. (120612JC12)
Co. Antrim band The Red Velvetines, one of many acts performing at this year's SLS Heats. (120612JC12)

The north west’s biggest music competition, Sounds Like Summer, will welcome some superb emerging talent when its first heat kicks off this coming Friday, June 15, at the Alley Theatre in Strabane.

With over 50 bands entering this year from all over Ireland and the UK, the judges had tough decisions to make to whittle it down to the final seventeen artists and bands.

On Friday, June 15, Saturday, June 16, Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, seventeen bands will take to the stage at the Alley Theatre - the lucky acts will be battling it out.

The grand prize up for grabs is the opportunity to professionally record their own composition and receive post-event mentoring from Small Town America Records - an invaluable prize for all aspiring artists.

Kicking off this year’s competition is an acoustic night featuring 15 year-old Derry singer/songwriter Soak, Glen Harkin from Sion Mills, Jayne Trimble and her Band and, last but not least, Justin Black who is now living in Strabane but hails from America.

The following night, five acts will battle it out - 2011 Sounds Like Summer finalists Zia Regime, who are back in the competition this year, Mandala Skies, Midnight Riot, Paul Tully and Cork native Lawrence Hackett.

The following week on Friday, June 22, will see a mix of everything from rock, acoustic, rap and pop. Co. Donegal singer Michelle Walsh is first up, followed by Derry’s Wood Burning Savages and Strabane rapper Gerard i.2.

The final heat on Saturday, June 23, features a band all the way from Liverpool. The Collectors Club are widely popular with a great following across the UK.

Vocalist and songwriter Shane McCaul is next, followed by Co. Antrim band The Red Velvetines and finally, Head of State, who describe themselves as an eclectic fusion of folk, harmony and indie rock.

Sounds Like Summer 2012 will be amazing as it is packed with the best music talent Ireland has to offer. Watch out for the final on June 29 and see who will be crowned champion.

To book tickets, contact the Alley Theatre Box Office on: 71 384444 or visit: