Live bands showed real Spirit

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A PANEL of seven judges had the difficult job of choosing which three bands will open this year’s Spirt of Tring.

Over three nights the judges – including me – had the painstaking task of scoring 20 bands on things like technique, stage presence, originality, charisma and entertainment.

The Play Live competition invited artists to perform at Tring’s Court Theatre, with the under 15s taking to the stage on Tuesday, May 8, the 15 to 25s performing the following evening and the over 25s entertaining on Thursday, May 10.

Taking the top spot in the under 15s category were The Lights – a band formed two years ago after meeting at a Herts-based rock school.

Lead singer Flo Hill performs with Morris Moorhouse on the drums, Harley Cyster White on bass, backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist Tilley Mutter and the latest addition to the band, lead guitarist Sam Riley.

The judges agreed that the band had improved significantly since performing at last year’s Spirit of Tring.

Storming out of Leighton Buzzard, Ego Trip were chosen to represent the 15 to 25s age group. The band is made up of Mikey Ciancio, Adam Murphy, Courtney Askew-Conti and Ollie Smith.

Courtney said: “This will be an incredible experience and a great opportunity for us as a band to progress, and putting music aside, we do love Tring.”

The lead singer of band Soulshaker, Sallyanne Scarbrow, wowed judges with her powerful voice in the over 25s auditions.

She performed with Gary Scarbrow on drums, Martin Ragget on the electric bass and Mark Taylor and Malcolm Scott on electric guitar.

Alongside me on the panel were Gary Wiggins from Grass Roots, Rob McIntosh from MA Concerts, Sandra Smith from Living Magazines, Nicola King from Hughes and Co, Richard Meager from Specialist Cars and Ian Gower from The Court Theatre.

> The Spirit of Tring, organised by Tring firm Grass Roots was due to be held in June but has now been postponed until September 21 and 22. Visit www.spirit-of-tring.com