East Surrey rock bands' chances to take the big stage

East Surrey rock bands will be in the spotlight this year thanks to a trio of local opportunities to steal the show.

Merstham-based community radio station Susy Radio 103.4, Redhill Rockfest 2013 and this summer's Redfest music festival are all vying for the talents of local rock bands and the ears of local rock fans.

Susy Radio presenter Andreas G Wood is turning the airwaves over to local music talent on Tuesday evenings between 7pm and 9pm, with his show ‘Susy Rocks Live.’ The alternative music show features tracks from local acts and bands who play live in the studio during the programme. A number of locally-based bands such as The Android Angel, Death Rattle and Free Swim are receiving airplay on BBC6 Music and London’s XFM, but use the Susy Rocks Show to promote their new material. Andreas said: “We are totally passionate about bringing the best local music to a wider audience, be it through live studio sessions or playing their records.”

He said: “Band members come in and chat about what they’re doing now and what they’re planning in the future. “Daniel Fisher, ex-member of The Cooper Temple Clause, used the show to preview new material from his latest project, Red Kite.”

Andreas said: “We love our local music scene and encourage acts from across Sussex and Surrey to come in and play. “I regularly attend gigs across both counties to bring bands in, and there seems to be no shortage of acts that wish to take up the opportunity to promote themselves on our show, which is unique on local radio in our part of the world.” Local musicians and bands can get in touch with Andreas by emailing: andreas.g.wood@susyradio.com And next month will see signed and local bands playing on the bill of Redhill Rockfest 2013, alongside punk greats Sham 69 and heavy rockers Blaze Bayley.

The dates at the Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, on Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, in aid of Help For Heroes and St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley, will see all artists performing free of charge to support the two charities.

Both evenings' headliners will be supported by signed and local bands including The White Coast Rebels, Bottlenex, Sondura, Bifteck, Mordacai, The Water Pistols, Reckless Ambition, Rum Diaries, Keepsafe, Lands, Embryon, We Come First, Wreckhead and the Devilcocks.

Tickets, priced £8.50 per day or £14 for both days, are available from the Harlequin box office on 01737 276500, or online at: www.harlequintheatre.co.uk And this year's Redfest music festival, taking place on land at Robins Cook Farm near Redhill on July 26 and 27, will for the first time feature the unsigned band winners of its Road to Redfest competition, opening the event on its main stage.

The deadline for submissions from hopeful outfits recently closed, having been extended, and the winners have yet to be announced.

Festival promoter Matt Nichols, who set up Redfest to offer a professional high-profile stage for up-and-coming and alternative musical talent, launched the competition in keeping with his founding aim.

Last summer's sixth Redfest saw its audience numbers rise further past the 2,000 mark. For more details about this year's event and for tickets, visit the Redfest website: www.redfest.co.uk

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