International challenge

A STEVENAGE band whose musical influences range from Brit pop to rock are in the running to play at a prestigious music festival. Novel Jukes who have been gigging for about six months are among around 450 bands who have been selected out of around 4,700

A STEVENAGE band whose musical influences range from Brit pop to rock are in the running to play at a prestigious music festival.

Novel Jukes who have been gigging for about six months are among around 450 bands who have been selected out of around 4,700 bands to audition for the Surface Unsigned Music Festival 2008 - an annual music industry event providing a gateway for artists to perform on international stages in front of industry representatives.

Jordan Wade (vocals and hand percussion), Adam Naylor (lead guitar and backing vocals), Luke Ladd (rhythm guitar), Lewis Boyce (drums) and David James (bass guitar), who are all 19 years of age, have beaten off competition in four rounds to reach the final at the NEC in Birmingham on November 9 where they will perform.

David said: "As artists we thought it seemed like a way to publicise our band. We're not entering it to expect the world but we take what we do quite seriously.


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"It's going to be a challenge but we're looking forward to playing."

The band who also draw on indie and punk say they are not 'another indie generic band'.

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Jordan said: "All five of us have different musical influences which are clearly shown in our unique sound. They range from Brit pop and rock (Oasis and Blur) to the 70s punk scene (Sex Pistols).

"We have a modern fresh British rock sound with real-life lyrics and a jump up and down vibe."

So far their first main gig was headlining at Club 85 in Hitchin where they sold 220 tickets - around 15 tickets short of selling out the venue.

David said: "We've created a strong local following. Our aim was to play at a well respected local venue so it was really nice to play at Club 85."

In the near future the band hope to break into the London music scene and already have gigs lined up in Leicester Square and Hoxton.

N The band's next gig in Hitchin will be at the George pub on March 15.

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