Parliamentary pop competition Rock the House Scotland will be launched in Glasgow tonight by local MP John Robertson.
Leading politicians and figures from the creative industries are expected at the Oran Mor event, which will showcase some of Scotland’s best unsigned bands.
The winner will then go forward to compete in the main Rock the House competition, established by Hove MP Mike Weatherley to raise awareness of copyright and music piracy among his parliamentary colleagues.
Four bands – Iain James and The Sound, Japan 4, Holly Pistol Club and The Barrels - are lined up to play tonight and a winner judged by Robertson and a panel of leading talent and media players.
Music Industries Association chief executive Paul McManus has arranged for Westside Distribution to donate a guitar for the winners of the Scottish competition, who will then have a chance to play at the Rock the House awards ceremony in House of Commons this summer.
John Robertson, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music and MP for Glasgow North West, said, “With a big event like Rock the House in Scotland, we are taking the next step of trying to engage with industry and young people. It shows that Britain and Scotland still showcase the best in music.”
Mike Weatherley said that there was now over 400 MPs who have selected over 1000 artists and bands to go into the mix for the third Rock the House competition, which has been endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron.
“We have really expanded. We’ve had MPs from all over the country doing innovative things to choose bands. Two thirds of the House of Commons are now involved,” added Weatherley, who thought up the competition as a way to increase political awareness of IP issues.
Meanwhile, DJ Mike Read, UK Music CEO Jo Dipple and PRS for Music Foundation’s industry funds manager Laura Whitticase voted through Vanessa Murray from the artists who use UK Music’s 14 rehearsal spaces to go forward in the Rock the House competition.
The 17 year old Murray, who uses the Liverpool space in Knotty Ash, made a shortlist that also featured MoonRunners, Marita, immotus reborn and Chelsii Leighanne Hancock.
Read added, “I thought Vanessa was brilliant, a great songwriter. The structure of her song was good and it is a song that is very coverable by a lot of people.”
Jo Dipple said: “Vanessa’s song writing ability is incredible. She has a bright future ahead with the full support of UK Music. Thank you to the Knotty Ash rehearsal room for offering her support. And thanks to all the rehearsal spaces and all the bands that took part.”
Laura Whitticase, “It is amazing that someone so young has such intuitive songwriting abilities”.
A Rock the House close of nominations party, featuring some of the bands selected by MPs, will be held at The Cavern Club in Liverpool on April 25.
Rock the House features six winner categories and a vast array of prizes including festival slots, Gibson guitars, a masterclass in sound and the opportunity to release a single on the legendary Cherry Red Records.
The awards ceremony takes place on the House of Commons terrace on June 26 in front of music label executives, celebrities and press.