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Talent contest winners to play Evolution Festival

An up-and-coming band from Sunderland will share a stage with some of the biggest names in music after winning a college talent competition.

<p>The soul-pop band, named The Real Davina, saw off competition from three other bands and will now perform at this year’s Evolution Festival sharing a bill with the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Noah and the Whale.</p>
<p>The Emerging Talent Contest was arranged by Sunderland College and held on Wednesday evening (18) at the college’s Shiney Row campus in Houghton-le-Spring.</p>
<p>The band, made up of singer and keyboardist Jordan Miller, 21, vocalist Shannon Powell, 19, guitarist Daniel Dipper, 21, drummer Jack Wade, 20 and bass guitarist Carl Warren, 19, will now get the chance to play to thousands.</p>
<p>Each band played a 20 minute set before a panel of four judges, which included Barry Hyde from The Futureheads, picked The Real Davina as the eventual winner.</p>
<p>Jordan said: “We were quite confident with how we played but we didn’t want to take anything for granted so when our name was called out we’re absolutely delighted.</p>
<p>“We’re a relatively unheard of band with a local following so playing at Evolution will be our biggest gig ever, everyone is really excited.</p>
<p>“This should mean a few thousand more people will hear about the band and the music we play.”</p>
<p>Other bands that played on the night included, MoonRunners, Cohesion and Precious Few Heroes. The four bands were chosen for the competition after posting their music onto the college’s Facebook page.</p>
<p>Sunderland College arranged the contest as part their sponsorship of the Evolution Festival, which is held in association with Newcastle based <a title=”Generator North East Music Development Agency” href=”http://www.generator.org.uk” target=”_blank”>Generator</a>, the UK’s leading music development agency.</p>
<p>Joe Frankland, Musician Support Manager at Generator, was one of the judges, he said: “We thought each band was excellent and all showed real talent.</p>
<p>“All four will no doubt go on to play Evolution Festival related events in the future and the showcase was a great success.</p>
<p>“It was a tough decision but in the end we chose The Real Davina. They really performed to the crowd, with perfect execution of well honed songs and we feel they are ready now for the UMT Emerging Stage at Evolution Festival. I can”t wait to see them on the day.”</p>
<p>Also judging the contest was Tom Cotton, Head of Music at digital station <a title=”Amazing Radio – National DAB station dedicated to new and emerging music” href=”http://www.amazingradio.co.uk” target=”_blank”>Amazing Radio</a>. He said: “It was great to see the amount of new musical talent on display and how well supported these bands are.</p>
<p>“All four bands were very professional, very well-rehearsed and clearly loved performing.</p>
<p>“Massive congratulations to them all but especially The Real Davina, they were fantastic and I’m sure they will put on a great show at the Evolution Festival.”</p>
<p>Jordan said: “Ultimately we would love to be signed and secure a record deal so to win the contest is fantastic and can’t do us any harm. This year Evolution, next year Glastonbury – hopefully.”</p>
<p>The Evolution Festival takes place on Sunday, June 3 and Monday, June 4.</p>
<p>You can listen to The Real Davina’s first single ‘Spend Some Time’ by clicking <a title=”Spend Some Time” href=”http://soundcloud.com/sunderland-college/the-real-davina-spend-some”>here</a>.</p>
<p><strong>Picture caption: </strong>The Real Davina (top row) with the judges (bottom row L – R) Barry Hyde from The Futureheads, Martin Longstaff from The Long Poets, Joe Frankland from Generator and Tom Cotton from Amazing Radio.</p>
<p>Pictures courtesy of Ian Cameron Professional Photography</p>

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