EAST Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe is urging local music talent to sign up to Parliament’s “Rock the House” competition.

The competition, founded by Mike Weatherley MP in 2011, is open to unsigned British artists of all ages and is designed to be a springboard for promising acts, as well as raising awareness of intellectual property rights and live music issues among politicians.

Stephen, a Conservative MP who also represents South Basildon, said: “This really is a fantastic opportunity for talented musicians in South Basildon and East Thurrock whether they are under or over 19 years old.

“The prize fund includes equipment, master-classes and seminars from industry specialists that money just can’t buy.

“The UK music industry is hugely important to our economy and to the creative culture of our country.

“I would encourage all budding musicians to get involved. It would be fantastic to have South Basildon and East Thurrock represented at the final.”

The categories acts will battle it out in include best solo act and band under 19, best band and solo act, best music video and best small venue.

Stephen will get to nominate his favourite act from each category in the constituency, who will then be judged by a panel of industry experts and musicians to win a place in the live battle of the bands final.

Competition patrons include rock legends Alice Cooper, Mark Hoppus, Matt Tuck and Charlie Simpson.

The winners of last year’s competition found themselves performing at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, the infamous Cavern Club in Liverpool, and on the Terrace of the House of Commons and Speaker’s State Rooms.

For more information, visit: www.rockthehousehoc.com or follow @RockTheHouseHOC on Twitter.