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Contest winners Besidethemselves with joy!
2:00pm Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
AN ACOUSTIC duo from Grays have fought off competition from 80 other local bands to win a battle of the bands contest run by Burtons.
The venue above Blockbuster, in the High Street, Grays, has been hosting weekly live music nights since it came under new management 18 months ago.
But the final of the venue’s battle of the bands contest was on Saturday evening, with Besidemyself, an acoustic and spoken word pairing from Grays, beating off competition from four other bands who had come through a number of heats to earn a spot on the final bill.
They beat second place Soma Rising by nine points.
Besidemyself, formed of 37-year-old Sammy Crooks and 53-year-old Rick Sparks, won £1,000 but said the most pleasing thing was the “affirmation” that coming first had earnt them.
Sammy, who works for Thurrock Mind, said: “To be honest, we’re both just feeling a bit shocked. “We only did the competition to get another gig, and then you get through a couple of heats and before you know it you’re in a semi-final. It’s astonishing really.
“The affirmation is the best bit. We’re over the moon. The prize money is just a nice bonus!”
The band started when Sammy decided he wanted to put music to some of the poems he’d written. The idea was to keep it simple, so all that would ever be needed was just two vocals and an acoustic guitar.
The pair have written an album and have a repertoire of around 14 songs.
Since forming, Sammy has been in touch with Stanford-le-Hope artist Scroobius Pip, who he says has wished him well.
Competition organiser Roy Evans called the event a great success and said he is already on the look out for bands to enter the 2013 contest.
Sammy paid tribute to Roy for putting on such a good show. He added: “Roy put a really good show on. The quality of the bands has been superb and anybody could have won it.”