National Final Beckons for Local Singer

Clare Cunningham in final of talent competition

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Claire Cunningham in action

Clare performing

Clare Cunningham outside Vanilla

Clare outside Vanilla

Live and Unsigned Regional finals take place at Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, London on Saturday 19th April.

Tickets: £7.50 (Contact Clare on 07517 432 738 /

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Clare Cunningham, originally from Ireland, but now living and studying in Acton, has made the regional finals of Live and Unsigned 2008. The show will be televised this weekend.

Clare battled through rounds of auditions and a semi-final live show to reach the regional final competition of Live and Unsigned 2008.

We met Clare, a student at Acton's Vocaltech. She moved from Ireland last September to study there and has one more year left at the college. She told us: "It would be great to get through to the finals. There will be big names there - managers and scouts. Altogether, the competition has been a great experience for me - I'm thrilled to have got this far."

However, she has no illusions about the competition itself: "It's not always the best thing to win. The experience can lead you to other things along the way."

Clare is originally from a village called Collon in Country Louth. She told us, "it is the smallest village in the smallest county in Ireland. It was a huge move to come to Acton."

Her performance in the regional finals makes her just one performance away from making it to the grand national final, taking place in London, in a bid to be crowned the UK’s best ‘Live and Unsigned’ band or solo act of 2008.

Live and Unsigned is a national music competition for unsigned bands and singers to compete live. It is billed as the biggest music talent search in the UK outside a certain ITV show. The difference with Live and Unsigned is that the acts taking part are encouraged to do their own thing; be individual, original, perform their own genre and style Live.

One contestant who has evidently caught their eye is local talent Clare, now competing for a place in the National finals, with the possibility of grabbing that breakthrough recording contract.

She has made it through, along with only 17 other contestants, having competed against over 10,000 artistes who applied for this year's competition.

The overall adult winner of the competition wins a recording and management contract with Future Music with an investment of up to £20,000 to release their single.

If Clare continues with her success, she could be crowned the UK's best Live and Unsigned act in front of a capacity crowd at Fairfield Halls, London on the 28th of June, including many professionals from within the music industry. They will be thrust into the media spotlight through television, radio and the press.

All winners will be invited to take part in the UK Live and Unsigned Tour. The 2007 competition boasted ITV coverage and for 2008, Sky TV will film the regional and grand final, programmed to be broadcast with a weekly prime time show.

On the night, Clare will be performing an original composition, along with her band Jamie Hiscox, Jon Harris and Loz Stephens.


April 17, 2008

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