Talent-spotting MP Lillian Greenwood joins hunt for the next Jake Bugg
A NOTTINGHAM MP with talent-scouting skills that could put Simon Cowell out of work is on the hunt to find Nottingham's next big musician.
It was two years ago that Labour MP Lilian Greenwood picked Jake Bugg, of Clifton, to represent her constituency in the House of Commons' annual music competition.
Ironically, Jake did not make it as a finalist in 2011.
But just two months later, he was signed to a record label and on the road to a number one UK album chart position last year.
Now, a new search for talent is under way in the 2013 Commons competition.
Ms Greenwood, who refuses to take any credit for Jake's success, recalled: "His mum sent in his CD. We didn't know who he was at all. We just listened to him and thought he was fantastic – he was an easy pick. I'm delighted by his success."
He even played at a British Legion poppy party at the Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens organised by the MP in the same month, June 2011.
Ms Greenwood is confident that there are many other talented musicians in her constituency and wants to hear from them.
"There's so much fantastic music coming out of Nottingham," she said. This is another opportunity for us to talk about what we've got going for it."
She added: "Nottingham's music scene is continuing to grow every year and I am excited to see which bands in Nottingham rise to the challenge this year to represent our city in the House of Commons.
"This is an ideal opportunity to show the nation the importance of live music and new talent, while giving unsigned bands a chance to learn about producing their own music and perform at the House of Commons."
MPs can nominate one act from their constituencies.
To take part, artists must be unsigned and upload their music via the website www.rockthehousehoc.com. There are six categories: best solo act under 19, best band under 19, best solo act, best band, best music video and best small venue.
A panel of musicians and industry experts will pick the finalists to compete in a live battle of the bands.
The winners will receive prizes and some will get the chance to play a live set on the terrace of the House of Commons at the finale reception.
Patrons of the competition include Alice Cooper, Queen's Brian May, Blink-182's Mark Hoppus and Bullet for My Valentine's Matt Tuck.
It is aimed at increasing Parliamentarians' knowledge of and attention to the importance of intellectual property rights and live music.