Barking rockers take a step towards stardom

PUBLISHED: 12:40 26 January 2011

Barking band Empty Headz enter Live and Unsigned talent contest

Barking band Empty Headz enter Live and Unsigned talent contest


BARKING pop and rock band the Empty Headz have sailed through the audition stage of one of the UK’s biggest music competitions, writes Sukran Sahin.

The young six-piece made it through to the regional final showcase of the Live and Unsigned festival, which will be held at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon, on February 26.

As well as competing for a place at the grand finals, to be held at the O2 Arena in July, they could also win the chance to support famous acts such as Kate Nash and You Me At Six.

Empty Headz, who used to be known as MT-Hedz, were formed at Barking Abbey School, Sandringham Road, Barking. They entered and won the BlastBeat competition last July, and ended up playing in front of 12,000 people at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. The band are Charlotte Burch, Ashley Walker, Jamie Pimenta, Jack Newson, Billy Stewart and Matthew Partlett.

Billy, who plays bass guitar, said: “I’m really excited. Obviously, we have good experience with competitions but this one is a bit more well-known. I’m really looking forward to performing in front of an audience.”

Not just live performances, but also the adoration and appreciation of their recorded music, gives Billy a buzz.

He said: “If somebody tells you ‘I’ve been listening to your CD in my car’ – that people appreciate you – it gives you a heartfelt, nice feeling.”

Billy described the music as up-to-date and added: “It’s still got that feel to it that everybody loves – we call it radio rock. We have got two different sides to our music. We have really anthemic songs but we have also got a funkier side.”

On February 12, they will be playing a Valentines Ball at their old school, which Billy thinks will be one of their best gigs to date. He said: “It’s going to be a masquerade ball, the stage is going to be done up and we will hopefully have a couple of support acts.”

For a taster of their sound go to

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