The Pogues Irish Whiskey presents: A Shot At Discovery

Seven of the region’s most exciting up-and-coming bands battled it out for a chance to win a life changing prize at O2 Academy Leicester on Tuesday 14th March. The winner of this Leicester heat will now compete alongside nine other regional finalists at London’s O2 Academy Islington on 24th April 2017.

Hosting duties for the night were in the hands of DJ Matt Stocks, who has presented the Lock Up Stage at Reading Festival and the Ska Punk at Slam Dunk Festival for the last three years. Matt introduced each act with a perfect mixture of entertaining stage presence and unquestionable wit, and Stupid Boots, Jitterz, Go Primitive, The Brandy Thieves, Royal Arcade, The Jangles and Flip Like Wilson did not miss their opportunity to shine on the big stage.

The overall winner of the London final will be gifted the ultimate artist development package, including £3,000 towards new instruments, studio time to record an E.P with members of The Pogues, live performance opportunities at O2 Academy venues across the country, as well as management services from Brontone Management, who have worked with the likes of Muse, The Pogues and Pulled Apart By Horses.

whisky the pogues
After delivering an electrifying set that caused the entire audience to get up and dance, it was announced that Stupid Boots was the triumphant act. The Rugby five-piece’s sound, which is rooted in 20th century rockabilly roots but contains heavy overtones of modern funk, is evidently a winning formula, as the band have recently been playing shows at Proud Camden in support of DNCE, and also at a Coventry City FC match day at the Ricoh Arena. Their Facebook page jests that the band has won 5 Grammys, 18 Baftas and recieved 70 Brit Award nominations, but after winning this heat, the sky’s the limit and who knows what’s in store for them!

The band has amassed an incredibly loyal fan base, helped in part by the ‘Boots Bus’, which takes local fans to the band’s gigs around the country. Let’s hope some of them can make it to London to cheer them on at the final.

Speaking prior to the event, The Pogues said they were “blown away” by how many bands had applied, “there were literally hundreds and the competition is fierce. Stupid Boots were a real stand out act. There was stiff competition but they deserved to win and we look forward to seeing how they perform in the final.

Good luck Stupid Boots!

Words by Joe Woods