Lincoln band set for UK’s biggest unsigned competition

Meet The Red, a cheeky Lincoln based indie rock band that have a lot to show for their short time together. From playing small gigs in pubs to getting to the semi-finals of the UK’s largest music competition for unsigned bands; they may be young but they pack a punch.

The Red will take on one of the UK's biggest music competitions. Photo: Samantha Coombes

“We formed at the start of college, eighteen months ago, in September. We were all put into bands in the first week and if we didn’t like each other then we could go our own ways. But we all seemed to like each other. It was pure fate,” said lead singer Josh Johnson.

All of the band members are currently studying music at Lincoln College, which meant that it didn’t take long for them to start writing and recording music; “We started playing Stevie Wonder, that was our main inspiration. Then we did like a five song EP at some guy’s house. We were just good at writing songs I reckon,” said Johnson.

But their inspiration didn’t stop at Stevie Wonder, bassist Josh Wilkinson said that Red Hot Chilli Peppers and other ‘Old Skool’ funk influences their music; “We’re all pretty weird.”

The college lads are currently working on their second EP, which the writing for, according to Wilkinson, is “going sick! It’s a lot more funky now and more enjoyable for us.”

“I try and get a meaning for each song, but it’s funky. It’s more about moving on and enjoying what we’re doing at the minute, whereas past songs have been soppy and wanting to get famous and stuff like that ,” said Johnson.

The band’s music has already taken them to various places across the UK, with London being their favourite place to go; “We’ve been down to London quite a bit, and played round Camden quite a bit. Camden was ace. We’re hoping to go there again for quite a while,” said Wilkinson.

“We busked during the day and performed at night. You’ve got to do it yourself, it’s not going to happen around you so you’ve got to get out there and just do it,” said Johnson.

Whilst in London, The Red had the chance to play in a number of different venues, including Camden’s Proud Gallery and pub and restaurant, Lock 17.

“I would say the Proud was the best place to perform because there was so many people that have played there that are awesome like (Jimmy) Hendrix,” said Wilkinson. “Lock 17 was the best gig that we played but Proud was the best atmosphere and venue that we played at,” added drummer Jack Simpson.

But it’s not just venues and pubs the Lincoln lads have played in, they are less than a week away from performing at the UK’s regional semi-finals of the Live and Unsigned music competition on the March 31st, which features judges from Radio 1, NME and Kerrang!.

“It’s sick! It’s pretty awesome, but it was a bit of a mission wasn’t it as we had to travel like two hours to Huddersfield,” said Wilkinson.

“There’s a panel of judges and it’s just them in the room with us, there’s no audience of anything. It’s pretty awkward. But we were different on the say though. We saw all these other guys that where just like pop acts and I think we’re really different. We got good feedback from them anyway,” said Simpson.

But it’s not just performing the boys have to do to try to win, according to Johnson it involves a number of other aspects; “What we’ve got to do now is mix one of our own songs into a cover for the next regional finals, so we’ve been working on that and mashed it up completely. We’ve got to publish ourselves in as many newspapers and sell as many tickets as we can, which hasn’t been a problem. We’ve got in 2 of my local papers (Boston) as well as Newark and Lough.”

So, with a second EP on the way as well as the hopes of winning a regional unsigned competition, the future looks bright for the Lincoln funk rockers. So go see them and support them to help them make it big!

For tickets to the UK regional semi-final of Live and Unsigned visit:

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