BANDS vying for success at this year’s Hastings Musical Festival will be judged by the former lead singer of rock band The Stranglers.
Paul Roberts, who replaced original frontman Hugh Cornwell in 1990, is returning to the annual event to offer his experienced words of advice and encouragement.
Last year the 52-year-old singer was joined by The Who legend Roger Daltrey as a guest judge.
Molly Townson, chairman of Hastings Musical Festival, said: “Paul is absolutely superb at judging because he is so good with the young people, amazing and very much able to be at their level.
“Paul is altogether a nice guy and talented man, who will be very encouraging to bands.”
Mr Roberts, who left the band in 2006, said: “As a child who grew up with nothing but my dreams, it gives me 100 per cent pleasure to encourage young performers to be creative with their music, whether as a hobby or as a potential career.
“Last year I was completely gobsmacked at the high calibre of performance, and simply shocked and surprised by the young singers in the pop vocal classes. I’d never heard anything like it for quality and individuality of performance.
“I’m really looking forward to returning to the Hastings Musical Festival in March.”
Festival organisers are desperate for more bands to sign up for this year’s event, held at the White Rock Theatre.
There are six which have signed up but at least another half a dozen are needed for the rock bands and vocal pops category.
Any rock band wanting to play on the stage at Hastings Musical Festival should contact Brenda Bailey on 01424 430923 over the next few days.
Cash prizes will again be awarded by Bonners Music Superstore, and 2012 will also see the new John Wesley Harding Prize for best original composition in each class.
Hastings Musical Festival runs from March 5 to March 25 with the rock bands and vocal pops on March 7 and March 8. For more details about this year’s festival can be visit www.hastingsmusicalfestival.co.uk.