Firestone’s Road to the Main Stage: Meet the Finalists Will Fisher November 21, 2018 Not caught up with this scorcher of a competition run by Firestone? Fear not, here’s a quick catch up before we introduce you to the three blistering finalists who will be performing in the live final this Thursday. Road to the Main Stage, (previously Battle of the Bands) is a grassroots music competition held annually by the infamous tyre company. Unsigned bands across the country apply for the chance to win a smoking hot prize. This year the prize is a smouldering package worth £25K, which includes equipment, studio time and a VW transporter for a year. On top of that they get the chance to play the Firestone stage at All Points East and have live spots at the Good Karma Club. Not bad ey? Hosted by Good Karma Club’s very own Abbie McCarthy, with country star Jade Helliwell as ambassador, it’s a big deal and a certification of excellence for an unsigned band. Last year’s winners were the incredible South Wales four piece, Fire Fences, who stormed All Points East this year. Looking to follow in the fortunate fellas’ footsteps are this year’s three finalists. They have recently made it to the final stage – winning enough public votes to see off the other shortlisted acts. Here is a little bit more about them, and a taster of their tracks. Remember to tune into Firestone Live from 6:30pm this Thursday (22 November) to see the finalists battle it out live. You can keep posted on all the info on Firestone’s Facebook page. SCARLET In the best position going into the final, with a whopping 1,327 votes are Scarlet. They are a big riff band from Liverpool who have a huge mish-mash of influences. Scarlet have been described as being a mix of early Avril Lavigne and Pixies by McCarthy. What more could you want right? They have already had a fair share of success in their career so far as well. The band have previously supported the likes Bob Geldof and Wolf Alice and not to mentioned their numerous festivals slots, plus a crowdfunded album release. They have even been tipped by NME as an emerging artist. Big competition indeed. But will they keep ahead of the pack or be left red-faced in the final? Watch their interview below and be sure to check out their meaty-punk track ‘Bones.’ PRIMAL Next up, the blues rock battalions, Primal. The Nottingham trio are a more heavily-influenced band, with a raw, spirited sound featuring massive riffs, reminiscent of Royal Blood. Not far behind competitors Scarlet, the lads received a toasty 1,234 votes to make it to the finale. The trio say they their favourite part of performing as a band is the crowd’s reaction, especially when they are “jiving” to the songs. Being influenced by classics like Led Zepplin have led them to a classic rock sound. However on deeper analysis their sound is twinged with funk elements that release that lil’ wild dancer inside you. Perhaps they will come out top of the food chain on Thursday. Check out their blistering track ‘Lucky Soul’ to discover more and also their interview below. JOHN NICHOLAS Last but not least is Welsh singer/songwriter, John Nicholas. There must be something in the air at Bridgend as both John and last year’s winners, Fire Fences, both hail from the Welsh town. A lover of good lyrics, John Nicholas is a storyteller at heart. He has a classic, raspy tone which emulates the greats from the genre and no surprises, he’s a John Mayer fan. He also loves a good hat, which is part and parcel of being a classic singer/songwriter, right? Despite receiver the fewest votes out of the three, he still gained a solid 1,081, so there are no substantial run away leaders going into the final. But will John run away with the victory on Thursday? Check out the fantastic single ‘Run Away’ and its accompanying video, and watch his interview below.