NINE bands will battle it out tonight in the first heat of the Reidy’s Talent Contest backed by the Lancashire Telegraph.

The winners band will go through to the grand final on Thursday, March 7 when a prize of £1,000 in Reidy’s vouchers is up for grabs.

Seventy bands and artists from across East Lancashire entered and have been auditioned on the live stage at Reidy’s Home of Music on Nab Lane, Blackburn.

The bands and artists through to tonight’s heat, at Blakey’s in King George’s Hall, Blackburn, are: The Stans, Callum Thomas, Parcel of Rogues, Julian Ward, Egos at the Door, Jordan Richards, Walter Brown and Severed Bonds.

In addition, a wild card entry will be drawn on the night. Any band or artist who auditioned but did not get through automatically can register and go into a draw for a slot on the bill.

Heats will be held at Blakey’s every Thursday night in February.

Doors open at 7.30pm with the first band on stage at 8pm. Tickets are £3. Details from 0844 847 1664.