Catholic band just one step away from the O²

Catholic band FÜSE has made it through the Regional Finals of the national band search competition Live and Unsigned. They are now just one step away from the Grand Final at the O² .

After initially auditioning against thousands of other acts across the UK and impressing the judging panel with their originality, FÜSE went on to perform live on stage at the Regional Final in Ipswich…

They inspired and dazzled the crowd with their winning performance and are now busily preparing for the Area Final – the last stage before the Live and Unsigned Festival at the O² in London!

On Saturday, 22 May, before a panel of some of the biggest names in the industry, they will be battling it out with other finalists at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon. The judges include Joanne Dorken from MTV UK, Ville Leppanen from Animal Farm (whose credits in the studio include working with Muse), Louise Orchestan-Findlay of Whose Jack Magazine and Sophie Daniels from Sony UK and S Records.

FÜSE ( is made up of Cherrie Anderson, from Manila (resident in the UK), Larry Catungal, from Plaistow, London and Hal St John from Molesey, London. The band’s sound, as their name suggests, suffuses familiar Western guitars, keyboard and drums with mysterious Far Eastern instruments. Larry plays the kulingtan, a percussive gong-like instrument that survived the dismantling of local culture by the various settlers (Spanish and American) in the Philippines, Cherrie composes and sings and Hal  plays and programmes keyboards.

Hal said: "The idea is to incorporate sounds unfamiliar to the Western ear into a recognisably Western song format. From this fusion a new genre of music is born that is accessible to both an Eastern and a Western audience.” Cherrie adds “the response so far has been unexpectedly encouraging if not totally overwhelming! People straight away get what we are trying to do and are really excited by the concept and the music itself.” “I think this is because,” says Larry, “listeners do not have to forget their cultural roots to enjoy our music. Just as people from the East recognise sounds and intonations characteristic of their musical heritage so too do listeners who have grown up in the Western tradition.’

Live and Unsigned ( is the biggest original music competition in the UK for unsigned bands and artists. Attracting over 30,000 entries in the past three years, it has set itself apart from its predecessors by offering and promoting live, original music. It is now established as the definitive music competition for original acts and is open to all genres of music from Heavy Rock to Rap.

Chris Grayston, Events Director of Live & Unsigned explained:  “We’re all about originality, live ability and credibility. There’s over £75,000 in prizes up for grabs this year so there’s plenty of opportunities for all acts taking part, not just for the winner! We’ve got some fantastic judges on board this year who will all be bringing their wealth of experience with them. With the Live and Unsigned Festival scheduled for the best venue in the country, the 02 in London, this really is going to be the biggest year for the competition yet!” The winners of 2010 will be thrust into the media spotlight through television, radio and the press and will be given the opportunity to tour the UK.

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