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Hit the road Jack

Shauna Rahman takes in the Jack Daniel’s experience at the recent launch of The JD Set, which encourages unsigned bands to perform live and win a variety of career launching prizes.

Jack Daniel’s competition for unsigned bands in Ireland, The JD Set, was officially launched recently by Hugh Cornwell, formerly of The Stranglers, in Crawdaddy in Dublin. The night attracted a host of colourful entities ranging from the music world to the journalist and media spectrum. Attendees enjoyed a refreshing mix of Jack Daniel’s concoctions as well as a rousing live performance from Hugh Cornwell and his band. Cornwell is lending support to The JD Set 2009 by joining the judging panel for The JD Set final, which will be held in Crawdaddy, Dublin on April 23, 2009 when he will draw on his vast experience in the music industry over the past 30 years to offer valuable advice to the winning act.
Now in its eighth year, The JD Set offers unsigned bands throughout Ireland the opportunity to play a live set in some of Ireland’s top live music venues. Unsigned bands are now being invited to register on the official website, www.thejdset.ie from November 1, 2008 for the chance to be one of 30 bands who will be shortlisted in January 2009 to play in The JD Set heats in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford during February and March. Each location will host two heats featuring three live bands on successive nights. One of these acts will be selected by a panel of three judges to go through to The JD Set final in Dublin where they will compete with four other bands for the overall prize.
As winners of The JD Set 2009, the winning band will receive advice from Hugh Cornwell, studio time in Grouse Lodge Studios, a chance to perform a support slot to an established headline act at JD Set gig in Belfast in May 2009, band photography and the opportunity to fly to the UK to receive advice from a range of top music industry professionals. Previous winners of The JD Set include The Coronas, who won the competition in 2005, and are going from strength to strength in the global music market, and The Chakras, who were joint winners in 2006 and are currently recording their debut album in London.

The dates and locations for the heats of The JD Set 2009 are as follows:
Dublin: Feb 19, 20, Crawdaddy
Cork: February 26, 27, The Old Oak
Waterford: March 5, 6, The Kaz Bar
Limerick: March 19, 20, Trinity Rooms
Galway: Thursday 26th and Friday 27th March ’09, The Quays

The final will take place in Crawdaddy, Dublin on Thursday, April 23, 2009. Hugh Cornwell said his involvement in picking the winning band next April will be a tough order especially when those who win the heats themselves will all undoubtedly be deserving of the winning crown.
“It’s always been difficult for bands to make it, so competitions like The JD Set are priceless. It gives them a chance to come up with the goods in top venues and raise their profile.”
Unsigned bands who wish to enter for The JD Set 2009 can either register on www.thejdset.ie from Saturday, November 1 or by sending demos to The JD Set, c/o 12 Camden Row, Dublin 8.


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