Burnley band will join The Fratellis at summer festival after winning Battle of the Bands contest

A Burnley band will be rubbing shoulders with some of the industry’s top names after a Battle of the Bands win landed them a slot on a summer festival line-up.

By John Deehan
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 12:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 12:10 pm

The Sprats, who won first prize at the ‘Feel Good – Battle of the Bands’ competition will open the main stage at Rochdale Feel Good Festival on Saturday, August 13, supporting acts, including The Fratellis.

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The four-piece, who released their debut single in April and have been playing across the region in the last few months, were the judges’ favourites after impressing with their energy, stage presence and sound.

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The Sprats have won first prize in this year's ‘Feel Good – Battle of the Bands’ competition. (Back left to right: Jak Marshal, Alex McArdle, front left to right: Connor Watson, Brad Ellor)

Councillor Sue Smith, cabinet member for culture at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “All six finalists would have put on a great show so it was a difficult decision to pick a winner, but as well as getting good support in the public vote we thought The Sprats would go down very well on the main stage this August.”

The band, which was only formed in 2021, comprises two members from Rochdale (singer Brad Ellor and drummer Jak Marshall) and two from Burnley (guitarist Alex McArdle and keyboard player Connor Watson-Reid).

Brad said he was shocked to receive the phone call confirming the result: “Even though we knew we were in the final it was a big surprise to find out we’d actually won. We played our first gig as a band at the beginning of the year, so never expected to be on the same stage as The Fratellis this year. We can’t wait for it and I’m sure our local fans can’t, we’ll definitely be seeing them there.”

The band were shortlisted through a Facebook vote before their videos were assessed by the judges - music specialist Rob Kerford - owner of Sonic PR which promotes some of Europe’s biggest musicians, DJ and new music champion Dave Sweetmore, cabinet member for events councillor Janet Emsley, musician Aziz Ibrahim and councillor Sue Smith, cabinet member for culture.

As well as The Fratellis, The Sprats will be joined by northern soul band The Northern Soultrain, rock band HAiG, Manchester singer/songwriter Abbie Ozard, choir Sign Along With Us, guitarist and singer/songwriter Aziz Ibrahim, alternative dance band ENTT, indie/folk duo Firewoodisland and DJ Dave Sweetmore.

For festival updates on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/feelgoodfestival or connect with @FeelGoodFest on Twitter.