Monthly Archives: March 2013


Niall Sexton wins Radio City ‘Big Gig’ Competition

The Radio City ‘Big Gig’ competition which boasted prizes ranging from supporting Ne-Yo and Tulisa, to a one-off private singing lesson with me (!) saw Niall Sexton from Northern Ireland beat off stiff competition from MiC Lowry, The Valentine Brothers, Jennifer Jewell and Click 22 featuring Nikki Belle. It was a strong final five, and by all accounts, Niall did a fantastic job in his support slot at The Echo Arena, on the same night as The Valentine Brothers‘ Fundraiser.

See the article below for more on the story.

Radio City ‘Your Big Gig’ Winner Announced



Niall’s entry into the competition wowed the judges with his fantastic voice which is how he claimed his place in the final five. Niall along with the other 4 finalists, Click 22 featuring Nikki Belle, MiC Lowry, Jennifer Jewell and the Valentine Brothers, then spent 1 week trying to gain as many public votes and raising as much cash for children’s charity Cash for Kids as possible as £1 gained each act 1 vote. Niall, a student at John Moores University, feverishly fundraised for a week with uni pals, shaking a bucket in the student union and asking fellow students and lecturers to donate. Meanwhile back in Ireland Niall’s mum embarked on a fundraising mission of her own, speaking to local press and the community to gain as many votes as possible for her son. She went bucket collecting in clubs and shops and even contacted Niall’s old primary school who held a dress down day in support of Niall and raised £172 for cash for kids gaining him an extra 172 votes.

Niall was speechless when he was told the good news saying “I can’t speak, I’m so happy, I can’t believe I won. I’m so excited to perform at the Ne-Yo concert at the ECHO arena, it’s a dream come true. A massive thank you to everyone who voted for me, and a special thank you to my mum who has supported me and helped me raise money back in Ireland.”

Niall will sing on stage at the ECHO arena as support for Ne-Yo and Tulisa on Friday 8th March. He will also receive a full package of fantastic prizes to kick start his musical career including a video recording shoot with Rick Houghton of Radio City, a photo shoot with Yaffe Photography, vocal coaching with Matt Lammin, choreography and stage presence lessons courtesy of Miguel Doforo of MD Productions, spray tanning products for a year courtesy of Celebrity Sun, overnight stay and use of Spa Facilities at Formby Hall Spa and Golf Resort, massage by ASA therapies, management with 20ten Entertainment and Teeth Whitening by Tracey Bell!”

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Mia Austin & Radio City Cash for Kids Fundraisers & Threshold

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks of gigging. Friday 1st March saw The Wirral Singers host a concert at Heswall Hall in aid of Mia Austin. Katie Lochhead, Izzy Owen and I performed a five-song set, in which we were joined by special guest, Sophie Austin (Mia’s sister). Katie was also joined on stage by her ‘The Accidentals’ bandmates, Lydia and Dina for one song. Between us, we performed A Case Of You, Princess Of China, Go Your Own Way, Empire State Of Mind, Little Bird and Songbird. See below for the lowdown of the concert –

“WOW! A wonderful evening of entertainment took place at Heswall Hall on Friday 1st March 2013. Wirral Singers and Ringers were joined by local musicians Peninsula Jazz and singer songwriter Matt Lammin who all gave their talents and time in in aid of Mia Austin a local girl with “locked-in syndrome.” We are delighted to announce that due to everyone’s generosity we raised in excess of £2400.00 for Mia which we understand will go towards a portable communication device. Check out her website and see what you could do for her!”

On the 8th March, 2013, The Valentine Brother’s sold out The Epstein Theatre in Liverpool, following their tour of Merseyside schools. The event was a fundraiser for Radio City’s Cash for Kids charity.

The first half saw a performer from each of the schools they had visited on their tour, including Nicky Stading from the school I teach at, Birkenhead High School Academy, Ilona Bartlett from my old school, Wirral Grammar School for Girls and Euphony, a band I met through working at St Anselm’s. I performed, again alongside Izzy Owen and Katie Lochhead, at the end of the first half, before The Valentine Brothers took to the stage to an eruption of screaming, which then didn’t relent until long after the gig finished! It was a fantastic gig and it was a privilege to perform at it.

Check out The Valentine Brothers’ website to see photos of the event and to read more about the band and their upcoming gigs.

Sunday 10th March saw ‘Matt Lammin Presents’ live at The Pan Am bar, as part of The Theshold Fringe Festival. The laidback afternoon gig on Mothers’ Day saw The Accidentals, Alex Stokell, Nicky Stading, Zia Larty-Healy, Anya Keating, Izzy Owen and Euphony all perform excellent acoustic sets in front of an intimate crowd. There was a fine mix of original material and covers, and the audience was very appreciative and supportive of the young talent involved. Threshold’s countless volunteers do a fantastic job of bringing the multi-arts festival to life and I am very thankful to them for supporting the young artists and giving them the platform.

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Zia Larty-Healy and Anya Keating in studio

I’ve recently been recording at Alien Sound studio in Skelmersdale with two of the young artists I work with, Zia and Anya. They have both recorded some of their original material that we have been gigging around and about. Alongside the girls and I, Jason Tebble and Mark Wainwright both played guitar and bass and Mark also engineered and produced the tracks. Watch this space for more information.

In the meantime, check out Zia’s Soundcloud to hear a couple of the aforementioned tracks and Anya’s Soundcloud to hear one of her original tracks that we recorded..

Also, check out Alien Sound Recording Studio if you are interested in booking studio time.

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