I remember, as a child, going to Barry Island to watch the Red Dragon Roadshow. One of my favourite radio stations was live on stage, with a host of famous singers, and I was part of the action. It was a day I knew I’d never forget.

So imagine my excitement when I was offered the chance to host my very own live music event in Cardiff Bay!

Mermaid Quay approached Made In Cardiff TV about rounding off their 10 day Easter Music Fest on a high, with a battle of the bands style competition, obviously I jumped at the chance, and so the Quay Note Competition was born.

Launching the event on my show, What’s Occurrin’, Cardiff?, I invited local bands and artists to take part by submitting a video or sound tracking of them playing. We were amazed by the standard of entries, but a panel managed to whittle all them down to 12 for viewers to vote for their favourite, then five were asked to perform at Mermaid Quay.

Fingertrap, The Broadcasts, Fire Fences, Smokestack Lightnin’ and Fountain Head all took to a specially erected stage yesterday, to perform for passers by, a panel of judges and, of course, our camera crew.

Presenting the Quay Note Competition

Presenting the Quay Note Competition

Fingertrap Band performed first, and the alternative piano-led ska-infused pop rock band instantly turned the event into a party, with bass player Nick Savage running around the crowd and getting onlookers dancing. The Broadcasts, an alt-rock acoustic band, followed with Mumford and Sons inspired song structures and timbres. Bridgend four piece Fire Fences was next, impressing everyone with their powerful indie rock mixed with a hint of mid-2000s emo. Smokestack Lightnin’ followed, accompanied by a keen fanbase that grew as the band shared their blues fusions. While last to perform was Fountain Head, a four piece soulful folk band whose female lead had a gentle earthy voice, perfect against the backdrop of the Cardiff Bay waves.

After much deliberation, the judges, who are all family faces to the Made In Cardiff viewers (Andrew Shay, presenter of Acapela Unsigned, Siân King presenter of Live at the Vaults, Rhian George reporter for What’s Occurrin’, Cardiff? and Matthew Frederick presenter of the Staylittle Sessions), finally came to a decision on the winning band: Fingertrap!

The winners - Fingertrap

The winners – Fingertrap


As announced their victory, the four piece took to the stage to accept their prizes, thank their fans and play us out in style.