Fires and Fireplace head for 02 dream gig

MUSIC student Mark Andrews headed off to university hoping to secure himself a degree—but has found himself battling for a £50,000 record deal as well.

MUSIC student Mark Andrews  headed off to university hoping to secure himself a degree—but has found himself battling for a £50,000 record deal as well.

The 20-year-old from Flanderwell is gearing up for the gig of a lifetime at London’s O2 Arena after reaching the final of the Live and Unsigned talent competition with his band Fires and Fireplaces.

Former Wickersley Comprehensive School student Mark, of Flanderwell Gardens, will perform alongside The Hoosiers, Kate Nash, N-Dubz and Tinchy Stryder at the event which is part of the Live and Unsigned festival on July 23. 

He said: “We’ve been practising out of our skins since we progressed through the semi-finals, but it’s just like a group of mates getting together, really, it’s been a great experience.

“We’re taking it really seriously. Performing at the O2 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Fire and Fireplaces’ road to the O2 has taken them to the Birmingham NEC and the similarly dramatic Bedford Corn Exchange.

Two rounds of the competition have been judged by a public vote and a panel of judges which included Nigel Clarke, lead singer of Dodgy, Alex Baker from Kerrang! and Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac.

If they emerge victorious at the final, the band will scoop a £50,000 recording contract with Future Music, the chance to tour Australasia, Asia, America and Europe and a slot at a leading European music festival.

Fires and Fireplaces formed in 2009 after bass player Mark met up with Chris Marles (guitar and vocals), Adam Clouston (drums), David Jackson (vocals) and Simon Marles (guitar and vocals) on an improvisation module of his music degree.

Although Mark admits that they have a varied taste in music, he believes that their different approaches result in an original sound.

He revealed: “Our lead guitarist was in an Aerosmith tribute band, with the big hair and all that.

“I’m not bothered about that kind of music but when he comes out with an Aerosmith-inspired guitar solo it sometimes just fits with what we’re doing and we’ll use it.

“All the material we’ve performed throughout the competition has been our own and we’re really aiming for a sound that’s fresh and a bit different. If the judges like it, that’s a huge bonus...”

To follow the band’s progress on facebook, visit


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