Rising stars April Blue win award

April Blue award PHOTO CREDIT: Lawrence Micallef
April Blue award PHOTO CREDIT: Lawrence Micallef
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A pop r’n’b band familiar in the Berkhamsted area have been tipped for stardom after being named named ‘Best Pop Artist’ at the NMG awards.

April Blue picked up the gong at Cambridge’s West Road Concert Hall.

The band will already be familiar being based in Hemel, and have played at BerkoFest for the last two years, and playing at Tring’s Haresfoot Brewery at a gig in aid of the Berkhamsted suicide-prevention charity Hector’s House.

Lead singer, Ozz LP, said: “It was humbling to be in a room full of so many talented people, and to have won this category is a real honour.”

Bassist Ian Morcher added: “Despite playing regularly in the county we are somewhat outsiders of the Cambridge scene, so it was a privilege to have even been nominated.”

In 2015 the band won first Prize at The Indie Label’s Be Somebody competition in Shoreditch, and previously took home awards from Hertfordshire’s Got Talent and the NVMAs. The awards night included performances from established acts such as local folk sensation Kelly Oliver, who also won an award, for ‘Breakout Artist’.

April Blue were one of 11 acts within the ‘Pop’ category.

The awards were judged by a panel including BBC Introducing presenter Tom Simkins and Record Producer Lauren Deakin-Davies, who presented April Blue’s award.

The awards are supported by Sheila Ravenscroft, wife of the late John Peel and patron of The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.

April Blue have toured the country, frequenting venues in Cambridge including Tim Willett’s Cambridge 105 radio show.

The band have had an impressive year with two single launches, at Watford’s LP Cafe and St Albans’ Empire Records store, and the release of their debut album Pop Girls Etc on June 4 to critical acclaim.

The lead single ‘Valentine’ was named ‘track of the week’ on BBC Introducing in May, and played out all week on BBC Three Counties Radio.