Emerging Newcastle indie pop act Nova and the Experience has its sights set on winning as the four-piece prepares to compete in a lucrative band competition in Sydney this week.
After winning their heat last week, James Buckingham (lead vocals, guitar), Anna Buckingham (lead vocals, keyboard), Laurie Mahon (drums) and Jake Asser (bass) are set to go up against five unsigned acts from across the state in the semi finals of the competition held this Thursday and Friday as part of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum Now Festival.
Dubbed the ANZ Blue Stage Series, the competition is an emerging talent program that aims to showcase the next wave of rising music stars.
A total of 24 acts from across NSW were picked to perform at pop up live music sites around Sydney CBD during the festival.
On Thursday, Nova and the Experience will perform at Martin Place in front of a panel of judges as they compete for the grand prize which includes $15,000 cash, a mentorship with a key industry identity and the opportunity to perform on stage at The Domain on Sunday alongside Missy Higgins as part of the closing night of Spectrum Now Festival.
“The other bands were all really great so you can never be too confident but I hope we at least make the grand final,” James Buckingham said.
“We’re going to pull out all the stops. We’re usually pretty interactive – we like handing our props and doing things to make the audience involved, so we’re going to try to do that.”
Winning the competition would provide a “light at the end of the tunnel” for the band which poured its money into touring last year and had to cancel a planned run of shows in the US due to lack of funds.
“Last year we toured so much and racked up a whole bunch of different bills trying to get over to America, so that would certainly make last year all worth it,” Buckingham said.
“It would also mean we could record the next single as well.”
Buckingham and sister Anna, who grew up around Warners Bay and Hamilton, formed the band around five years ago and recently scored airplay on Triple J with the single, Whole Body.