Tom's boys are out to rock the competition

A TEENAGE rock 'n' roller is hoping he and his punk band can dazzle judges to win a major recording contract after reaching the regional semi-finals of a national talent contest.

Calderdale College student Tom Milner and his group, Unknown Cause, impressed industry experts at heats in December and are now hoping a busload of fans will follow them across the Pennines for the next round in Salford on February 24.

Tom, 16, of Northowram, who recently had a starring role in the BBC drama Waterloo Road, said: "We're totally different from anything else about right now. We want to prove we can be the best and we want all our fans to come and support us."

Click here to read Unknown Cause's band profile and hear some of their tracks in our new music section.

They will perform at The Willows Variety Centre, along with 15 other hopefuls, as part of the Live and Unsigned competition, which annually attracts 10,000 hopefuls. If they qualify, they will reach a regional final, just one step from the grand final. Winners in the under-18 section will get a chance to record an album and tour the UK, which could lead to a record label contract.

Singer Tom, who is joined in the band by friends Sam Masterson and Steven Barlow on guitars, Sam Kelly on bass and Tom Lilley on drums, all from Leeds, and aged between 14 and 16, added: "We want the chance to perform on the biggest stages every night.

"We're hungry and we believe we're good enough."

He said the three-year-old band had already won two local competitions, including one at Intake High School, Bramley, Leeds, where they met. Paul King, of Future Music, who runs the competition, said: "The competition is so effective.

"It discovers talented bands and places them in the market place.

"And for the acts involved, it is a great opportunity to develop, improve and impress."