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Keighley busker John rocks off street and into spotlight
4:10pm Sunday 11th August 2013 in Keighley
A popular busker will take his own brand of soulful rock music off the streets and into the spotlight when he competes in Keighley’s own version of the X Factor.
Singer-songwriter John Bedford is among those taking part in a talent search launched by Keighley’s Airedale Shopping Centre.
A host of acts will perform at the centre in two heats, on August 17 and 24, and people will then be invited to vote for their favourite through the centre’s Facebook page.
The Airedale Unsigned contest winner will support the headline act at the town’s Christmas lights switch-on in November.
Mr Bedford, 24, has been busking professionally – under the name of Johnny B – for the past eight years. He also promotes other acts by arranging gigs for them at pubs in and around Keighley.
“I live for music – particularly rock – and when I left college I decided to try my luck as a busker,” he said.
“I’m out almost every day, weather permitting. I’ve worked all around the country but tend to concentrate on cities in the north, such as Leeds, Bradford and Chester.
“I seem to go down very well with the people on the streets, and I’m now fairly well recognised as I’ve been doing it for a few years in the same places. I get quite a few coming up to me to say hello and to ask about my music.”
Mr Bedford, who lives in the Bracken Bank area with his partner, Christine, and 18-month-old daughter, Paige, has recently produced an album – This Is Me – featuring a dozen of his own songs. And he is working on a second compilation.
Airedale Shopping Centre manager Steve Seymour said: “We have some very talented musicians, who play and sing in and around Keighley, who bring a rich sound and atmosphere to the town.
“We wanted to celebrate this and give up-and-coming local musicians a chance to step into the spotlight and showcase their talents to our shoppers.
“There is a terrific prize on offer, so I would urge budding stars of the future, like Johnny B, to sign up, and would encourage shoppers to come down to the heats to decide on their favourite.” Visit airedaleshoppingcentre.co.uk for further information.
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