Guitar king wanted

Who will be Falkirk's King of the Strings?
Who will be Falkirk's King of the Strings?

Six-string sensations will let their fingers do the talking at 20 Rocks over the next couple of months.

Falkirk’s Princes Street venue will be home to some fine guitarists for the next eight weeks as the hunt for the “King of the Strings” gathers pace. The first of four heats took place last Saturday in what is sure to be an annual event.

From the string-bending, stinging blues of Eric Clapton and BB King, to the primeval riffing of Pete Townshend and Keith Richards, to the melodic meanderings of acoustic troubadors like James Taylor and Joni Mitchell - the guitar is one versatile instrument.

John McLean, 20 Rocks owner, said: “The talent involved in this latest competition is just phenomenal and we have guitarists coming from outside the area just to claim the title.”

Singer songwriter Mick McConnell from Falkirk is one of the 20 pickers in the running for the title, joining the likes of Colin James Murphy, Barry Frame and Scott Charles - the first Full Stop Battle of the acoustics winner - and potential Queen of the Strings, lone female entrant Lynsey Braidwood.

20 Rocks manager Neil Braidwood said: “We’re not being sexist, King of the Strings just sounded catchier.”

There will be five guitar slingers showing what they’ve got each night with a 20 minute set and judges, who include Bulge Promos boss man Tommy Hamilton, will be looking for guitar skills rather than vocal talent or songwriting prowess.

So even if a contestant sings like a particularly bad ‘X Factor’ hopeful, they will still be able to shine if they can light the blue touchpaper on some fretboard fireworks.

Calum Campbell, of 20 Rock regulars The Tonkerers, will be hosting the competition each week and strumming a few tunes himself.

The winner will be crowned King of the Strings at a cranked up coronation in the venue’s Lithium Lounge, receiving a crown, a couple of hundred pounds cash and a special King of the Strings ‘championship belt’ created by Craig Seton.

Neil said: “The winner will get their name on the belt and it will be displayed above the bar for a whole year.”

And if the King of the Strings comes into 20 Rocks during their reign they will be greeted by their very own musical salute - 20 Rocks very own amped up take on the greeting given to Norm from ‘Cheers’.