A competition showcasing the strength of island musical talent takes place at Quids Inn, in Douglas, this month.

Songwriter 2023 sees musicians and acts perform a 40 to 45 minute set of their own original music with only one cover tune allowed in front of a panel of experienced industry experts.

The winner will win gigs at major events and the choice of £600 of equipment or recording time with the producer of their choice.

It’s being hosted by pub landlord Andy Saunders and Chris Cole, who runs Riffs monthly open mic sessions at Quids Inn.

Andy told Island Life: ‘The concept really is to showcase how strong our Manx talent pool is and to help the artists get their own music produced professionally, hopefully leading to recognition of what they’re doing from further afield than just the island.’

Chris said: ‘I think it’s important because a lot of these people spend a lot of time putting their hearts and souls into writing songs but there’s never really been this kind of platform, at least not one that I’ve seen, where the songwriters can just go out and do their own material.’

The slots for the heats were filled in under an hour.

Andy said: ‘We have a range of people, different sorts of genres and we’re going to have a really interesting competition.

‘We’ve got some very notable songwriters that everybody on the island will probably be aware of and we’ve got some very youthful talent.’

Chris added: ‘That is the key thing for us, it’s not just experienced songwriters, it’s that different level of “beginners” all the way through to experienced songwriters.’

Heat one gets under way tomorrow (Friday) with Matt Kelly, Dan Looney and Chris Flood.

Heat two on Friday next week (November 10) will feature Steph Chambers, Wez Clarke and Ell Hay.

The third heat, on November 17, will be contested by Harry Roe, Heikki Koistinen and Trevor Shimmin.

And the line up for the final heat, on November 24, is Callum Brew, Charlie Aaron and Seven and Six (Paul Sellors and Nell Kneale).

Each heat winner will go through to the final, set to take place at Quids Inn on Friday, December 1.

The competition is sponsored by Barber’s Unit 5.