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28 October 2014

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Kate Salisbury
Kate was inspired by a chocolate shop

Three Bristolians in finals of UK Songwriting Contest

By Liz Lewis
Kate Salisbury, Emma Hutchinson and Chris Townsend have been declared finalists in a prestigious songwriting competition.

Support for the competition comes from heavyweights of the music industry, the BRIT Trust (of BRIT Awards fame) and the Guild of International Songwriters and Composers.

Although she's been composing the occasional song since she was nine, Kate began songwriting seriously in 2000.

Her song 'Burning' was one of five she entered into the 2005 contest.  The other four songs, 'Like Chocolate', 'Like Champagne', 'Love 'n' War' and 'Calm Water' were all named as semi-finalists by the contest judges.

'Like Chocolate' and 'Like Champagne', two versions of the same song, were inspired during a visit by Kate to the Minerva Chocolate shop in Bath while on interview for BBC Radio Bristol. (Kate's daytime job is Bath reporter for the radio.)

You may have heard both songs if you've visited the shop as proprietor Philippe Wall plays copies on a loop.

Kate Salisbury talks about her dream of being a full-time songwriter
video Kate talks about being a songwriter >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

"I'm absolutely over the moon about how well the songs have done," said Kate. "I'm endlessly humming tunes to myself and singing lyric ideas into a dictaphone - it's fantastic they're now starting to get wider recognition."

All the songs were entirely Bristol productions. The finalist, 'Burning', was performed by 20-year-old Jade Rozell from Easton, who is a member of Kizzy Morrell's Studio 7 project and like the others, it was produced by Dave Lewis at his Lakeside Studio based in Horfield.

Kate Salisbury's songs have gained recognition in three different categories of the UK Songwriting Contest: Burning; Like Chocolate and Love 'n' War were entered into the pop category, Like Chocolate in the R&B/Hip Hop/Rap category and Calm Water was submitted in the Country/Folk category.

Calm Water and another of Kate's songs, Whirlwind, have also received awards in three other international song contests within the last year.

Emma Hutchinson
Emma's song is from her debut album

"I suppose every songwriter dreams of the day their tune will be coming out of radios up and down the land - the results of this contest make me think that dream might be just a little bit closer for me," said Kate.

Songwriter/vocalist Emma Hutchinson has got through to the finals of the Jazz/Blues category with 'Nature Takes Me In Her Arms' taken from her debut album "Hummingbirds" which was recently dubbed a "lovely, gentle little album" and given four stars by Blues & Soul magazine, almost unheard of for an unsigned artist.

Listen to Emma Hutchinson on BBC Bristol's Unsigned Bands show
Unsigned Bands: Show 2 >

Another of Emma's songs, 'Let Me Be Me', was played on the second of the BBC Bristol website's Unsigned Bands Radio Show.  Check it out for yourself.

Trained originally as a linguist, Emma worked as an event organiser in Los Angeles for several years before becoming a full-time professional musician when she settled in the Easton area of Bristol in 2002. 

Her father was the jazz and cabaret singer/pianist Leslie "Hutch" Hutchinson, known as much for his wild affairs with jazz composer Cole Porter and members of the British royal family as for his velvet voice and excellent piano playing.

Third of Bristol's successes is Chris Townsend a 20-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist whose song "Ready to Fall" was judged a worthy finalist.

His acoustic-based music explores the classic themes of love, life, loss and regret,  which he performs using effects pedals to form live loops onstage thereby creating a dramatic sound for a solo artist.

Chris Townsend
Chris's influences include The Beatles

Chris sites his main influences as: The Beatles, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Coldplay, Ryan Adams, Oasis, Radiohead, Howie Day, Ryan Cabrera, Jeff Buckley and Sting.

Chris said he was "quite surprised by the result of the contest as the version of the
song entered had been, written, played live and recorded in the space of 24

"It was completely unproduced and was recorded at a Tsunami Aid Concert in Sheffield back in February," he said.

I have spent the summer so far since the end of Uni (I'm a law student at the University of Sheffield, having gone to school in Bristol) writing and home-recording demos of new material. 

Chris hopes to go into a local studio sometime before October to get a proper EP recorded and is am currently looking for gigs around the local area, along with researching the possibility of getting some of his songs published.

Many finalists and category winners in the UK Songwriting Competition are offered recording, management and publishing deals so all the very best of luck to all.

last updated: 16/08/05
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