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Friday, March 15th, 2019

Live at the Queens – Singer and Songwriter competition

Published by Aina Sutka

On 1st March we held a brand new event here at the Queens – Singer and Songwriter competition ‘Live At The Queens’. Event idea belongs to the music promoter Nick Courtney and it’s safe to say that nobody expected such an amazing turn of events. The demand from performers themselves was very high and the event pretty much sold out before going ‘live’. The task was very simple – the musicians would join the competition, find people to fill up their table, prepare two songs (one original and one cover song) and job done! The whole Queens Hotel team would like to say huge thank you to all the participants – Jack Evans, Archie McKeown, Emma Marshall, Andrew Osman, Marley Blandford, Mary Red (Chloe Robinson), Lennon Taylor, Jamin Gallier, Ross Murphy, Jamie Kasper, Matt McGowan, Paddy Taylor, Jenny June (Jennifer Sammut) and Paige Brooker. You were fantastic!

After the event Nick said: ”The musical talent in Portsmouth is exceptional and I am not aware of anywhere better. This has also been confirmed by programmes such as the XFactor and the Voice that travel the country looking for performers for their shows. Live at the Queens was a good example of this and all the performers seemed to up there game on the night and the standard was incredibly high. Even though I had seen all the performers before on several occasions I was still surprised at how well they all performed. I could tell that Archie McKeown and Marley Blandford has the biggest audience reaction but I don’t think the winner could have been predicted until the final count at the end of the night. I hope to do many more of these shows over the year and put the winners through to a grand final which will be a lot of fun and I hope more and more people will get involved.”

Nick has been a music promoter in Portsmouth for the past 16 years and has a regular night at Jags119 every week.  He also works on major events like Victorious Festival, so he definitely considers himself lucky enough to know a huge amount of brilliant performers. Nick adds that it’s great to have the Queens Hotel as a venue for more prestigious events now and in the future, and he looks forward to coming back soon.

The winner of this competition, Archie McKeown (blog cover image) told us:” I loved getting to perform at Live at The Queens. What an exciting new venue to sing in! Thank you so much to everyone who came and voted. The support from everyone for everyone was wonderful! It was a pleasure to see that the Portsmouth music community is thriving as always. The other singers were fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed all the performances and loved the sense of individuality they brought with their original songs as well. It was an honour to win against such tough competition, and completely unexpected. Thank you again to all who came! The hospitality, food and drinks were a great bonus!”

We also would like to take this opportunity and introduce our ‘Resident Photographer’ – James White. Apart from being a wedding photographer for a few happy couples we held ceremonies for, it was his very first event with his new title. James was very happy to take on this role and said: ”I had the pleasure of covering the fantastic Talent Show at the stunning Queens Hotel. The performers were amazing and they varied from guitarist, solo singers and I even heard an incredible performance by an Opera Singer.. the crowd loved them all! The local talent in Portsmouth is fantastic!’

Music is very important in bringing people together, it stimulates the brain and helps to lighten the mood. Queens Hotel has been well known for the Summer Garden Parties and now we are bringing live music to our customers all year around. Keep your eyes peeled to see our upcoming events. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and don’t miss a thing!

Photographer: James White
To receive images from this or any other event, please email our Social Media Co-Ordinator on


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The Queens Hotel Portsmouth