THE winners of last year's Cornwall's Got Talent, Penzance bluegrass band Flats And Sharps, have taken the next step in their career by signing a management deal.
The four band members met while studying at Penwith College and, after a successful first gig in 2011 and busking in Causewayhead, have become well known locally at events such as the Newlyn Fish Festival, at Lafrowda in St Just, and as post-match entertainment at several Cornish Pirates rugby matches.
Guitarist Josh Warner said the management deal had come at "the perfect time" as the band looked to raise their profile.
Flats And Sharps were spotted by Guy Morris, from Move Your Hands Management, playing at a party in Mousehole last October.
"They say that you should put your heart and soul into every gig that you play and that seemed to work in this case," said Josh.
"Guy e-mailed me a week or so after the party and we travelled up to see him and his partner Oroh Angiama in Bristol, and went from there."
Currently three of the band – Josh, Liam Fitzharris (double bass) and Kirk Bowman (banjo) – are based in Penzance and spend much of their time practising and writing new songs in an upstairs room provided by the Union Hotel.
Mandolin player Mikey Ponsford is now living and working in Bristol but travels back down to Penzance every other weekend to practise with the rest of the band, and Josh said signing the management deal had given them all a real boost.
"It's given us massive motivation," he said.
"The company has been incredibly busy in the short time we've signed with them. They're trying to access a Performing Right Society start-up grant which will hopefully enable us to record a six-track EP which would be available in time for the summer festival season, but overall I think the big thing about 2014 for us is publicity and getting people used to us."
Mr Morris, who has been in the music business for 33 years and also runs Blue Mountain Music, which looks after the global rights to Bob Marley's output, says the combination of the four lads' musicianship and their engagement with the audience immediately sparked his attention. "As well as playing fantastic music, they're all four individual characters and they make a real connection with their audience," he said.
"There's also huge potential in their songwriting and our ambition is to get some recordings done that capture the magic of their live performances."