Local: Lily Brooke
And what do you know, I last wrote about Lily Brooke around five years ago, when she had just crept into her teenage years but was already writing quality, piano-led pop songs of some note. Thankfully, she hasn’t devoted her teen years hence to beating her high-score on Angry Birds. Instead she’s been honing her craft and playing plenty of gigs including most of the region’s biggest festivals such as Evolution, Stockton Weekender and the Corbridge Festival. In 2014 she also trousered the Performer of the Year prize at the South Tyneside Awards (previous winners include Joe McElderry and Little Mixes’ Jade Thirwall). Now 18, she’s really grown her fanbase (with 34,000+ followers on Twitter) and her songwriting abilities have really blossomed with a clutch of excellent songs that have a soulful depth that belie her still tender years. And her singing is quite beautiful, clear as a mountain stream and not given over to Maria Carey-style over-warbling. Who knows what the next five years will bring, but right here right now, it’s looking (and sounding) good.