‘Height of success’: Hilltop Hallucinations win People’s Choice award

Monday 14 March 2016

Lloyds Bank island director Peter Reid, standing, third from left, with Georgina Cooper, standing extreme left, and her daughter, Georgia holding trophy with Junior Achievement’s Alex Day and Hilltop Hallucinations band members Antony Coward, Jordan Kirk, Luke Campbell, Niall McCabe-O’Kelly and Eddie Morris. Picture Andrew Barton.

Hilltop Hallucinations have been voted People’s Choice by the audience who attended Manx charity Junior Achievement’s The Next Big Thing talent contest in February.

The band – Luke Campbell, rhythm guitar, Antony Coward, drummer, Jordan Kirk, lead guitar, Niall McCabe-O’Kelly, vocals and Eddie Morris, bassist – are students at Ballakermeen and St Ninian’s high schools and all Soundcheck members. They were chosen out of the 15 finalists who competed in front of a packed house at the Gaiety Theatre after having only been performing together for nine months.

The People’s Choice award, sponsored this year by Lloyds Bank, was inaugurated in 2015 in memory of youth worker Paul Cooper, who died in 2014 but who, as leader of the Soundcheck project, had been an influential figure in the Next Big Thing since it began.

The band received their People’s Choice trophy from Paul’s widow, Georgina and daughter Georgia.

Junior Achievement’s chief executive Sue Cook said: ‘Hilltop Hallucinations were worthy People’s Choice winners. They opened the show in fantastic style and went down really well with the audience. They’re also great ambassadors for Soundcheck whose members work with us every year in the auditions leading up to The Next Big Thing final. Just like The Next Big Thing, Soundcheck aims to inspire young artists and give them the confidence to develop their talent.

‘We’re very grateful to Lloyds Bank for sponsoring the award and all of us at Junior Achievement wish the band every success.’

To find out more about Junior Achievement and The Next Big Thing contact Sue Cook, 666266, sue.cook@jaiom.im or follow juniorachievementisleofman on Facebook.

Photo – Lloyds Bank island director Peter Reid, standing, third from left, with Georgina Cooper, standing extreme left, and her daughter, Georgia holding trophy with Junior Achievement’s Alex Day and Hilltop Hallucinations band members Antony Coward, Jordan Kirk, Luke Campbell, Niall McCabe-O’Kelly and Eddie Morris. Picture Andrew Barton.