In this brand new prime-time BBC Four series, comedian Rhod Gilbert embarks on a road trip across the country, on a mission to find the UK’s Best Part-time Band.
To help him, he has recruited some expert help: Ultravox front-man Midge Ure heads home to Glasgow before taking in a tour of Northern Ireland and Wales; championing the north of England is former New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook; and in the south of the country, Rhod is accompanied by legendary Soul II Soul producer Jazzie B.
More than 1,200 bands applied, playing rock to reggae, ska to skiffle, bhangra to blues and everything in between. Leading double lives, by day they might be doctors, window cleaners or waiters, but at night they shed their work clothes, pick up a Les Paul guitar and channel their inner rock god. What binds them all? An incredible passion for music and an escape from the nine to five grind.
This is no run-of-the-mill talent show. In each regional episode, Rhod and one of the British music legends visit bands playing in rehearsal spaces, pubs, barns and bedrooms. At the end of each road trip, five acts are selected for a regional battle of the bands, where they compete for a place in the Grand Final, to be broadcast on BBC Two, with one act finally being crowned ‘The UK’s Best Part-time Band’.
The show is part of BBC Music’s Get Playing campaign, encouraging music lovers, amateur musicians and lapsed players to have a go and celebrate the joy of making music together.
Cassian Harrison, Chanel Editor BBC Four, says: “The sheer amount of talent the programme has discovered from all over the country has been exceptional. I’m so pleased we’ll be able to showcase this to our audience on BBC Four – the home of music on television. This will be a wonderful celebration of the passion, drive and commitment these musicians invest in doing what they love – making music. Rhod and the music legends are the perfect choices to bring these amazing musicians into our homes and I’m sure the audience will thoroughly enjoy.”
Jan Younghusband, Head of Music TV Commissioning, says: “This series shines a light for the first time on a whole world of impressive musical talent entertaining us across the UK – a living testimony to our great musical nation and the opening moment of BBC Music’s Get Playing which will see us asking our audiences to pick up that musical instrument languishing in the corner and get practising!”