The final countdown begins as Hogmanay hopefuls revealed

Edinburgh's Matt Norris and the Moon
Edinburgh's Matt Norris and the Moon
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THE finalists in a competition offering bands the chance to star alongside rock legends Primal Scream at the world’s biggest street party have been revealed.

Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay party launched the Hog the Street competition last month, with ten bands now selected to compete in a live busking final in Princes Street on Saturday and Sunday.

The band that raises the most money during their set will get the opening slot at the Concert in the Garden on December 31, with all money raised through the event going to the charity Shelter Scotland.

Among the Edinburgh bands to be shortlisted are Emelle, The OK Social Club, The Soul Foundation, Matt Norris and the Moon, The Marvels and Madhat McGore.

Also making the final ten is Clog and The Quirks from North Berwick in East Lothian.

The bands beat competition from more than 80 entries after impressing judges at Leith Records and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Each band will perform on stage at the West End for 20 to 25 minutes and must include their favourite Christmas cover.

David Law, 26, who lives in the Old Town and plays trumpet and mandolin in Matt Norris and the Moon, said: “We’re really excited about making the final ten. It would be absolutely fantastic if we won – it would be the biggest gig of our lives.”

Mike Lithgow, who plays bass in Emelle, added: “To play with any big band at a venue like that and on an occasion like Hogmanay would be absolutely fantastic.”

Chris Finn, 25, from Corstorphine, a guitarist in The OK Social Club, said: “I have never been to the street party, despite living in Edinburgh, because I’m usually working at New Year but I would make an exception this year if we won.”

The winning band will join the bill alongside headliners Primal Scream and special guests Bombay Bicycle Club and Sons & Daughters.

Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Pete Irvine, said: “This is a fantastic line-up of fresh, new Scottish talent and the winner will be a worthy addition to the programme for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.”

The ten bands will entertain shoppers from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.