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Air guitar championships rock Brighton
WITH VIDEO: Tom Cruise famously did it in his pants and shirt in the movie Risky Business but many of us have tried it.
Believing you’re the ghost of Hendrix, you jam like a demon – imaginary guitar in hand, crowd going wild.
But some take air guitar to new levels as Coalition, Brighton, hosted the UK championships on Sunday night.
The competition was born in a pub on a lazy Sunday and has escalated to the behemoth it is now, scouring the nation for the country’s best air guitarists.
Warmed up by Dave, also known as ‘The Finger’, hopefuls took to the stage with their imaginary guitars while leaping, bounding and going crazy.
The audience acted as judges, with rockers trying to get as many cheers as possible to progress.
Those getting boos left the stage with their bandanas slung in shame.
From technical and timid to arms flailing wildly, all styles of air guitar were on display.
Hopefuls come from as far as Wales and Scotland as those who always wanted to be a musician got to realise their dream – almost.
Back to retain his crown was last year’s winner and Brighton resident James Crowter.
The 28-year-old said: “I'm looking forward to getting on that stage and hurting myself inevitably while defending my title.”
But any thoughts of an easy ride were quashed with ‘The Bandit’ in hot pursuit. Real name Guy Thompson, the 44-year-old was looking to cause an upset.
He said: “I’m here to rock the stage and give the audience something they’ve never seen before.”
Anyone thinking it was just a bit of fun was sorely mistaken – there was some serious competition.
Pep talks from friends, practising riffs off stage and stretching muscles, the pre rock rituals were akin to any elite sporting competition.
While not quite London 2012, the event does have some history, having been created in 1994.
The winner will now be recognised in the air guitar hall of fame and receive a selection of prizes including the infamous Rock Hand trophy.
Organiser and three-time UK air guitar champion Colin “cozza” Fulker said: “To be a champion you don’t need to be good, or cool, you just need to get on stage, close your eyes and let the music take over your itchy fingers.
“The venues that we use are frequented by the best bands on the scene, so all who enter can say that they have shared the same stage as some of the greatest bands on the planet.”
Bruce Almighty, aka Adam Rees, was crowned the champion at the end of the night.
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