Bolton School Senior Boys

Chairman of BRIT Awards Judges Battle of the Bands

Tony Wadsworth CBE returned to Bolton School as the judge at this year's Battle of the Bands competition.  The bands taking part in the competition - Absolution, Cranked Up, Cynical City, This Island Earth and Why Not - could not have asked for a more highly qualified judge!  Tony was Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK and Ireland from 1998 to 2008 and is currently Chairman of the BPI and the BRIT Awards.  He was given a CBE for his services to the music industry in 2011. 

The lunchtime event saw the bands, comprising boys and girls from Years 7 to 12, perform tracks of their own and covers from the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Guns 'n' Roses.  The quality was as high as ever and in his concluding remarks, Tony said: "I have been very impressed by the standard of musicianship and presentation.  All the musicians have been superb, particularly the drummers.  Groups should bear in mind that they are only ever as good as their drummer.  I've also been impressed by the crowd control performed by the rugby squad and how much support has been given to each band.  There is clearly a great spirit in the School.  I was in a band during my days here but I have to say the quality is a lot better today - five people had to plug into the same amp back in the 70s!." 

The ultimate winner was Absolution, who took away the engraved glass trophy and a recording session, which was offered up by Talent Pool Studios, which was recently launched by Bolton's Booth's Music store. 

Tony, attended the School from 1967-1974, before graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in Economics.  After several years in bands, he worked for a number of record labels before joining EMI.  In a 26 year career with the UK based company, he held many roles including Managing Director of the Parlophone label, a label which he re-launched in the 1990s achieving sustained hits with artists such as Blur, Radiohead, Crowded House, Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner and Queen. 

His subsequent move to running all of EMI's UK labels saw a period of global success with artists such as Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. 

Having overseen the combination of the Virgin label with the UK company, recent worldwide chart profile and multi million sales have been achieved with brand new signings such as Lily Allen and KT Tunstall. 

Tony has an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Gloucestershire and holds the post of Visiting Professor in the music and business schools of the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

In March 2008 , he was awarded the prestigious Music Week Strat award for  outstanding contribution to the UK music industry and in 2009 was awarded the Scott Piering Award by the Radio Academy to recognise outstanding contribution to music radio. 

Tony is one of a string of celebrity judges that the competition has attracted in recent years, including Old Boy Mark Radcliffe and DJ Andy Peebles.

Absolution with Tony Wadsworth and the sponsors, Talent Pool

Tony Wadsworth (centre), along with sponsors Talent Pool, congratulates the winners, Absolution

Cranked Up

Year 7 group, Cranked Up, started the show

This Island Earth also performed a rousing set