STILLIA are returning for a headline gig in Warrington three years after winning a Guardian competition which saw them perform at the Parr Hall.

The indie band won Hotwired in 2013 which helped launch their career. Now the self-taught four-piece have a management deal, can count Johnny Vegas among their fans and have supported Catfish and The Bottlemen.

They will perform at Friars Live at Friars Court on Saturday, December 3. Promoters invited them to play at the Barbauld Street venue after seeing them at The Lounge a couple of months ago.

Frontman Jack Bennett said: “It’s such a top venue. The sound in there is great. I love it. When they asked us to play there I was buzzing and then when they asked us to headline it I was over the moon. We can’t wait.”

A lot has happened since Stillia won Hotwired but Jack said he still has fond memories of the competition and what it represented.

The 21-year-old added: “That competition was awesome. We took a coachload of family and friends with us and we had a laugh. It was the first time we had played the Parr Hall so it was a bit surreal given all the big names that play there.

“We were used to playing in little bars. Since then we’ve played at the Parr Hall with the Clone Roses and we supported the Sex Pissed Dolls. That was pretty mad.”

So what made the band stand out that night?

Jack added: “When we’re in the rehearsal room we aim to write songs that people will have stuck in their head. And even if we’re playing to 100 people in a small bar we give it everything we’ve got and treat it the same as if we were playing to thousands of people at Wembley.

“That’s done us pretty well over time. The prime example is how we met our manager, Ben Taylor. He’s so well connected and has got loads of things happening for us.

“But we reason we got him is that we played a gig at The Live Room in Manchester. There must have only been about 50 people there in this big venue so it looked dead.

“We just played as though we were playing to thousands and then we got an email from Ben the day after. We had a meeting with him and then signed to the management company.”

Jack, his brother Matty, Connor Moran and Johnny Waring finished recording their debut album, which is set to be called From Ground To Light, in September. They previewed the record at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool and it is due out in the new year.

Jack said: “We’re really proud of it and it should be coming out in February. We recently played at LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) as part of The2ube show they run there presented by Janice Long.

“As we came off stage Janice pulled us to one side and said she really enjoyed our set and asked for a CD

“We had one in the van straight from the studio. So we got an A4 piece of paper folded it into a scruffy little case for the CD and wrote our names and email on it.

“The next day she rang us and said she was blown away by the album and the other night the single Let Me In was played on Radio 2 so that was pretty cool.”

Stillia recorded the album with Ady Hall and Lee McCarthy from Sugar House, based at St Helens’ Catalyst Studios.

It was the same studio that Viola Beach used to record Swings and Waterslides.

Jack added: “Lee and Ady are absolutely phenomenal at what they do. We’ll write a song and think it is the best it can be and then we take it into the studio and they’ll pull it to pieces

“They’ll pull the song in every direction and by the end your mind’s blown by how much it has changed but for the better.”

n Stillia perform at Friars Live with Michigan and Danxia on Saturday, December 3. Tickets are available at