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Singer grabs place in girl band determined to keep it real

PUBLISHED: 11:07 13 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:04 07 September 2010

PLUS: Stacey-Lee Cuddy, Rachel Faulkner, Shirley Slaymaker, Hannah Leel and Hampstead's Kate Newnes

PLUS: Stacey-Lee Cuddy, Rachel Faulkner, Shirley Slaymaker, Hannah Leel and Hampstead's Kate Newnes

Hampstead Garden Suburb woman bags a place in girl group By Katie Davies SKINNY girl bands will be punching above their weight if they take on a new group led by a Hampstead Garden Suburb woman – strictly for sizes 16 plus. Kate Newnes, 28 from Market

Hampstead Garden Suburb woman bags a place in girl group

By Katie Davies

SKINNY girl bands will be punching above their weight if they take on a new group led by a Hampstead Garden Suburb woman - strictly for sizes 16 plus.

Kate Newnes, 28 from Market Place, has always dreamed of fulfilling her pop ambitions from the hairdressing shop where she works in Golders Green.

However, at size 16 she has always been put off - until this week, when she won a national competition to join a new band Plus.

"I saw an article on the web about the band so I thought I'd apply," she said.

"We had two auditions. For the first one 300 people turned up and in the second one we were put into groups.

"All I normally do is the odd karaoke so I was absolutely terrified. When you do karaoke you're usually a bit drunk - not the same as standing on stage in front of all these people."

Plus have released their first single, a remake of eighties hit Big Fun by Inner City. It is available as a download from sites including iTunes.

They don't have a record label yet, but with another two singles recorded they hope it's just a matter of time.

"Singing has always been in the back of my mind - it's the only thing which held my attention," Ms Newnes said.

"After I did my A-Levels I didn't want to go to university. I floated from job to job. Singing is really the only thing I am enthusiastic about.

"We are hoping the plus size aspect isn't always the main focus. After a while we want people to recognise that we are talented. However, I think we have quite an important message to get across.

"We are all 16 plus and we are happy with who we are and what we've got. I have been big all my life and I am perfectly healthy."

Ms Newnes' singing career started as a member of the children's chorus at the ENO but apart from that, she has never performed professionally.

All her friends, family and neighbours are supporting her bid for stardom by downloading her new single.

"I went into Brent Cross last week to hear it with my friends," she said.

"We went into a computer shop and got them to turn it up. A lot of people commented on it, saying it was catchy, so I really hope it is going to take off.

"Everyone is really supportive. My parents are just pleased that I've done something I like, while all my friends want me to be famous.

"We have just had a positive response until now, but I'm not scared of people being negative. I've always got a good comeback for someone who says anything horrible to me."

The other band members are Stacey-Lee Cuddy, Rachel Faulkner, Shirley Slaymaker and Hannah Lee.

For more information on the group go to www.realgirlband.com

katie.davies@hamhigh.co.uk


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