Young Performer winner Eve reflects on a year of opportunities

Eve Simpson '  who played at the Bents Park Festival  with Joe McElderry,  Lola Saunders and Collabro ' has urged people to enter this year's awards.
Eve Simpson ' who played at the Bents Park Festival with Joe McElderry, Lola Saunders and Collabro ' has urged people to enter this year's awards.

What a year it’s been for talented singer Eve Simpson.

The 16-year-old has enjoyed wonderful moments since winning the Shields Gazette Young Performer competition, sponsored by Port of Tyne, last year.

It has included a performance on the same bill as Joe McElderry, Lola Saunders and Collabro, and just recently, she became involved in a new folk band called Superfolkus.

Looking back on her year to remember, Eve said: “Since winning the Performer of the Year Award in June last year, I have had some wonderful opportunities that I am very grateful for.

“For example, I was given the opportunity to open Bents Park Festival for Joe McElderry, Lola Saunders and Collabro.

“Also, I supported fellow young performer of the year winner Lily Brooke at The o2 Academy, Newcastle in November.

“As well as keeping on top of my songwriting and local gigging, a personal favourite is the Surf Cafe.

“I was very excited to announce earlier this month that I am involved in a new folkband called Superfolkus.”

The band is so good it has attracted praise from North East folk musician Kathryn Tickell, who described Eve as one to watch.

But Eve’s rising stardom goes even further.

She explained: “I am also playing at The Cluny, a venue I have always admired, so I am very privileged to play.”

She’ll be there on February 19 as a support for a band called The Last Spectacular, who will be promoting their new album.

It all adds up to great times for South Shields teenager Eve, who told how the whole process of the Young Performer of the Year competition was a dream for her.

“I was very honoured to receive my initial nominations for the Young Performer of the Year award,” said the singer-songwriter.

She has been creating tunes for four years, and as well as singing, she also plays the piano, guitar and banjo.

“The unique part of this award, out of all the Best of South Tyneside’s awards, is that you get to see all the nominees perform, doing what they love best, on a night dedicated to them.

“I really enjoyed the showcase night, and it was very valuable to me to receive feedback from the panel, especially from Natasha Haws, whose music I know through her songwriting.

“The awards evening was a privilege to be part of; hearing all the stories from all those nominated was very humbling and really does make you very proud of South Shields.

“The night was an honour to be a part of, regardless of who won what award.

“But winning the award has given me a huge boost in confidence and an amazing opportunity to perform to such a large crowd at Bents Park, which has been one of my best experiences - I would love to do it again.”

Now Eve is keen to promote this year’s event and urged people to enter.

She said: “To anyone thinking about nominating an individual for the award, the showcase night is very valuable to experience, and I have met some great musicians through this award who not only have I kept in touch with, but have learnt a lot from, which has helped me in developing my own music.”

l Why not follow Eve’s advice and get those entries in?

All we need are entrants to make this year’s Young Performer category, sponsored by Port of Tyne, another memorable competition.

We are looking for an individual or group who has shown exceptional talent as a performer.

To enter, email and