Stourbridge five-piece The Pargeters have beaten off both international competition to take second prize in a prestigious unsigned music festival competition.

Competing against 20 other finalists from across the UK and Europe, the band finished runners-up at the final of the Surface Festival, held at the IndgO2 in Greenwich, London.

The annual festival is the biggest of its kind in Europe and this year it received more than 12,000 applications to compete, of which 1,000 were chosen. All finalists had to work their way through regional heats, a semi-final and a regional showcase.

As second prize winners, The Pargeters were immediately swept off to do a three-gig tour – performing at venues in Manchester, London and Birmingham – as well as receiving music equipment, an album distribution deal and merchandise.

Speaking on the band’s recent success, The Pargeters’ lead vocalist, James Rees said: “We were so proud to reach the final and perform at such a brilliant venue. Being awarded second prize, ahead of so many other talented bands feels amazing.

“The support we received from our friends throughout the competition and on Saturday was absolutely fantastic. Coach-loads travelled down from the Midlands to be with us on the day and they went totally wild when our name was announced on stage.”

For more information on The Pargeters and to listen to a few tracks from their first EP visit their facebook page at