Most of the biggest bands in the world will have got their break by playing on the live circuit and the next big thing will be just one gig away from being discovered.

The A&R role in the music industry may have changed over the years, but talent spotting in venues across the country has always been a staple part of the job.

Ben Durling and Holly Manners work in A&R at Warner Bros. Records, responsible for an impressive range of artists including Dua Lipa, Liam Gallagher and Royal Blood, and they’re always on the look-out for new discoveries. 

They’re in charge of finding the best unsigned acts, to give them the chance to release records and shape artists to be able to play bigger and better live shows.

“Who they should be working with, what studios are they working with, what songwriter are you putting them with, getting their demos back, is it good enough or it it’s not good enough, how do we get it better?” says Holly. “A large part of being an A&R is backing your own taste and having the confidence in your own opinions to say, I think this is great and I think other people will too.”

Want to know what makes or breaks a record and be a first-class talent spotter yourself? Find out how from Ben and Holly here.