So you can talk the talk - but can you walk the walk? We're launching our annual hunt to find the area's top acts as we kick off this year's Derbyshire Times Band of the Year competition.

The contest, which has been running for more than 20 years, aims to find the top band local bands and shower them with prizes and kudos.

To enter, simply get hold of a coy of this week's Derbyshire Times, fill in the form and send it in, together with a band photo, plus a CD or tape of three tracks - at least one of which must be original.

A panel of expert judges will listen to the entries and pick the top 12 who will then go on to fight it out live on-stage at Chesterfield's prestigious Winding Wheel in two semi-final heats on November 2 and 9.

Six of the best will then go on to fight it out at The Wheel in the grand final, which takes place on November 16.

Entries from bands of all styles of music are welcome; everything from punk, reggae, rap and folk has graced the Band of the Year stage. And don't worry if your demo isn't studio quality - we're looking for great bands, not the best producers.

Last year it was The Culture Thieves who stole the title to be crowned Derbyshire Times Band of the Year.

Frontman Mick Bailey said: "Winning band of the year felt more of a relief than anything.

"We put together this band three years ago and have been writing, recording and gigging and last year, things started falling into place for us and we felt we had a strong enough live show to warrant walking away with the crown, so we swooped in, did our thing and walked away the winners. Simple as that!

"It's not about what you do on stage, its how you do it, so it's all fine and well jumping around like lunatics or playing every single note in some sort of hair metal scale, but if it's got no feeling, no one will buy it and thats why I felt it was a small victory for bands like us to walk away with the title last year! That was the real victory."

If you want to be the next act crowned Derbyshire Times band of the year, sharpen yer pencil and get filling in that form...