Order! Leoni’s House music

Parliamentary privilege: Leoni Kennedy got a tour of the Palace of Westminster as part of her prize
Parliamentary privilege: Leoni Kennedy got a tour of the Palace of Westminster as part of her prize
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A teenage singer-songwriter who topped a national contest visited the place where she will literally “rock the house” later this month.

As reported in The Gazette last month, 13-year-old Leoni Kennedy is set to perform at the Houses of Parliament after winning a competition run by MPs aimed at raising awareness of unsigned musicians.

And last week she was given a tour of the Palace of Westminster, including its famous Speaker’s Rooms – where she will perform before a whole host of VIPs this coming Tuesday.

Speaking about her experience, Leoni said: “It was amazing.

“When we were walking through there were lots of ornaments.

“There were a few people I knew there, including a guy from (rock band) Whitesnake.

“I’m a bit nervous about performing there, though.”

Leoni, a pupil at Millfield Science and Technology College, in Thornton, reached the finals after submitting an original composition to Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, who nominated her to a judging panel of industry executives.

Despite finishing second in the overall contest at The Bedford pub in Balham, London, Leoni qualified as the highest ranked solo artist in the under-19s category.

She has been playing guitar and singing since she was eight and writing her own material since she was 11.

Leoni was accompanied on the trip by proud mum Katrina.

She said: “It was really weird actually.

“You see it on the telly and don’t even anticipate the size of the building. It was quite overwhelming.

“For a young girl to go and be as collected as she was I was proud of her. I was probably more giddy than her.”

Leoni’s performance will take place in the Speaker’s Rooms of Parliament, where she will support a band comprised entirely of MPs known as MP4.

For more information about the competition log on to www.rockthehousehoc.com.