Sheffield band with a difference play in front of 15,000

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They have forged a reputation as the band who bring audience participation to a whole new level - and now Sheffield’s Rockaoke are preparing for one of the biggest gigs of their career.

The group - the UK’s original karaoke rock band - will take to the stage alongside Razorlight at the sold-out CarFest in Cheshire and Hampshire on the August bank holiday weekend.

DJ Chris Evans will showcase his collection of Ferraris for charity at the show.

The Sheffield musicians work without a lead singer and will invite members of the 15,000 crowd to join them on stage.

They have held residencies in London and performed at the Top Gear Christmas party since forming in 2005.

They have even performed a Beatles song in front of Ringo Starr at a gig in London.

But this latest coup comes as a double cause for celebration for band founder Jon Short and fellow petrol head and drummer Basil Smith as it marries their two great passions - cars and rock music.

Bassist Jon, who lives in Sheffield, said: “During the bank holiday festival, the public have the opportunity to bid for a drive of one of Chris’s Ferraris.

“I’m tempted to blow all my fee and buy as many tickets as I can afford.”

Rockaoke have been busy performing to crowds in the capital as part of free concerts organised for London 2012.

Barnsley-born guitarist Dan Richards said: “It’s the first time we’ve performed to that size crowd, giving 15,000 people the chance to front a live rock band.

“We’ve played in front of crowds of 5,000 but this is another level. I think we’ll have a little team of people going out with the song sheet and getting people on the stage. You think it would put people off being in front of that many people but I think they’ll all rise to the occasion.”