The Bryan Adams-collaborators now head bill at the UK's first nationwide student "battle of the bands" awards...

CHICANE, currently at number one with new single ‘DON’T GIVE UP’ are to headline this year’s National Student Music Awards after GENE and TOPLOADER were forced to pull out after a change in date for the event.

The competition at London’s Brixton Academy aims to find the best student band of the year. It was originally scheduled for February 18, but has now been postponed until March 24 following “production difficulties”.

Supporting Chicane at the event will be Manchild. A spokesperson for the awards told nme.com: “Gene couldn’t make the new date, neither could Toploader. They’re both really disappointed, but it simply couldn’t be helped.”

Three student bands will battle it out prior to the performances by Chicane and Manchild. They are Fierce Black, Higher Ground and Cinefilm. The three fought off competition from over 200 other entrants to reach the finals and stand to win recording time in a studio, a professional photo shoot, finished CD and tonnes of expert advice.

Judging the awards will be a selection of music industry figures including Zane from MTV, Stephen Jones from Music Week, Paul Sadler from the Big Breakfast and Maggie Crowe from the BPI.