A young Barnstaple rock band is saddlin up and heading for a showdown with destiny as they prepare to play at the iconic and world famous South By South West music industry festival at Austin in Texas. The five members of the up-and-coming Mendella have

A young Barnstaple rock band is saddlin' up and heading for a showdown with destiny as they prepare to play at the iconic and world famous South By South West music industry festival at Austin in Texas.The five members of the up-and-coming Mendella have been handed a fantastic opportunity to shine before the world's record companies, scouts and media.With an average age of 17, original musical material and a "day job" studying at North Devon College for most of the band, Mendella have been impressing the music industry since forming little more than a year ago.The band - Tom Butters, Lewis Chappell, Sam Davies, Toby Parker and Jason Matthews - has just brought out an EP Swing With Me recorded during a sojourn at the Sawmills Studio in London and produced by Paul Reeve of Muse and Razorlight fame."From that we sent out demos and through our contacts they now have two confirmed slots in Texas during the SXSW Festival," said band manager Paul Salmon of Orpheus Music."Of 11,000 bands worldwide 3,000 are chosen - I don't think a North Devon group has ever gone there before and certainly not one so young."Some major record companies and scouts are coming to see them, too."The band flies out on Friday and will be performing next weekend and they are determined to make their mark:"This is the opportunity of a lifetime for us," said lead vocalist Tom.