X Factor contestant James Arthur played a live gig in The Joiners Arms in Morecambe before entering the competition, it can be revealed.
James, whose Morecambe-based brother Neil also plays darts for the pub team, performed for nearly three hours but had to stop when a couple of strings broke on his guitar.
Licensee of The Joiners, Garry Jackson, said: “He did a Friday night for us, it was shortly before he went on the X Factor I think.
“He bust a couple of strings on his guitar but I didn’t have any strings to give him.
“He started at 9.15pm and finished at midnight. He did a mixture of all sorts, some of his own stuff and then pop songs and it went down really well
“He’s a nice lad. He was talking about going on the X Factor that night. James and his brother Neil are pretty close and he is over the moon for him.
“Neil goes down every weekend to see James perform and we have seen him on television backstage with James.
“He pops in and keeps us posted. James has said that next time he’s down in Morecambe he’ll do another gig!”
James’ brother Neil was working as a base operator at Coastal Taxis until recently.
He lives in Morecambe.
James who is the bookies’ third favourite to win the competition, is being mentored by Nicole Scherzinger.
He performed an impromptu duet live with rap singer Labrinth in Manchester last Thursday.
The winner of X Factor, which runs until Christmas, receives a lucrative recording contract.