A NEWPORT four-piece have been voted the best cover artists on American Idol presenter Ryan Seacrest’s website, weeks after releasing their own version of The Pogue’s Christmas classic, A Fairytale of Newport.

The Beef Seeds’ bluegrass cover version of Avicii’s Wake me Up, was picked up by Ryan Seacrest after it was played on the radio in America. It then joined 14 other covers of the song, from which members of the public voted for their favourite. Yesterday, it had received 126,000 hits on YouTube.

Speaking to the Argus yesterday morning lead vocalist, Peet Morgan said: “We just found out we won first place. It’s mad – we made a video down in Crindau that Ryan Seacrest then picked up.”

Mr Morgan lives with other band members Becky Johnson, Scott Bowman and Adam Beale on Malpas road in Shaftesbury. Their rehearsal studio is in their back garden and their videos are recorded in the Albany Industrial estate, Crindau.

Mr Morgan, 30, said: “It’s all nice and local – proper Newport.

“We started the band at the beginning of this year and the blues music just started flowing out because it’s so fun to play.”

The group’s 20 videos include covers of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball, Katy Perry and Toto, which have attracted thousands of views on Youtube.

“We take the pop song and then dissect it and break it down.

“We’ve got a lot of energy so stuff gets done quickly.”

Prior to recording the Christmas cover, the band had put up a choice of Christmas songs on the website for fans to pick from, but The Pogues came out on top.

The black and white music video follows the band and official mascot, Ninja dog, around Newport’s city centre.

“We love our city and we want people to know there’s still stuff going on. There’s still creativity,” said Mr Morgan.

Lyric changes in the second verse include the “Queen of Newport City” and “lying outside of TJ’s in a drink fuelled haze”.

The bluegrass began after band member Becky bought a double bass. This was soon joined by a banjo, guitar and a selection of cowboy hats from Kingsway’s In Shops.

“It’s kind of a character band,” Mr Morgan explained. “We worried when people found out we were from Wales they were going to reject us, but we’ve been received really well.”

The band have received international recognition and their version of ‘Africa’ got retweeted by the official Toto Twitter account as well as Toto guitarist, Steve Lukather.

“That was a real honour,” said Mr Morgan.

The self-funded band are not signed by a record label and all juggle part time jobs around their music.

“We’re living the dream, but we’re scraping by,” said Mr Morgan.

“There are a lot of people trying to get us to the states. 2014 is going to be a really big year for us.”

The single, which was released on December 2, is available to buy on i-tunes and Amazon now.