HIP hop outfit Beatbullyz had the room dancing and singing for the final time when they performed their farewell gig.

The local lads exploded onto the Swindon music scene in 2004 and have remained a regular fixture at gigs and festivals ever since, supporting JLS in an arena tour in 2010.

But in an emotional statement to fans last month, the band said they were going their separate ways to work on other projects.

The group – Daniel Dubose aka Bozo, Andrew Bullimore aka Bully, Stuart Anderson aka Disco, Phil Murphy aka Philonius Funk and Alex Yeoman aka YoYo – played to a packed MECA on Saturday night.

During the gig, which featured material from both their albums, Human Nature and Rootz, the band thanked their fans for their support over the years, on their journey from a little-known group to one of Swindon’s best-known acts.

The audience members, many of whom sang and danced along to the songs, comprised not just of teenagers and young adults, but also some young children and their parents.

Carly Williams, 19, of Abbey Meads, who has been a Beatbullyz fan for two years, said: “This is the third time I have seen them live. I really like the sound.

“It is sad they are splitting up because I think they have a big fan base here and I think they could still make it nationally. But I am pleased to be able to see them for the last time.”

Paul Bullimore, the group’s tour manager and sound engineer, said about 450 tickets had been sold in advance and he knew that some fans travelled from across the UK to attend the final gig.”

Commenting on the split, Paul, who is also the brother of band member Andrew, said: “I think everyone is looking at it as a positive step, basically.

“They have sort of reached as far as they can go with supporting JLS in the arena tour and they had a certain amount of money to invest in the project.

“Unfortunately, in this day and age, when the money runs out you can either drop down to doing small gigs or leave it on a high.

“They’ve done it for seven years, they’ve given it their best shot, and I don’t think anyone thinks of it as a negative thing because everything they did, doing tours with JLS and N-Dubz, were really positive experiences.”

He added that Andrew would continue to expand the group’s record label Big Weekend Records to try to support more local artists.