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WCH Battle Of The Bands

The Final.

The Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton 25th April 2014.

This competition has been many months in the planning and tonight see’s the ultimate final round being played out here at The Wulfrun.

Walking into the hall and seeing the stage in it’s full glory was simply nothing short of stunning and a fitting tribute to the bands and their fan’s who have made this competition so special and when I say bands, I mean all 24 of them, as many of those who didn’t make it through to the final, have continued to show their support for the competition and the other bands remaining – and that truly means a lot.

Battle Of The Bands Final 2014

By the end of this evening the final outcome would be known so no pressure for tonight’s judges who were Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), Gavin Monaghan (Magic Garden Recording Studios), John Hart (Music Consultant and former Band member of Edward II) and little old me.

Tonight’s 7pm start saw Mr George’s Famous Last Words first up on stage and as a result of their prior outstanding performances in the previous rounds, their name and popularity in this competition has spread like wildfire and despite the early start, they had an enthusiastic audience waiting for them. Their performance tonight shone very bright indeed, with the personalities of Mr George and his Famous Last Words bringing plenty of sparkle to the Wulfrun stage aswell and a top notch start to the night.

Mr George's Famous Last Words

Our next band performing tonight were The Regulars and in the weeks prior to the final, it’s been very apparent from their posting on Facebook that the excitement and anticipation about playing had be coursing through their veins in overdrive. Their set tonight reflected those feelings, with each and every song having an energy and a spirit worthy of maximum entertainment and in true Regular’s style, they could have happily played on long after the last note was gone.

The Regulars

This competition was one that was open to all musical genres and flying the flag tonight for the metal community, were Husk – UK Heavy Metal. There is always an aura of classic intensity to be found within the music of Husk and when combined with the mesmerizing bass playing of frontman Bob Taylor, each performance delivered in the competition so far has always packed a brutal punch. Once again, Husk thrashed out their own superb brand of hellfire and brimstone and without any doubt at all, they did the metal community proud tonight.

Husk

One of the great things for me about being involved in WCH’s Battle Of The Bands, is that it’s been a privilege to see some great West Midland based bands that I’d not previously come across, with Lynus being one of them. Lynus make for an intensely powerful rock trio and clearly enjoyed unleashing their set upon The Wulfrun. There was simply no holding Justin Griffiths (vocals and guitar) back tonight, as regardless of whether he was taking command of the mic, raging across the stage or climbing the speakers, he was definitely a man on a mission tonight! Lynus are clearly looking to take 2014 by storm, so make sure you keep an eye open for them as these guys are serious news!

Lynus

From Day one of this competition, I’ve greatly admired The Nics for their down to earth, honest and heart warming approach to their music and despite the size of the stage at The Wulfrun and the massive audience in front of them, their smiles could not have been bigger and the connection between them and the audience could not have been greater. The Nics have this infectious ability to draw you into each performance and tonight their spectacular guitar riffs, vocals and full on rock ‘n’ roll energy hit the right spot once again.

The Nics

Tonight’s Final was simply outstanding and everyone present whether it be the bands on stage, all their fans in the audience or those working hard behind the scenes played a very important part in making it just so. There are too many people to individually commend but a very special round of applause has to be raised to Adam Lavender for pulling everything together from the very beginning and to Wolverhampton Civic Halls for the provision tonight of their very outstanding venue, The Wulfrun Hall.

Having watched and loved each and every minute of all of the performance’s tonight, the one moment I had dreaded had arrived, as the time had come to report back to Adam Lavender along with the other judges, for our scores to be tallied together with the outcome of the competition to be unveiled as follows:

1st Place – Husk

2nd Place (Joint) – The Nics and the Regulars

4th Place – Mr George’s Famous Last Words

5th Place – Lynus

Husk - Winners Of WCH Battle Of The Bands Final

It goes without saying that huge congratulations go out to Husk who took first place tonight but it also needs to be said that each band who played here tonight were here because they were winners too and I hope that they will all take that positive thought forward with them on their future journeys.

Words by Sue Wardle and Photography by Stephen Turner.

WCH Battle Of The Bands

Semi-Finals – Round 2.

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 23rd March 2014.

Tonight brings us to the last round in WCH’s Battle Of The Bands and what a fantastic competition it has been so far! With GlassBullet, The Regulars, Questions Of Angels, Singing Towards Disaster, Lynus and Husk set to crown this round off, the next stop for five bands will be the Final at The Wulfrun Hall and what a night that will be!

GlassBullet are our opening band this evening and a pretty cool start to the night they gave us aswell. Having already established themselves in the Quarter Finals as serious contenders in this competition, they made the most of their time on stage tonight like the natural born performers that they are and gave The Slade Rooms a hearty kickin in true rock ‘n’ roll style.

GlassBullet

Our next band tonight were The Regulars and here we have a band who not only have a great catalogue of foot tappin songs but who make delivering the feel good factor look easy. It’s always fab to see a band really enjoying themselves up on stage and clearly these guys did just that!

The Regulars

Questions Of Angels were our next contenders tonight and their set this evening saw the energy levels high and their sheer enthusiasm was pitched perfectly. There is a lot going on in the Questions Of Angels camp at the moment with new songs being written and an album in the recording, so lots of exciting times yet to come for these guys!

Questions of Angels

With The Rooz withdrawing from the competition due to other commitments, Singing Towards Disaster found themselves back up on stage and ready to give their all with a place in the finals well within their grasp. Slightly different band line up tonight to the one at the quarter finals with Mitch Partridge putting down his guitar and picking up the drum sticks but it worked well and once again, we had another great set from this young up and coming band.

Singing Towards Disaster

Justin, Adam and Mike aka Lynus were our penultimate band for this evening and clearly hell bent on raising their own bar, these guys put everything they had into their semi-final performance. Three really is the magic number for this band as these guys looked and sounded every inch complete and one thing for sure, the audience loved ‘em!

Lynus

Our final band of this round were local metallers, Husk. When you look at the combined force of their polished sound and style along with the spectacular bass line licks of Bob Taylor, there was no doubting that Husk put their own stamp on tonight’s proceedings and what an intense set to end tonight’s show aswell!

Husk

Once again, the outcome tonight was destined to be a challenging one as the standards that all our five contenders delivered was nothing short of outstanding but after the judges deliberation, Husk were awarded first place with Lynus being awarded second place.

With both rounds of the semi-final now completed, the wildcard vote was set to be picked and much to the delight of the band and their fans, The Regulars found themselves heading to the final aswell.

To see more photos from the night, click HERE

Words by Sue Wardle and Photography by Stephen Turner.

WCH Battle Of The Bands

Semi- Finals – Round 1.

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 16th March 2014.

Well, it’s good to be back at The Slade Rooms again and even better to know that by the end of tonight, we will see two triumphant bands hit the home run straight into the Grand Final which is to be held at The Wulfrun on Friday 25th April.

With a total of five bands going through from both tonight’s and next Sunday’s Semi-Final, the tension is on again – especially as the one Wildcard vote will not be awarded until after all of the bands have played!

Having been wowed by Adamantium in the Quarter-Finals, I was really looking forward to seeing them back up on stage again and just as before, if not more so, these guys played it hard, heavy and always with a smile. Make sure you check out their song ‘Gunslinger’ which is up over on their Facebook page – it’s an absolute corker!

Second up tonight were My Great Affliction and clearly hell bent on raising their own bar, their set went turbo! A great new song from the band tonight and if this is the path that MGA will be following this year, the 2014 is going to be their finest year yet!

Keeping those energy levels on stage high, were our next band for this evening, Music Like Lemons. There is a great aura to this band that shines around their ability to write strong, catchy songs whilst maintaining that same clarity of excellence in their delivery. Song of the set for me once again was ‘50th Floor (Elevator)’ – great stuff!

Mr Georges Famous Last Words made quite an impression in their round in the Quarter-finals but tonight’s set saw them raising their game even higher. A quick peek around The Slade Rooms whilst they were playing showed an audience lapping up and loving every note and the applause and cheers at the end of their set was such that in a normal gig situation would have easily warranted an encore!

The penultimate band in tonight’s round, were Klasside and as with each and every band who had already played before them, their set tonight was pure Klass! There is a great streak of originality in the bands’ sound as albeit predominantly acoustic in style, it rocks with a force of its own whilst standing solidly on its own two feet. Tonight’s competition is definitely a tough one!

Last but certainly not least, were The Nics and boy oh boy, did these guys crank their performance up to eleven tonight! The atmosphere in The Slade Rooms was addictive as once again, the audience just loved these guys tonight and the band gave them every reason too and a great high to end tonight’s Semi-final on.

Tonight’s judging seemed to take forever but with only two bands to put through, this was going to be a very hard decision as all of tonight’s bands had been outstanding. But the decision was made and in due course, first place was awarded to Mr Georges Famous Last Words, with The Nics taking second place – an exceptionally tough round but a truly great night!

Words by Sue Wardle and Photography by Stephen Turner.