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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.