Quarter Finals – Round 1.
The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 2nd February 2014.
Finally, after several months in the planning, WCH Battle Of The Bands comes into fruition and tonight see’s the first round of February’s Quarter Finals ready to hit the stage. With three bands from each round being selected to go through to next months Semi-Finals, every minute of their fifteen minute stage time will count – so no pressure there then!
For those that make it through the Semi-Finals, the Grand Final will take place on Friday 25th April at The Wulfrun – and what a night that will be, with the winner scooping up the following prizes:
1. Three professionally recorded tracks by renowned producer Gavin Monaghan at his Magic Garden Recording Studios.
2. A photographic shoot with Jay Hawkins from Music224 – http://www.jjphotographyuk.co.uk/
3. A professional music video shot by Azenris Pictures.
4. Artwork, t-shirt and flyer design by professional graphic designer John Williamson.
5. A collection of merchandise from No Fit State Clothing.
6. A support spot with an established act, courtesy of WCH Concerts.
Music224 are also chuffed to bits to be part of the team of sponsors and we are so looking forward to bringing you our photos and reviews from each of the rounds as the competition rolls on. Our co-sponsors in this event are No Fit State Clothing and Azenris Pictures, so please do check out the links below to their websites to see all the great services that these guys have on offer to bands.
The six bands all set to play this evening were Caiman, Divided We Fall, The Nics, Lockhart, Husk – UK Heavy Metal and My Great Affliction, and there we have it – a great night of rock and metal to get things started!
Our first band for tonight, were the Tamworth Metalers, Caiman. Being a three piece in number, these guys’ work well together, with both Jamie Gibson and Craig Beniston making mean work of their shared vocal duties and showing no fear either in their respective high standard of skilled fretwork. Tonight’s fifteen minute set gave us a taster of their current EP, with ‘Baggage’ being a track that definitely demands to be heard.
Keeping the metal theme going but bringing a great symphonic tone to it, Divided We Fall were our next contenders in the comp. Rich in synth and dusted with the beautiful vocals of Philippa Ricketts, this band made great work of catching the audiences’ attention. With a new album on its way that is set for release in May, this band clearly has some great plans for 2014.
Our next band up on stage, The Nics, marked the halfway stage in this round and time to slip into something slightly more laid back but still very much rocking. With influences such as Led Zeppelin and Foo Fighters, these guys musically packed a big punch that went down a storm with The Slade Rooms audience and raised the bar even higher for those bands still to follow.
A last minute addition to tonight’s heat was Lockhart, who valiantly stepped into the place of Greenacres at very short notice. I’ve struggled to find out any background info about who this band are and what it is that makes them tick, but based on what I saw and heard from their three song set, these guys are metal to the hardcore!
Home town guys Husk – UK Heavy Metal, were next up on stage and deftly set about serving up their own style of home brewed hellfire and metal damnation. Meticulous fretwork delivered with an abundance of rabid energy, makes Husk a great experience to have and with their next live date set for the 18th February, when they will be supporting the mighty Turisas, these guys are already well on their way into one spectacular month!
Our final band in this, the first of the Quarter Final heats, was My Great Affliction. Expertly skilled in the execution of some seriously good rock ‘n’ roll and masters of the good time vibe, The Slade Rooms audience needed little encouragement to sing along to the chorus of ‘Narcissus’ that brought tonight’s competition to an end, very much on a high.
With the judges retiring to add up the combined scores they had individually awarded to each of tonight’s contenders, the next fifteen minutes dragged by. But with no further ado the results were announced, with first place awarded to My Great Affliction, second place to The Nics and the wildcard vote given to Husk – UK Heavy metal. As with any competition, there is always a moment or two of bitter/ sweet reflection from those who performed and those who came along to support but one fact for sure, each band gave their all tonight and no-one need find disappointment from the success in that.
Words by Sue Wardle and Photography by Stephen Turner.
View the full picture set here .