The first ever county Bat­tle of the Bands saw young groups fight for the ti­tle. Jack Abell finds out more Do you want to ad­ver­tise in this sup­ple­ment?

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

MU­SIC in Buck­ing­hamshire has been given a boost thanks to the launch of the county’s first ever Bat­tle of the Bands com­pe­ti­tion. The in­au­gral con­test took place at the Old Town Hall in High Wy­combe with bands show­cas­ing a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent styles of mu­sic tak­ing plart.

Young bands were cho­sen from schools across the county for the event, which is now set to take place ev­ery year.

It was or­gan­ised by Buck­ing­hamshire Learn­ing Trust Mu­sic, which works in schools, mu­sic cen­tres and other ed­u­ca­tional set­tings to pro­vide and pro­mote a wide va­ri­ety of mu­sic ac­tiv­i­ties.

De­vel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor for the or­gan­i­sa­tion Claire O’Re­gan says: “We wanted to launch our new con­tem­po­rary mu­sic strat­egy with a big event that will be held an­nu­ally to show­case the im­mense tal­ent this county’s youth have to of­fer in con­tem­po­rary mu­sic.

“It was also very im­por­tant for us to pro­vide young­sters with a mean­ing­ful, pro­fes­sional and high qual­ity ex­pe­ri­ence to en­rich their ed­u­ca­tion. The event was a huge suc­cess of which we are ex­tremely proud.”

The con­test was judged by Adam Rust, a re­cent grad­u­ate from the Academy of Con­tem­po­rary Mu­sic and Plea­sure Beach , above and right, won the inau­gu­ral Bucks Bat­tle of the Bands. Be­low left – Sleep­ing Seas a ris­ing star in the mu­sic in­dus­try, Neil Reynolds from Al­ter­na­tor pro­mo­tions and band man­age­ment, and band mem­bers from blues/coun­try band Nine Miles South, who also per­formed at the event.

Mr Reynolds said: “It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see the level of tal­ent com­ing through the lo­cal area at this young age. Long may this event con­tinue and en­cour­age lo­cal young peo­ple to pick up in­stru­ments and de­velop the skills of per­form­ing live on such a fan­tas­tic stage with the mu­si­cal her­itage of the Town Hall.”

The com­pet­ing acts had to per­form two songs each that could be cov­ers or orig­i­nals. The judges then had to de­cide which three acts to put through to the grand fi­nale where the acts per­formed one fi­nal song each.

Eight acts took part in the com­pe­ti­tion, a to­tal of 29 young peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing five schools from across Bucks; Princes Ris­bor­ough School, Highcrest Academy, Sir Henry Floyd, Sir Wil­liam Ram­say and John Ham­p­den.

The com­pet­ing bands were Aaron & Luke, No Time, Caitlin Skea, The Un­known, Plea­sure Beach, Band of Ge­bush, Sleep­ing Sea­son and The Ham­p­den Trio.

Even­tu­ally the con­test was wit­tled down to a fi­nal, con­tested be­tween Aaron and Luke, Caitlin Skea and Plea­sure Beach, who were even­tu­ally crowned as win­ners and named Bucks Best Band 2015.

Keane Spenle, front­man for the band, said: “The band was truly hon­oured to win as the com­pe­ti­tion was re­ally tough; we’ve had the best time and are grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity from BLTM to per­form.

“We’d like to thank all of the other bands for their sup­port as they were all so nice back­stage and through­out the com­pe­ti­tion.”

Plea­sure Beach won a two-day live record­ing ses­sion with a pro­fes­sional engi­neer from spon­sors Bucks New Univer­sity, a per­for­mance slot on this year’s stage at the Wy­combe Com­mu­nity Fes­ti­val (tak­ing place on Satur­day) and a Vic Firth drum­mer’s back­pack filled with drum ac­ces­sories and 12 drum sticks of the drum­mer’s choice.

Claire added: “It was a re­ally fan­tas­tic day. It was great to see so many young peo­ple per­form­ing on a pro­fes­sion­ally set up stage with fan­tas­tic sound, and so many come along to sup­port them.

“We will be launch­ing our next com­pe­ti­tion in Septem­ber for a Fe­bru­ary fi­nal and are al­ready look­ing for­ward to au­di­tion­ing new acts at the dis­trict heats in Novem­ber.”

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