MUSICAL YOUTHS BATTLE IT OUT
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?
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.”