Twice as many groups take part in pop­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion’s sec­ond year

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

BUCK­ING­HAMSHIRE’S best young bands bat­tled it out to be named the county’s best band.

The mu­si­cians cho­sen from across the county re­cently com­peted for the ti­tle of Bucks’ Best Band 2016 at The Old Town Hall in High Wy­combe in Buck­ing­hamshire’s Bat­tle of the Bands and Soloist com­pe­ti­tion, hosted by Buck­ing­hamshire Learn­ing Trust Mu­sic (BLTM).

The mu­sic ser­vice works in schools, mu­sic cen­tres and other ed­u­ca­tional set­tings pro­vid­ing and pro­mot­ing a wide va­ri­ety of mu­sic ac­tiv­i­ties.

The event was the sec­ond of its kind and fea­tured three times the num­ber of ap­pli­cants than last year, show­ing its grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity.

Devel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor for BLTM Claire O’Re­gan said: “Due to a suc­cess­ful launch of Bat­tle of the Bands and our monthly un­der 18s open mic nights Guitari Lounge, we were able to re­ally put this event on the map for Bucks and were ex­cited to see so many ap­pli­cants for this year’s com­pe­ti­tion, it made de­ci­sion making very dif­fi­cult to get down from 26 bands to the fi­nal 12 places as the stan­dard this year was ex­tremely high. I did not envy the judges at this year’s fi­nal.”

The judg­ing panel was di­rec­tor of BLTM Paul Gue­nault, Neil Reynolds from Al­ter­na­tor pro­mo­tions and band man­age­ment, Dom Beken, pro­ducer for the Orb and mu­sic for film, Julian Emery, pro­ducer of McFly, Lower than At­lantis and Noth­ing but Thieves and all band mem­bers of Fish Tank, who also per­formed at the event.

Mr Reynolds said “This year’s event of­fered a great op­por­tu­nity to look at the fan­tas­tic growth in tal­ent in young mu­si­cians in Bucks. It was a clear step up from last year in terms of the amount and level of tal­ent. I look for­ward to work­ing with many of these young per­form­ers at live events for years to come.”

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

Twelve acts took part in the com­pe­ti­tion, a to­tal of 42 young peo­ple from all over the county.

The com­pet­ing acts were The Un­known, No Time, Hal­var, The Un­in­flu­enced, Sti­cazzi, Band of Ge­bush, One World Less, El­liot Evans and Lu­cas Ram­sell and the three grand fi­nal­ists, Cross­ways, The Makarov Scheme and White Ele­phant who went on to win the com­pe­ti­tion and ti­tle of Bucks Best Band 2016.

Nathan McPart­lan, front­man for the band, said “The band and I thor­oughly en­joyed our­selves on Sun­day night.

“It was a gen­uine plea­sure to play along­side the tremen­dous tal­ent of the other acts and it made me won­der how much more tal­ent there is in this county of ours, so I would cer­tainly en­cour­age any­one with a pas­sion for mu­sic to en­ter next year’s com­pe­ti­tion! We worked re­ally hard on pol­ish­ing our sound for the fi­nal af­ter con­struc­tive feed­back at the au­di­tions and it’s very pleas­ing for us for that to have been no­ticed and ap­pre­ci­ated. Win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion has fur­ther in­creased our de­sire to grow as a band and we’re very ex­cited to record our own ma­te­rial in a stu­dio very soon.

“We’d like to thank every­one who was be­hind the event, all of the acts who en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion, the judg­ing panel and every­one who came and watched Sun­day’s fi­nal,”

White Ele­phant 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 Frogfest on May 29 in Wy­combe’s High Street.

The run­ner-up was The Makarov Scheme, cho­sen by the Stu­dents Choice Panel made-up of last year’s win­ners Plea­sure Beach, won the Head­line Slot at BLTM’s the new un­der 18s gig night Guia­tri Nights at The Art­s4ev­ery1 Arts Cen­tre launch­ing later this year.

A spe­cial prize for Bucks Best Drum­mer went to Bran­don Howard-Nor­ris from Band of Ge­bush, who had also stepped in very last minute for The Un­known.

On song: One World Less. Top left, The Un­known, be­low, Fish Tank

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