BATTLING TO BE THE BEST BAND
Twice as many groups take part in popular competition’s second year
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