Battle of the Bands 2005

PlayRecord.Net and Pulse FM

Battle of the Bands 2005

For four Tuesdays in July PlayRecord.Net, along with Pulse Radio, have been holding heats for a battle of the bands competition, the first prize being a set at the Pulse Party in the Park in front of 25,000 people. The Final saw the winner and runner up band from each heat battling it out for the prestigious first prize.

Each band had to perform just 2 tracks to convince the judges that they should be put through to the final. One had to be an original composition of their own, the other a cover version.

PlayRecord.Net sponsored the competition and also provided a great prize open to anyone in attendance (not just the bands!) - a Fender Squier Frontman Strat Pack in a Brown Sunbrust Finish worth £209.99!

Check out the write up for each heat and the final here:

Heat One - Heat Two - Heat Three - Heat Four - The Final

Heat 1

It was a wet evening in Bradford, but this didn’t put off the 7 bands and loyal fans from making their way to the venue for an early 7.30pm kick-off.

First up were Mabus from Ilkley. They have been playing as a band for 5 years, and have known each other for even longer, having met at first school. Regulars at the Cockpit in Leeds, they cite Rage Against The Machine, Incubus and Led Zep as influences. For their own tune Losing Defeat, the band played as a 4 piece, with Fran on Drums, Tom on Guitar, Mark on Bass and Richard providing the vocals. This was followed by a quality version of Love Rollercoaster in a Red Hot Chili’s style which got the crowd moving and warmed up for the evening.

Following on were Council House Opera from Bradford. This 6 piece is fronted by Singer Lee, with Craig and James on Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Paul on Bass, Andy on Keyboards and Martin on Drums. The band started 7 years ago, but has been with the current line up for only 3, the new guys recruited from an ad in the NME. Probably the most successful of the bands playing in the heat, they had been signed at one point and recorded an album in Madrid, but unfortunately the record label liquidated.

Accolade were next on stage. Their line up had Andy on Vocals, Chris on Guitars, Jonny on Bass, Paul on Keyboard, and Dave on the Drums. Their style comes from listening to what they describe as proper songwriters like Incubus, Voodoo Dolls and Oasis. The band formed about 2 years ago through various ads they placed. Although they hadn’t practised for a couple of months they pulled off a tight performance of their own tune Kinda Blue and a cover of an old blues track, with the keyboard players skills particularly standing out.

4th on, Gypsy, from Bradford launched straight into an energetic performance of the Darkness’ I Believe In A Thing Called Love with Mick comfortably hitting the high notes of the song. Their own composition Riding With The Wind was then played in a similar Classic Rock style. These guys keep themselves busy gigging almost every week, and have a big performance coming up at Elvington Air Show. When they’re not putting on a show, they all squeeze into a garage to practice, Stuarts huge double bass drum setup not leaving much room for the others!

Quantica then took to the stage. They are a four piece with unique sounding female vocalist Addriene, Anthony on Bass, Rob on Drums and Twiggy on Guitar. They’ve been together for about a year and a half, and have become regular players at the 1 in 12 Club and headlined Rio’s in Bradford. They say ‘If you like us, we like you, and if you don’t like us, then we love you even more cos we’ve got to convert you!’.

Following Quantica were Ballyhoo from Bradford. The band had only been together for 3 months and consisted of a Drummer, Bassist, and multitalented front man who played the guitar and keyboard as well as providing the vocals. It was a lively display with the guitarist recovering well from technical difficulties. They did a cover of a Muse track, with the singer sounding not unlike Brian Molko from Placebo.

Last up were Jericho. These guys had a couple of guitarists, a bass player, and a female drummer. The started up with a rendition of the Stereophonics Dakota, and then followed with their own track Eye of the Storm, the singer interacting well with the crowd. At the end of the evening it was clear to PlayRecord.Net and the judges that there were more bands worthy of going through to the final than there were places on offer, but only 2 bands could be selected. The Runners Up were Council House Opera, and the Winners, Gypsy.


Heat 2

One hot sunny week after the last heat the judges gathered again with 7 more bands ready to prove themselves worthy of a gig in front of 25,000.

Hard Label kicked off the evening with Back to Hell, an intense rock tune, then kept up the energy with a cover of Iron Maiden’s The Wicker Man. Andy on the lead guitar was playing so hard his hand started bleeding, he was accompanied by James on the drums, and Danny on the rhythm guitar and vocals. An unusual set up with no bassist, they said they don’t want a bassist as they’re a strong group of friends, a new member would ruin the balance.

Next on were Martha, a 4 piece with Chris on Guitar and Vocals, Karl on Guitar, Mark on Drums and Rick on Bass. These guys played a decent indie rock style set, with their own track easily matching up to the quality of the cover. They’re currently after an agent, and have just taken 8 months out Beatles style to record an EP. You’ll find them playing at places like Joseph’s Well, the New Roscoe and Carpe Diem in Leeds.

3rd up, Tenth Leper took to the stage and performed their own tune Skylight along with a cover of Radiohead’s High and Dry. Although they are from all over the North, Jim , Matt, Ben and the 2 Andys manage to practise or meet for a gig every week. The band formed back in 1997 when they were students, apart from Matt who joined more recently. One of their biggest gigs they’ve played was the Greenbelt music festival.

Hex followed on with a quality Green Day cover and original track My Mistake. Singer and Drummer Ben skilfully played on when the beater fell off the bass drum pedal, making it hard to notice anything was wrong. Hex have been together for 2-3 years and say that bands like Green Day and Metallica have an influence on their style. Songwriter Ben also gets inspiration from some hip hop and dance tracks.

Dirty Mammoth were next on. They’re a 4 piece from Halifax and Leeds and have only been together for 6 months. Although this was their first gig, they confidently played their own tune and a cover of a Slade track. The band features Eddie Diamond on Drums, Sam Justice on Bass, Vincent Ryecheck on guitar and Sled Fella on guitar and vocals.

The Gift then set up their kit with a couple of keyboards helping to make the group sound different. They describe their influences as The Killers, The Who, Rolling Stones and early U2. Unfortunately their were some technical difficulties with the microphones, but the lead vocalist (also playing bass and keys) and the guitarist (who was also in the band Jericho, from the previous round) kept the crowd lively with shouts of ‘Come on Bradford!’.

To round up the evening’s contenders The Positives performed their tune The Goat, and then a cover of Cream’s Sunshine of your Love. They’re a five piece from Bradford with a couple of guitarists, a bassist, drummer and singer. They did a decent performance, which was particularly impressive considering that this was the bands first gig, only having found out about it the day before!

The judges went to a private room to discuss the result, and shortly after the announcement of who was going through to the final was made: Martha (Runners Up) and Dirty Mammoth (Winners).

Heat 3

Another rainy night in the centre of Bradford, but the weather doesn't seem to stop our bands from giving it their all and pulling no punches in their efforts to grab that first prize.

The evening started with Byrney, a 4 piece rock/punk/metal outfit from Bradford. Their lively and energetic set set the pace for the evening, albeit an evening dogged with sound difficulties that the bands all took in their stride. Byrney burst out onto stage with a cover of Greendays " Burnout", warming the crowd nicely for their own tune "Beacon". The band is made up of Sam on bass, Luke on Guitar, Mike on vocals and guitar and Jim on drums. The influences driving the band include Mudvayne, Incubus, David Bowie, Papa Roach & Paul Weller and have been playing for 6 years together.

Next up on stage were Hundred Dollar Cigar, a 3 piece Rock band from Bradford. They hit the stage with their own version of OASIS' "Whats the story Morning Glory", which then led onto their own punky tune. The crowd really got behind the band and the set finished on a high. THe band is made up of frontman Luke, Pat & John - who claim their influences are Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin, the Chillis, Nirvana and the Doors.

3rd up was The Symptom a 5 piece indie rock band from Thornton, Halifax and Queensbury. These guys have been together for only 4 months and spout Queens of the stone age, Nirvana, general grunge and stoner rock as their main influences. Featuring Jamie on Guitar, Guy on guitar, Olly on bass, scott on drums and kirt on vocals, they opened with their cover of the Rolling stones "Paint it Black" with a harder edge and then followed suite to rock the crowd with their own tune.

Next on stage was a solo artist, the only one seen so far in this competition, and what a force to be reckoned with! Paul Curtis from Pudsey, who moved to Leeds 16 years ago and has been playing solo for about 5 years, took to the stage with his Ovation and his mic and 'wowed' all & sundry. With influences like Queen, the Kinks & the WHO, Paul enigmatically knocked out a Razorlight cover and then on to "Nottingham Song", his own song, which took the club by storm. Definitely a great innings from Paul.

Molton Gold from Halifax were next up to wow the judges and audience, featuring Clark on vocals, danny on drums, Nick and Greg on guitar(s) and Quingo on bass. They showed a great sense of humour on stage and their aeorbatic antics left no doubt about their commitment to a good stage show!! Opening with their own version of Black Sabbaths Iron Man into their own tune, ending in an almost stage explosion - with articles of clothing and a Zak Wylde signature model guitar landing in the audiences lap! A great show from Molton Gold.

The penultimate band are from Guiseley and are called Leo Reserve. This was their first proper gig, but you couldnt tell as the lads pulled a tight performance out of the bag. With punky style gang vocals, they offered a fun and garagey sound which was warmly received. They have influences of the Killers, Bloc Party and claim their style, when questioned, was simply "the best style" - nuff said. The band is made up of Phil on vocals and rhythm guitar, nick on bass, george on lead guitar and Nile on drums.

Last up on stage was DryRiser - a 4 piece from Bradford who supplied plenty of on stage visuals with their constant tom-foolery. With Simon on Rhythm guitar and vocals, Wayne on lead guitar and backing vocals, Mark on bass and vocals and Andy on drums - these guys pumped out a hot cover of Nina's "99 red balloons" to the audiences delight and then went on to hit out with their own branch of sludgy metal. No amp was left un-stood-on as these boys went to work.

After what seemed like an age - the results were announced and the wait was over.........

Running up was Molton Gold with their guitar smashing play - meaning there could only be one winner.... Paul Curtis!! His solo work won over the judges and audience alike -his soulful singing and slick finger prowess being unbeatable.

Heat 4 - the Final Heat

Back to Livingstones Night club for the penultimate night of the Battle of the Bands. The crowd numbers were swelled slightly due to the some of the bands that won the previous heats coming along to check out the competition. A great atmosphere filled the whole evening though and the eclectic mixture of musical styles ensured it was an entertaining evening indeed.

Kicking things off were Leeds based three piece band Jane Smith and the Jetty. With their confidently rocking bluesy style the evening off to a great start. Despite the lack of a bassist, the two guitarists Simon and Ben weaved a subtly bluesy riff over drummer Matt’s solid beats.

Next up were indie rock band Red Star. The classic four piece line up consisted of Keron giving it his all on the vocals and rhythm guitar, Pete loving it on the lead guitar, Ian beefing it up with solid bass lines and Darren holding it all together on the drums. From the Leeds / Wakefield area they put on a superb performance despite only being together in their current guise for the past three months.

Then Inside Eve took to the stage to play their two tunes. Another four piece band, Inside Eve got together when they were all around 17 years old and have been together for the past nine years. This really came through on their performance which was tight and entertaining and certainly impressed the judges. Frontman Richard Powell was loving it on vocals and rhythm guitar Jack and James Wilson kept a tight rhythm section with their performance on bass and drums and Josh Smith sexed it up with some tight lead guitar work.

Bikini Black Special took to the stage next. A full five piece band complete with a large collection of groupies they gave both an impressive performance and whipped up their willing crowd with two great songs including a catchy original tune and a very impressive rendition of the Darkness’s "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" complete with characteristic super high pitch "Woooo-eeee-ooooo’s" that must have required some serious vocal power from singer Stevo. The guitar section consisted of keen Beatles fans Luke on lead, Ben on bass and Adam playing rhythm bringing a solid power pop sound to the band. Matty gave a great performance on the drums as well giving the band an overall highly polished sound.

Next up were self described Pop-Hop band Middleman. Blending Andy’s rap / M.C. style vocals with exceptionally funky bass and drum work from Lee and Mathew and some tightly defined electric guitar from Krishna. The sound was distinctive and well balanced and despite the fact the band had only been together for three months they gave an impeccable performance. They undoubtedly win the unofficial PlayRecord.Net award for the most original cover with their highly enjoyable rendition of Will Smith’s Boom Shake the Room!!

Following up was another classic four piece, Richards Sister. Coming from the Wibsy area of Bradford, the guys happily declare they have been together "for ever". James gave a great show on the vocals and was backed up with Zack on the drum kit, Joe on bass and Chris on guitar. Their cover of Lenny Kravitz’s "Fly Away" was really nice and was followed by a very rousing cover called "Jesus was a Regular".

The penultimate performance was by rock 3 piece band Flying Horses. Classic rock was the order of the day with Nathan giving a great performance on bass and vocals. Working really well with brothers Mark and Paul on guitar and drums the band cites Deep Purple and AC DC as some of their major influences and this certainly showed.

Finally modern rock four piece Sitting in Circles from Baildon took to the stage. Jack and James Wilson gave a solid rhythm section performance on bass and drums respectively. Josh gave a great show on the lead guitar and Richard’s rhythm guitar and lead vocal performance was great. Together for only nine months the band described their influences as bands like Blink 182 and Lostprophets.

As the judges retreated to make their final decision there was lots of speculation about which two bands were going to go through as the standard had been so high it was difficult to predict. In the end Bikini Black Special were declared the winners with Inside Eve the runners up. Both bands were extremely excited to get through to the final round. A good night was had by all :-)


The Final

On Tuesday 2nd August hundreds of people gathered for the final of Battle of the Bands 2005. Many of them were there to support their favourite band and the atmosphere was buzzing with a subtle rivalry between fans. Each band was camping out in different areas of the venue, preparing themselves to give their best shot for the chance to play in front of 25,000.

Elisa Hilton from Pulse got the crowd cheering, and it was clear that some of the bands had supporters by the coach load! To further entice everyone, the winners of Battle of the Bands 2004 played some tunes and got the event off to a swinging start. As in the heats, the running order was picked out of a hat only one band in advance to help keep the competition fair. Each band was to play 1 original track, and 1 cover.

Council House Opera


Council House Opera from Heat 1 were the first up, and played their 2 tracks well. They’d only done a little preparation, as they’re normally used to playing 90 minute sets. Unfortunately the performance had been made a bit more tricky as the band were having trouble hearing themselves.

Molten Gold


Molten Gold, who followed on had also had no practice, due to the drummer having a driving test. The singer really worked the crowd, walking down from the stage and mingling with the supporters.

Gypsy


Gypsy then brought their massive drum rack filled with cymbals to the stage to perform their cover of the The Darkness - I Believe In A Thing Called Love, the guitarist playing some great riffs on his Ibanez guitar.

Dirty Mammoth


Dirty Mammoth didn’t have many fans present they were just there to play and soak up the atmosphere. The lead and rhythm guitarists played off each other (will the help of a PlayRecord.Net plectrum - Ed) and gave a tight vocal performance.

Paul Curtis


Paul Curtis then showed that even though he was up on his own he could still give a confident performance. Like some of the bands, Paul also had trouble hearing himself, and played on despite a broken string on his Ovation guitar.

Bikini Black Special


Bikini Black Special must’ve had the largest collection of fans present, and they made lots of noise for them. They also did a Darkness cover, this time a much faster version than the original.

Inside Eve


Inside Eve from Heat 4 were next up. They played a rousing set including their Feeder cover, with the strap falling off the singer’s guitar whilst they were playing (perhaps he’d have been better with a Planet Waves Quick Release Guitar Strap - Ed) .

Martha


Martha then rounded up the nights competitors. They also had some sound problems, with the band having some feedback issues, but the funky breakdown in their song with the bassist stepping down from the stage into the audience were just right for that point in the evening.

Whilst the judges deliberated, last years winners played for the audience who nervously awaited the result. Only one band could go on to play Party in the Park, although great performances had been given by all. And the winners of Battle Of The Bands 2005 are......



Gypsy



Well Done Guys!




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