Concert Review: Battle of the Bands and Battle Acoustica Heats

Rocking in Paradise

A packed audience was treated to a double dose of local talent at Lichfield’s Paradise Lounge on Sun 23rd March at the second heat of the Lichfield Arts U21s ‘Battle of the Bands’ and the first heat of ‘Battle Acoustica’.

The four bands competing in Battle of the Bands went down a storm. They comprised Slaves to the Rhythm, a funk/soul band made up of 12-16 year olds, and Usual Suspects, The Impendium and Outliers (all 16-18 yrs) who performed indie influenced covers and originals.

 

Slaves to the Rhythm

Slaves to the Rhythm

 

Usual Suspects

Usual Suspects

 

The Impendium

The Impendium

 

Outliers

Outliers

 

The judging panel consisted of John Sambrook (Dusted Productions), John Percival (Newave Arts) and Phil Beale (local musician). They took their time deciding on which two bands would go through to the final on 11th May, and eventually declared Usual Suspects and Outliers as the winners. They will join Wally von Zipper and Remember to Forget at the Guildhall event, where they will battle it out for the chance to play at the Fuse Festival in July and to secure recording time with Abbey Studios in Rugeley.

Then it was the turn of the acoustic acts. Ben & Torren Acoustic Duo (18) were up first and layered some excellent harmonies over imaginative musical arrangements. Chloe Adams (16) followed, belting out a couple of her own compositions and two covers, including Bon Jovi’s ‘Dead or Alive’ to which the crowd sang along to. The very dapper Sylvain Murphy was next – just 10 years old yet 3 years’ performing experience under his belt! He gave a very confident performance of Jack White/Raconteurs songs, with their complicated and convoluted lyrics. Last up were Night Ceol (pronounced Kale – Gaelic for ‘music’) – a young folk-inspired trio (ages 15 and 16) from Friary School, with strong vocals from Ella O’Donnell backed up by lovely acoustic guitar and cajon.

 

Ben & Torren

Ben & Torren

 

Chloe Adams

Chloe Adams

 

Sylvain Murphy

Sylvain Murphy

 

Night Ceol

Night Ceol

 

Vicki Clayton, TCR FM radio presenter and former X-Factor contestant had joined the judging panel for the Acoustica heat. Vicki said “The panel has been blown away by the quality of the Acoustica entrants. Trying to decide which two acts go through is such a hard decision. I want them ALL to go through!”

Night Ceol and Chloe Adams were finally chosen to reach the final, but not without the judges acknowledging what an onerous decision it had been. The other finalists will be chosen at Heat 2 on 6th April (venue TBC). Again, a slot at Fuse is up for grabs along with some studio time with Newave Arts.

Tickets for the finals on Sunday 11th May are available through Lichfield Arts – www.lichfieldarts.org.uk:  £3 for each final or £5 for both.

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