Battle of the Bands Review – Heat One, Lonsdale

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Yellow Bird stepped up to start the first Battle of the Bands heat with their folk influenced sounds and stand in drummer. Even though the band had the unfortunate place on the running order they managed to keep the ever-growing crowd entertained throughout. Their cover of David Guetta and Akon’s Sexy chick went down well with the audience and was a great choice for a cover song. However, it was the band’s own material that made Yellow Bird stand out. Their last song left everybody singing along and cemented them as the band to remember from the night.

Image by Aradhya Gupta

Next up was Lewis Matthews who, along with his acoustic guitar, performed several well-known covers such as The Script’s Breakeven and Ed Sheeran’s Drunk (I was just pleased that he wasn’t going to sing the usual choice of The A Team). Although Lewis did perform his own material it was his covers of Flo Rida’s Good Feeling and Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream which sadly created a more enthusiastic response from the crowd than for any song previously. As talented as he is, unfortunately Lewis seemed to be forgotten about as the evening progressed.

As Lonsdale bar filled up, Matt Hanson took to the stage with what initially seemed like a fantastic electric guitar solo to start his set. However, it soon became apparent that Matt’s guitar skills were all that he was showcasing. Twenty minutes and a guitar change later, Matt had unfortunately lost a lot of the crowd. After an overlong break and picking up where Matt left off, Joe Davies began his own guitar solo to fill his slot. It cannot be denied just how brilliant both these guys are at guitar, but even Jimi Hendrix sang during his performances. By purely playing guitar, these two guys lost a lot of the audience and even Joe yo-yoing whilst playing guitar didn’t pull them back; that job was down to Mindless Worker.

Adding a rock sound to the evening, Mindless Worker won the crowd over, and even pulled back several people who had previously lost interest. Clearly a well-established band, the guys entertained with their own material and even debuted a new song; a risky move that seemed to work.

Finishing the night was Satan’s Abortion, a popular band within Lonsdale bar it seemed, who performed a tribute to Tenacious D and Sum 41. Although Satan’s Abortion had fantastic stage presence, they clearly had had a lot to drink by the time they went on stage and the lead singer appeared to be reading some lyrics off his phone; unfortunately this didn’t help his vocal ability. Also, performing solely covers, the band lacked originality and they came across more like a good karaoke group. Satan’s Abortion won the heat and hopefully more time to practise will give them chance to gain some originality and write their own material which will enhance their performance in the final.

The night as a whole was highly enjoyable for the most part, attracted a good audience and I got to hear a lot of new music that I will look forward to hearing again around campus. However, I would like to see bands step it up a gear for the next heat as I am sure I have yet to see the best Lancaster University has to offer, at least I hope so.

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