Mother of War and queen of the gods, Juno reigned supreme over the heavens, her beauty protecting the mighty state of Rome. Knocked up by the weirdly handsome runner Paulie Bleeker she spent her weekends in Minnesota listening to The Moldy Peaches while wondering whether to give her fetus to the beautiful Jennifer Garner.
After having an Alaskan town founded in her honour she managed to find time to give her name to a four piece rock band from Seaford competing in this week’s heat of the Eastbourne Extreme Battle of The Bands. Impressive right?
Last week’s competition had its problems and caused a bit of a stir. Crowd pleasing Centre Excuse rocked their way to victory with Dinosaur! Attack! coming a high scoring second. Our Momentum moaned their way to third place.
This week the Juno boys are joined by Gutter Fly, a melodic rock band from Crawley, and Brighton babies The Basis.
First on stage were the very funky Juno. With an instantly likeable singer that was all kinds of cool Juno were an obvious high scoring band from the very start. Their easily relatable songs were filled with clappable beats, great riffs from the bassist and guitarist, excellent solos from the vocalist, and easy to sing along to hooks. Although the crowd remained somewhat rigid through a lot of the performance, the band got them to clap along and some girls were even dancing. The vocalist is clearly a suited frontman with exceptional poise; he looks great singing the songs and moves about the stage with ease. With some variation in style between songs the rest of the band compliment the vocalist brilliantly, their riffs and drum beats bringing a very funky, almost Blur-like aspect to the music.
As second band The Basis stepped on stage I was immediately worried; I’m not a fan of judging young people as I don’t like to put them off, and with their ages between 14 and 15 these boys are some of the youngest in the competition. From the moment they began I knew I wouldn’t have to worry; the vocalist’s voice blew me away and the music they played was well above the usual ability of people of such a young age. The Basis only had three days to prepare for this competition, they replaced The Regression who dropped out, and have to be praised for pulling together so well in that short amount of time; with practice and by bettering themselves as musicians this band could definitely turn into real contenders in the music scene. The Basis at times sounded like Belle & Sebastian with the volume turned up, they commanded the rigid but clearly impressed crowd to clap along with their single, and were talented beyond their years. The vocalist introduced each song but didn’t interact with the crowd very much at all, the rest of the band were silent. I commend The Basis for taking part and for playing so well; it’s great to see proof that age doesn’t have to be a barrier in music.
Natural performers Gutter Fly were next. Out of all the bands I’ve seen so far in the competition none embodies rock more than these guys; playing their instruments they look like rock gods, and the vocalist commands the mic like an experienced frontman. Gutter Fly have great chemistry; they have fun together on stage and all the instruments work exceptionally well together. My main criticism with this band would be that the drummer seemed a bit sleepy at times, I would love to see him get into it a bit more. I could imagine Gutter Fly supporting many well established bands, but anyone walking into the Crown and Anchor on Sunday night could be forgiven for thinking that that was already happening; they were awesome. Their single scars was my highlight of the set and really got the crowd going. I would have loved to have seen their set end with more of a bang.
As I’ve said before last week’s heat and my review of it both caused a big stir. One of the bands acted very immaturely and I was worried going into this heat that other people might have been put off attending. I’m so glad that this week the bands and the crowd did themselves proud. I thought that Gutter Fly had the best stage presence, the most chemistry between themselves, and communicated with the crowd most effectively. I feel that The Basis showed the most potential for growth as a band. In my opinion, Juno had the best single and put on the best performance. I found it very difficult to decide on my favourites in this heat but my personal ranking was The Basis in third place, Gutter fly in second, and Juno to win.
The judges thought that Juno had an explosive first track, great chord progression, great bass, and had a Blur-like vibe. They thought that they should have risen instantly rather than gradually, and that the drummer should thrash more so to avoid their music getting stuck with an acid jazz quality. Juno won the heat with 953 points and are through to the finals. They are currently in 2nd place overall.
The judges said that The Basis should be tighter between songs and avoid the sloppy changes. They said that they have great energy, real potential, and could really go somewhere if they practised hard. One of the judges felt that The Basis had the best single they had heard so far in the competition. They came second with 875 points and are currently sixth overall.
It was said by the judges that Gutter Fly were great musicians, and were a great live band. They thought that the band could use their skills to build up to their choruses better, that they would benefit from more harmonies, and need to have songs with more epic endings. One judge felt that they looked better live than they would probably sound recorded. Gutter Fly came third with 871 points and are currently seventh in the competition.
Originally posted here: http://sqmagazine.co.uk/2011/06/eastbourne-extreme-battle-of-the-bands-2011-heat-five/