Driving into town for the sixth heat of the Eastbourne Extreme Battle of The Bands my mind wandered to my friends that were lucky enough to be at Glastonbury and I was reminded of some of the great line-ups over the years.
As I turned a blind corner and was confronted by four wheels of oncoming death I thought of this year’s awful line-up and for a second felt a sense of calm contentment that I was going to die without having witnessed Chris Martin and his band of monotonous miscreants bore the pants off the audience.
As you can probably tell I didn’t die, the oncoming car was actually parked and I was able to make it along to the Crown and Anchor after all to see Trade Secret, Suicide Veil, and We Sink Cities fight it out.
First up on stage playing their first gig were the newly formed pop-punk band Trade Secret. With their catchy lyrics, great sound, and pretty decent use of harmonies I liked this band straight away. During their set they played an awesome reinvention of Hot n Cold by Katy Perry. It was great hearing that song with a rockier twist, but I wasn’t impressed with their cover of Dirty Little Secret as they added nothing to it that I noticed. Trade Secret weren’t perfect; they didn’t quite work the crowd enough, and the singer could benefit from some vocal coaching to help get his voice across more effectively. Never-the-less I really enjoyed this band and can’t wait to see them again.
Next up was one of the most energetic and commanding bands we’ve seen so far; Suicide Veil. These guys, who have a brilliant drummer, are clearly all about the performance and less about the sound. It can be said that this type of music can be very technical and difficult to play, and it is, but that doesn’t automatically make it good and the crowd leaving like the building was on fire is a testament to that. There was stuff I didn’t like about this band, but there was also stuff I loved; the bassist jumping into crowd represented everything I love about metal. Suicide Veil had bags of energy and for me that made up for the fact that a lot of their songs sounded the same. In my opinion this band would benefit from a second vocalist, maybe a woman, providing harmonies to go with the screams.
As the third and final band We Sink Cities got ready to go my expectations were very low. Throughout the week, one of their members had been preparing me for the fact that weren’t very good at all. He was very wrong. Starting the set standing up on two hop-ups looking rather imposing, the frontman, whose vocals switched between screams and pop-punk, commanded the crowd and started a warzone of a moshpit. Rivalling Centre Excuse in terms of energy, We Sink Cities jumped around, talked to the crowd, did loads of head banging, and even had the drummer singing while standing on his kit. The band, who were really heavy at times, were almost as impressive as their friends in Monroe, and are one of my favourite bands so far.
Last week’s heat was full of talented bands and was really difficult to score. This week was the same. I thought Trade Secret showed the most potential, and had the best single. Suicide Veil communicated with the crowd most effectively (although they were almost impossible to understand at times). I thought that We Sink Cities had the best stage presence, the most chemistry, and put on the best performance. My personal ranking for heat six was Suicide Veil in third place, Trade Secret in second place, and We Sink Cities to win.
One judge felt that Trade Secret had a huge amount of energy, but could do with diversifying their set a little. Another judge thought that their Katy Perry cover was great and that they should communicate with the crowd more between sets. The third judge thought the set was a bit messy at times but was excellent for a first gig. Trade Secret won with 853 points putting them in ninth place in the ranking and through to the finals.
The first judge loved Suicide Veil’s set and admired them for playing such technical music. The second judge thought that they had loads of energy and that the drummer was epic. The last judge thought they played their genre well. Suicide Veil came third with 718 points and ranked sixteenth.
One judge felt that We Sink Cities had loads of crowd communication, great stage presence, and loads of potential. The second judge found himself watching the crowd more than the band, and the third judge thought the drummer was superb. We Sink Cities came second with 782 points and are ranked thirteenth overall.
Originally posted here: http://sqmagazine.co.uk/2011/06/eastbourne-extreme-battle-of-the-bands-2011-heat-six/