BurySOUND was established in 1998, and is one of East Anglia’s best-known and longest-running band competitions, endeavouring each year to discover, nurture and promote up and coming musical talent.
The competition is open to young bands and artists based in and around the West Suffolk area.
Up to twenty acts will perform over five heats at The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds and at Haverhill Arts Centre during February and March 2020. One winner will be chosen from each heat by our judging panel. The Grand Final will be held at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday 20th March 2020. All heats and the final are open to the public at only £5 a ticket, which is a ridiculous price to see 5 bands in an evening and a chance to experience a huge variety of regional talent – some that have the potential to be global stars!
The team arrived for Heat One at The Hunter Club and as we were meeting and greeting, the excitement of the evening ahead was becoming palatable as more and more people arrived. So who was on for Heat One:
Name Loading: A well-presented electronic act. Laptop and mixing desk on stage is not something you’d expect from a band competition; however, it shows the openness and variety of this competition and after all it is music that was being created. The tones of the heavy beats were good although a little bit relentless at times and not enough variety for me. The last song was my favourite as it was a different pace, had more depth and the vocal additions were spot on. A good set for a party and he got the crowd jumping, although hard to engage with the audience as there is so much looking down at the gear. A crowd pleasing first act who did a cracking job as it was his first live gig.
Abigail Laker: A true lyricist! Abigail’s lyrics tells a story from start to finish and opens herself up by exposing her raw emotions through her songs. There is a lovely tone to her guitar and she plays it properly, no strumming chords endlessly, her guitar playing is telling the story too. Abigail’s voice had a nice lilt and the intonation of her lyrics drew you into her folky pop style that really had versatility.
The Daze: Punk rock reinvented. A young band with an awkwardness about them that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable but it suited their punk rawness. These guys were full of high energy angst with real rebelliousness. A disruptive energy filled the room which you couldn’t take your eyes off. Their sound was fantastic and I liked the way the singers took it in turns to lead a song, it really worked and the young girl added a uniqueness. It was like seeing something special for the first time.
Theory of Tomorrow: Experienced heavy rockers who can play classic head banging tracks. Talented musicians who had a large stage presence. Some powerful rock tracks with amazing guitar riffs, however the lead singer was not strong enough to match.
After watching and listening to the four bands we were taken into the ‘judging room’ where we had up to an hour to discuss our thoughts. Lead Judge Joe Weaver set the tone and the rules and kept the group banter to a minimum so we didn’t run over the time slot. The judging panel comprises of musicians, promoters, DJs, journalists, producers and other industry professionals who adore live music, and who make a positive contribution to the local scene. Although there was no formal criteria bands are judged on musical ability, entertainment factor, stage presence, lyrical content, originality, professionalism and band togetherness, but more importantly, on the intangible, indefinable awesomeness, passion and raw talent that future biopics are made of.
We all gave our views, opinions on the acts and had some interesting discussions and then we all voted. One vote each. Add up the scores and the band with the most votes wins the heat – nice and simple. We didn’t use up our allocated time slot as the judges were pretty much on the same page.
The winner of Heat One: The Daze
BurySOUND organisers Seymour Quigley & Tim Willett have done a fabulous job and we are excited to see what happens in Heat Two 14thFebruary at The Hunter Club.
This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE