Battle of the Bands semi in West Winch

Flint Moore. Picture; JON SEYMOUR
Flint Moore. Picture; JON SEYMOUR

The Battle of the Bands returned to the William Burt Social Club for the third time this year, and this time they were hosting the second semi-final.

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost at and end for another year, but what a competition it’s been, says JON SEYMOUR.

The Wise Naive: Picture: JON SEYMOUR

The Wise Naive: Picture: JON SEYMOUR

Kicking off the evening were two-piece blues rock outfit Dog Fight. It never ceases to amaze just how much noise they can make.

A few people have commented on the lack of a bass rhythm, but they’ve stayed true to themselves. They do what they like and they like what they do, and what’s more they do it extremely well.

What can you say about Damaged? They’re a full on hardcore punk band, and we’re talking old school. Dragging the classic sound of the late 70’s and early 80’s kicking and screaming into the 21st century. They’re energetic, political, and a whole lot of fun. It’s just pure, no frills, in-your- face rock music, with a truck load of attitude, oh and an electric ukulele. I kid you not.

Winning the “most band members” title this year were soul funk act The Wise Naïve. With a brass section, bongos, bass, guitarists, drums, and a real powerhouse on vocals, the sound was nothing less than gargantuan.

Even this big room had a job containing them. They are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

The final two acts were ones I’d not seen, and the first of these was Hot Raisin, a country-tinged rock band, with a laid-back feel. Their music is not so much lazy, but effortless. It just seems to flow out of them in waves, washing over you and enveloping you in a soothing embrace.

Rounding off the evening were Flint Moore, a grungy prog rock band. Honestly, this band just blew me away. Their energy is off the scale, and the vocals? Wow! The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and I had goose-bumps all over. I will go out on a limb and say that Francis has one of the best voices I’ve heard, not just in this competition, but anywhere.

Taking the two slots were The Wise Naïve and Flint Moore, making four in the final. Lastly, there was one more slot to fill, and as the highest scoring third place act across both heats, Hot Raisin also made it through to Sunday’s final, and what a stunning event that promises to be!