As the Twisted Melon Battle Of The Bands heads into the semi-final stages the acoustic part of the competition gets its grand finale this Sunday.
The final takes place at Shucks, the 2016 winner of the PRS Music Makeover award – a truly enchanting venue perfect for an acoustic event.
Shucks opens from 12, serving Sunday roasts as well as a full menu until 6pm, and with the Final starting at 4pm, what better way to enjoy fantastic acoustic music?
The event is slightly different to generic BOTB comps as it’s a non-profit event put on purely to promote unsigned acts and get them performing packed events and ultimately radio airplay and a performance at Festival Too, one of the biggest un-ticketed free festivals in Europe.
The winner of Sunday’s final will perform on the BBC Introducing hosted stage at the Festival Too Lazy Sunday on July 9. They will join the likes of Tom Hingley & The Kar-pets, Franko Fraize, Millie Manders & The Shut Up and more.
Arias Echo and Jonty Tan made it through the first acoustic heat while CJ Hatt and Emily & Jamie progressed from the second. Issy Smith progressed as the best third-placed act and last Sunday the judges unexpectedly added Drew Girling after his amazing set in Heat 10.
The event is free and family friendly. Here’s a rundown on the acts:
Arias Echo are sisters, Georgia and Maddi, aged 17 and 15 who sing in a pop/folk style incorporating their own, often complex, harmonies. They started singing and playing the guitar when they were each around 7 and began dueting and working on harmonies when they were around age 11 and 9.
They very soon began appearing at local events and performing for a charity close to their hearts, Cystic Fibrosis. They now perform regularly at weddings, balls and beer festivals and many other events and bars, as well as busking on a Saturday when the weather is kind!
The girls, from King’s Lynn, have very different tastes in music, Georgia preferring the folk rock/indie styles of Mumford & Sons or Bastille while Maddi likes her pop music. Their own sound is probably a combination of both, with maybe a leaning towards the folk. They cover a huge range from Simon and Garfunkel through to Adele, all with their own twist.
Both girls also play the piano and are into drama and musical theatre. They are active members of the King’s Lynn Players.
Grantham’s CJ Hatt has a passion for pure acoustic music and this shows in his performance. He plays a wide variety of music, from old classics to modern hits, with some curve balls thrown in too. His different take on songs and ability to make any song sound great acoustically makes him stand out as a unique and talented act. In addition, he also writes his own music too! You will see and hear why he stands out from the usual acoustic singers when you see him live! Not to be missed!
CJ’s experience and professionalism stood out for the judges in his heat on the Bandstand at Hunstanton.
Andrew Girling is a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist from Ely, Cambridgeshire.
Drew is no stranger to Battle Of the Bands after winning the competition last year as front man for rock act Finding Ana.
He is also an accomplished solo musician and his stripped back set is heavily influenced by the likes of The Manic Street Preachers, 3 Colours Red, Smashing Pumpkins and The Foo Fighters.
Drew entered the competition too late to be included in the acoustic heats, thus appearing in Sunday’s final band heat. The judges were blown away by his performance and decided he should be added to the acoustic final.
EMILY & JAMIE
Emily Blake & Jamie Addison are an acoustic duo and also part of 80’s cover band Neon. As well as singing, Emily is a professional presenter, plus size model and Miss British Beauty Curve 2014/15. Performing is Emily’s passion, whether it is presenting, strutting down a catwalk or singing.
Emily inspires confidence through her modelling work and social media presence. She won an award for empowering women and recently won the Curvy Model award at the Afro Model Awards and Best Female Model at the International Achievers Awards.
Jamie is an established King’s Lynn musician who has played in a number of local bands. He is no stranger to Battle Of The Bands, making it to the final of the event in 2012.
Issy Smith hails from West Norfolk and is a young singer/songwriter who covers a variety of artists but also writes her own material. Her influences are folk and pop. Although Isabella is still at a young age she is an extremely accomplished musician and in the few years she’s been performing has played many gigs and festivals.
Issy impressed the judges with her faultless vocal and also the fact she didn’t play it safe, instead going for a less mainstream and original set.
Jonty Tan is a Norwich-based singer/songwriter and director of music at the Langley Preparatory School at Taverham Hall. He is responsible for the amazing charity song Not Afraid written in response to the Paris Charlie Hebdo tragedy. The song raises funds for Norwich charity Nelsons Journey who support bereaved children. Jonty plays all instruments on the track.
The musician describes his sound as a mix of elements similar to Coldplay and Mumford & Sons. Jonty progressed from the first acoustic heat, wowing the judges with a fantastic set that included the use of an old-fashioned typewriter as a percussive instrument.