Morganway win Battle of the Bands final

Morganway: Winners of this year's Battle of the Bands
Morganway: Winners of this year's Battle of the Bands
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Morganway have been crowned Battle of the Bands 2015 winners – and you can see them live on stage at Festival Too on Saturday.

The talented group, formed only a year ago, claimed the title at a high quality final on Sunday.

Part of the prize package is the Festival Too gig and Morganway will be at Lynn’s Tuesday Market at about 7.30pm, supporting Bucks Fizz and Heaven 17.

Runners-up were Kingdom Keys and they also have a Festival Too appearance ahead, on Saturday, July 11 at about 7pm, when Only the Young and The Fratellis are among the headline acts.

Morganway were due to play on the final night of the Festival Too programme, but because of a prior engagement have agreed a switch with Kingdom Keys.

The KL.FM and Twisted Melon BOTB final attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd at Downham Town Hall.

Triston Finnis, of Twisted Melon, said: “It’s been another absolutely incredible year for The Twisted Melon Battle Of The Bands.

“At the start of every year I wonder where the next set of acts will come from, yet again they have surpassed all expectations. From the first chord from Falling From Trees back in January right through to the final note from winners Morganway I’ve been absolutely blown away not only by the talent but the camaraderie and new and old friendships struck up by the bands.

“There is an amazing amount of respect between the bands and the West Norfolk music scene is a very special thing to be involved in at the moment.”

Jon Seymour, one of the judges and a Lynn News columnist, writes:

So this was it. After several months, seeing over 40 different bands it all came down to this. The final six acts from this year’s Battle Of The Bands assembled at the Town Hall in Downham Market to do their thing one more time to win a slot at Festival Too. The line-up was extremely strong, and it was going to be a tough competition for everyone involved, artists and judges alike.

Judging the final were chief judge Rose Penfold, from the Festival Too committee, Philip Pearson, from last year’s winners Addison’s Uncle, musicians Paul Heath and Triston Long, and some bloke who writes occasionally for the Lynn News.

Getting things under way were On The Level, winners of Heat 7. Their energetic set of rock covers and pop songs given the rock treatment was the perfect way to get things under way. The bar was set very high. These guys have a real stage presence and Georgia on vocals struts around at every opportunity making the performance visual as well as musical. Rock covers bands are ten a penny, but good rock covers bands are few and far between. On The Level are one such band though, and they are well worth anyone’s time to go and see, because if rock is your thing, this band nails it.

Next up were Aria’s Echo, winners of Heat 5 who were a last minute replacement after one of the other acts dropped out. They came out and owned the stage, and performed as though they were making a statement. They were equally as deserving to be in the final as everybody else, and their execution was faultless. These two sisters have so much talent, and at such a young age. The scariest thing by far though, is that with experience and practise they are only going to get better.

Heat 8 winners Kingdom Keys were next on the bill, and if there’s one thing competitions like Battle Of The Bands are for, it’s to discover new original artists. They played just one cover song, with the rest of the material written by the band members. It would be so easy for egos to get in the way, as all of the band members have strong personalities, but they gel so well together. Everything just flows out with minimum effort but with maximum impact.

Taking us all the way back to Heat 1 were Fazed who were also winners of the public vote due to some genius marketing strategies. This is another young band that are musically very strong. There were a few confidence issues between songs but again, experience will iron that out. One word that keeps popping into my head every time I’ve seen them play is “potential” because they have it in abundance. Their own material is really good and I believe that this band will be around for a long time.

It was now time for The B-Sides to take their turn. They were the winners of Heat 3, and it was easy to see why. They play old time rock ‘n’ roll as well as I’ve heard it played anywhere else. You just can’t help being swept along by the momentum. The crowd danced along with them, and the whole performance was a lot of fun from start to finish. This is the sound of rock n roll as it always has been, and if you’re in the same room as these guys when they play a show, you’re pretty much guaranteed a great night. They’re a whole lot of fun.

Closing the show were Heat 6 winners Morganway, another originals act. When I first saw the line up of this band, my “rock music brain” shouted at me, saying that there’s no way this was going to work. An acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a keyboard and a vocalist, and that’s it. No drums and no bass. It shouldn’t work, but it does, and extremely well I might add. This is another band with a lot of presence, and their delivery is captivating, and pretty much flawless.

So with all of the acts having done their part, it was now down to the panel of judges to try and choose a winner and a runner up. I don’t mind admitting that when I was invited to join the panel I said a bad word, because I knew how hard it was going to be. I wasn’t allowed to give everyone maximum points, as apparently that’s a cop out...

After much deliberation, Morganway took the honour of being crowned the overall winner, with Kingdom Keys coming in second. Every single band on the bill deserved their place in the show, and what a show it was. Bring on next year!