Chicago’s in Lynn was the venue of choice for the first of the semi-finals of this year’s Battle of the Bands competition.
Six acts took their turn to compete for three places in next month’s final, and the results of the previous public vote were added to the judges’ totals at the end of the evening.
It was down to Amy Palmer to get things under way. She has an amazing voice and the entire venue was completely silent while she sang. Her guitar technique is also faultless and she seems to improve every time we see her. Amy will be performing at Wisbech Rock Festival in August if you want to see her yourself.
It was the turn of Mammal Not Fish to take the stage next and their particular blend of ska, rock and funk certainly livened up the proceedings. Their energy is terrific and you can tell how much they enjoy what they do. Their music is infectious and their mood is contagious, so much so that you can’t help but smile.
The fun continued in the shape of the wild card act Couch. Pop punk is one of the most fun genres of music around. These guys don’t keep still and, in fact, you can almost feel out of breath just watching them. Marred by some technical difficulties that were not their own doing, they ploughed on as though it was part of the act.
It was time to slow things down again, with Phoebe & Jay. It seems like forever since they won the first heat, but it wasn’t hard to see why they won. Their performance is never anything less than outstanding and they even threw in a bit of comedy to boot. Couple that with their unique chemistry and they’re a joy to watch and listen to.
It was down to Sacred Nations to get things going again, and in previous experience they’ve usually stuck with a slower set. Tonight though they decided to put their foot on the pedal and keep it there. In fact, the judges were dubious of some doppelganger shenanigans of some description, as they were a completely different band compared to their heat. Go big or go home indeed.
Finally, it was down to Kat Brittain and her band. Originally a seven piece, they arrived as a ten piece tonight, having recruited a brass section since their heat.
Their performance was flawless, and despite initial reservations, the sound wasn’t too big for the room. In fact, it filled it beautifully and was a perfect end to the evening.
After all of the counting up, it was Mammal Not Fish, Sacred Nations and the Kat Brittain Band getting through to the final. Also, a big shout out to Sam Cook, from Capsize Audio, who has been doing the sound throughout the competition, and making everyone sound amazing.