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Late call-up reaches Battle of Bands semi-final

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On Friday The Wildfowler on Gayton Road played host to round five of this year’s Twisted Melon Battle Of The Bands.

Behind the scenes it was all going on as not one but two acts withdrew at short notice due to illness. It was a close call but with an hour to go there was finally a full line-up.

The Wildfowler heat is generally a good turnout but this was so busy on a usually quieter Friday. By 8pm it was shoulder to shoulder and the crowd were treated to one of the most diverse heats ever put on.

First act up were Outside Kings from Cambridge, who came in at short notice, and what a start! This two-piece acoustic act was loud, brash, sometimes political or funny but very good: a cross between The Streets, Sleaford Mods and Gomez.

Second act up was Simon Benefer, jumping into the competition with literally an hour to spare. Simon won the very first BOTB nine years ago with Jessie’s Ghost and it was easy to see why. Simon oozes professionalism, with a great vocal and musicianship. A man with that talent should be writing his own music.

Last year’s BOTB was TNT aka The Night Therapy’s first show: then a two-piece; but now a trio. This is one of the oddest set ups for a pub venue, a mix of synths, backing tracks, an electric guitar and a bit of vocals but it somehow just seems to work.

Finally, Cubans & Cognac took to the stage for some straight up original rock. This Peterborough four-piece are well rehearsed, tight and perform great catchy tunes.

It was a tight call but the judges picked Simon Benefer who progresses to the semi-finals.

Simon Benefer
Simon Benefer


This Saturday we’re back at the Wildfowler on Gayton Road for another diverse mix of bands. Get there early, if last week’s show was anything to go by.

FRETT 28: an acoustic three-piece from Norfolk consisting of three voices, two guitars and a cajon (percussion instrument from Peru): James Blyth, Will Harman and Charlie Bernardin.

Frett 28
Frett 28

SHANNON ELSDEN: an aspiring singer/ songwriter from Suffolk. She started teaching herself to play the guitar and now has the backing of a full band.

Shannon Elsdon (8082123)
Shannon Elsdon (8082123)

GRASSROOF: a Cambridge-based four-piece psychedelic, pop, rock act: James Turnbull – guitar/vocals, Rayne Browne – synth, Matt Abbott – bass and Ben Parker – drums.


THE FINAL CLAUSE OF TACTICUS: from Reading and “contagiously energetic,” for fans of Rage Against the Machine and The Red Hot Chili Peppers: hard aggressive rock with moments of serenity and a heavy sprinkling of funk. They’ve appeared on radio shows including Kerrang!

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