Finding Ana claimed the Twisted Melon Battle of the Bands crown at Sunday’s final at Downham Town Hall.
The four-piece alternative rock band from Cambridge just edged out Sacred Nations for the top spot.
Both groups will now be taking part in the Festival Too programme at Lynn’s Tuesday Market place; Finding Ana will support Gabrielle on the final night, Saturday, July 9, and Sacred Nations will be on stage the previous weekend, July 2, when The Vamps are the headline act.
After four months, nine heats, two semi-finals and almost 40 bands, we were down to the final six.
Everyone piled into the packed-out Downham Market Town Hall, and whittling this lot down to just two acts was going to be a very tall order.
It was down to Mammal Not Fish to get the proceedings under way, and what a way to start. Their brand of funk and ska meant that the sun was at least shining inside, even if the weather outside was wet and miserable. They’re lively, upbeat and their energy and attitude alike are contagious. You can’t help but grin from ear to ear every time you see them.
Chest of Pogs, the only covers band to make the final, were next to take the stage. Once again they delivered a faultless performance, and showed everybody why they deserved their spot in the final.
There is no doubt in my mind that these guys would go down an absolute storm on the Festival Too stage. The value of a great covers band should never be underestimated, as the Pogs would get any audience jumping.
It fell to Kat Brittain and her band to keep up the momentum, and they did just that. It’s the first time that the entire band fitted comfortably in the venue. They started with a song they’d always kept until last in the heats, but as Kat said: “This is a competition, and we’re giving it everything right from the start,” and that’s exactly what they did. They didn’t let up at all, and Kat herself is a great front person who could lead any band.
Finding Ana, the heaviest band in the final six, were in the fourth slot and they came out all guns blazing.
This band has something special. Whether it’s the chemistry between them as a group, or the energy and intensity with which they perform, or even something else, is a matter of contention. One thing is certain though, Finding Ana are a force to be reckoned with, and when they get a head of steam, there’s not much that will stand in their way.
Sacred Nations followed, and they brought the same magic that we saw in their semi-final heat. Their set was more upbeat, they introduced a bass player who had been in the band for just one day (a VERY bold move by the way), and it seems they’ve found that signature sound they’ve been searching for. The lead guitar was more prominent, and layering jazz keyboard over rock songs actually works very well.
Last on the bill were Among The Citizens, and they brought the proceedings to a close exactly the way the evening started. They put in a faultless performance, and seemed a lot more confident in their set. They interacted a little more with each other and spent more time looking towards the audience.
They have their own contemporary sound, and there’s a huge amount of promise showing in these young men. They’ll be around for some time to come, and they can only get better.
So that was it. Every single act brought their A game, and it was down to the team of judges to try to sort things out.
In possibly one of the closest contests ever, it was Finding Ana that emerged victorious, and Sacred Nations taking the runners-up slot.
What a competition it’s been and I can’t wait to see what next year will bring.