Semi-final number two for this year’s Battle of the Bands was set in Downham Market Club on Sunday, and on paper it was looking to be a tough one.
Any one of these acts was good enough in their own right, whittling six to three was going to be no easy task.
Opening up the evening was Simon Benefer, a solo performer with a voice and a guitar. Simon has been a little self-conscious when performing on his own and it’s good to see that fading with each performance. He delivered a confident set, even a song he’d not played before. It was a great way to ease everyone in.
The gentle start paled in contrast to what came next. Finding Ana are one of those bands who do everything right. They’re loud, powerful and perform with a ferocity and intensity that has to be seen to be believed. Their set was made up of all their own material, and they kept the crowd interested throughout.
Continuing the loud theme were Event Horizon, a bunch of guys who just go out and have fun. You can’t help but get carried up in the moment.
Their brand of rock and punk works really well, and some interesting cover choices, and for the second time in this competition, I heard a Justin Bieber song I actually liked.
Classic rock covers band Chest of Pogs were up next. Opening with a Queen song was as bold a statement as anyone could make, and they pulled it off getting the crowd on their side instantly.
What followed was a mixture of new and old songs, all performed in their own unique style. Covers bands are found everywhere, but great covers bands are a little rarer, and I believe the Pogs are the latter.
Newcomers to the scene Among The Citizens were next in the spotlight. They have a very fresh sound, which is very modern and current. There were a few younger people in the crowd and they were eating it up. The fact that they’ve not been together all that long doesn’t show in the slightest in their performance, and their own material is particularly interesting.
It was down to Vulpes to bring things to a close, and what a way to finish. This is another band that turns everything up to eleven and launches a full on assault to your ears. They’re energetic and have great chemistry. Their crowd interaction was also good to see, and it seemed that they brought their own fan club, which is always good to see.
The results from the public vote were added to the judges’ scores, and it was Finding Ana, Chest of Pogs and Among The Citizens that went through to the final on June 12. That is going to be a cracking show too. There they join Mammal Not Fish, Sacred Nations and the Kat Brittain Band who won through the previous week.
Also, congratulations to Simon Benefer who was the highest placed acoustic act and will be performing at Festival Too’s Lazy Sunday.