Will Preston

Wedgewood Rooms showcase 2010 – Heat 9

by on Aug.13, 2010, under Gigs, Music, Review

See what I mean about the vest?

Without over exaggerating, this has to be one of the finest sounding heats I’ve been too. Almost all of the bands were brilliant; which made it really hard as a judge to find criticism. In the end you would have to start nitpicking on pointless aspects of the band. This one uses the C chord too much. The lead singer hasn’t washed his top. The bass guitar is the wrong shade of blue. I could go on.

Right from the start, we already had a contender. How do I start my scathing streak from this? There wasn’t much to complain about at all with Porcelain Coins. Ok, maybe their sound was a bit too poppy, but then again, most songs sound poppy to me (You’re out of your element, Preston). It was typical Indie pop to begin with, but a few songs in, they decided to fire out some bouncy and vaguely original sounding material. A set that improved with time. Providing the acoustic mix against the typical electric set up, the lead singer seemed a competent front man, even when technical issues farted over a couple of well timed points. Nothing wrong, but nothing too amazing.

The Phantom were a surprise. You don’t see many bands doing rockabilly. Rockabilly that isn’t covers. Of course their songs sounded a lot like their influences, but it was very well played. Yet another band who was hard to criticise. The only bad thing to say about them, is that there isn’t a lot of mainstream appeal. Well, mainstream in the Radio 1 sort of way. As for weddings etc. they would have no problem finding gigs. Complete opposite of most bands you see at the showcase; lacking the “wedding factor”. Drumming was a bit rough round the edge. I was very thankful for something to complain about. One thing amused me though; the band wore identical suits with red shirts and black ties. It was Kraftwerk via Eddie Cochrane. And believe it or not, they came out on top and won.

For the first time in this contest I saw banter fall flat on its face. When the lead singer from Rubicon smart mouthed, the crowd didn’t react. Not even in a polite way. It was if, for a second, they mistook him for a bad stand up. The is was the only bad point. That and he was wearing a girls vest. Good cleavage for an A cup. Not much improvement was needed, but this was one of the most generic sounding bands of the night. Something vaguely mod-ish with a sound a lot like 2005. Think Kaiser Cheifs, but less bouncy.

Was there a prized for longest travelled band? I think some people deserve it as compensation for navigating Southsea with equipment in tow. But it’s not a fair and just world, is it? If anyone deserved this award, it was Isle Of Wight based band Goodbye Stereo. Slightly similar to the last band, except for unusually high vocals. Almost Blunt-ish, but I don’t want to be mean. Back vocals were good, but not as unusually high. Not much else to say really. Quite middle of the road in terms of sound and appearance.

Whilst it was hard to find a winner for the evening, we found one band that would not win it: Chromotones. Ok, that does sound a bit harsh, but I mean that with an air of brutal objectivity. It’s not like he pissed on my rug and I’m assuming a vendetta. It was weird rock. Not experimental weird, but not the norm. For some reason the lead singer was attached to a tambourine and was imitating Justin Hawkins. It wasn’t bad, it just needed a hell of a lot of tightening up. Still though, they’re a young band! And the banter was awkward with these guys as well. I came away not really knowing what to say.

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