Rhian Daly reports on Band Competition Heat 1 – The Junction, Cambridge, 7 Mar 2007

Local Cambridgeshire Artist
Tonight, the 23rd Cambridge Band Competition begins with 12 local bands competing to win £1000 and a chance to record at St Ives Sound Recording Technology studios. After each heat, one band will be chosen to go through to the final, bringing them closer to the eventual prize.

First on in the first heat are Buntingford's Six Ways From Sunday. Riff laden tunes and some strong vocals create a strong start to the evening but the performance is lacking in charisma and stage presence, leaving a good impression but, unfortunately, not a lasting one. The songs get progressively better throughout the set, ending with two brilliant songs which show great potential for the future.

The next band up are much more memorable, playing some indulgent, epic metal. Heks have everything needed to be a successful band - the tunes, the look, the moves and the fans. Coming all the way from Bedfordshire, they've brought a small army of followers with them who certainly aren't afraid of making some noise. Some of the moves seem slightly orchestrated, but this is a minor flaw in an otherwise watertight performance.

Third on are pop punkers, Kill The DJ, who give a performance similar to that of Six Ways From Sunday - highlighting their musical capabilities but without a dynamic, exciting edge to their performance. With a bit of work on both the songs and the musicianship, this band could be quite impressive, but at the moment they lack spark, originality and more advanced technical ability.

The final act of the night are Anti Social Burn Outs, or ASBO for short (pictured). Fresh from a support slot with Towers Of London on Monday (read our review here), they look confident and energised. Unfortunately, this doesn't make their songs any better and the next half hour is about as bearable as pulling teeth. With clichéd tracks such as Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle and Suicide Mission, ASBO's lyrical content leaves much to be desired. Their songs are sing along friendly but feel far too much like a cheap rip off of Towers' chantable hits. They dash about all over the stage but this doesn't distract from the poor quality and unoriginality of the whole act.

Overall, tonight's deserved winners beat off the rest of the competition convincingly, with a margin of over 100 votes between first and second place. Kill The DJ finish fourth, with ASBO third. Six Ways From Summer finish as runners up with Heks taking the first slot in the final.

Writer/photographer: Rhian Daly