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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 110

Date:- 02 August 2003

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Battle of the Bands
Report By Mandy Clark and Photographs By Patrick Trollope

THE first semi-final of the Caverns battle of the bands drew quite a crowd, all eager to see who would go forward to a chance of winning a days recording at the Abbey Road studios in London - the very same studio used by the Beatles.

First up on stage was The Meddler. I must confess I missed part of their set, catching only the last couple of tracks. The guys had some nice melodies going on with a kind of rock n' roll backing, although their timing could have done with a bit more work. One track started out with vaguely Irish folk overtones, which quickly faded away as if they weren't quite sure what sound to go for. Overall they were received well by the crowd.

Second on stage, after a slight delay due to 'technical difficulties' was Reece. These guys had a definite stage presence and were obviously comfortable with performing live, giving a relaxed quality to their set. Their first couple of tracks had a 'Busted' feel to them but unfortunately their harmonies weren't quite there-they started well but didn't always hold out. They had decided to write a new song for each round they got through to, and the specially written song went down well, a funky beat with some intricate guitar work going on. The set was a good mix of up-beat poppy tunes delivered with enthusiasm and, the set progressed, some fine harmonies. Reece have a good, commercial pop sound and a charisma that should take them far.

Next up were Lost, who had clearly brought their own fan club as they were greeted with deafening cheers upon their arrival. Vocalist Ian started out with a 'Madchester' Bez from Happy Mondays dance thing, which if anything gave pronunciation when the tambourine came out during one of the first songs - a definite contrast to the rest of the band who seemed stiff and aloof for much of the set. 

Their music was mostly indie rock with a fair bit of variation - a country and western intro and harmonica work on one track, followed by a Crowded House-style sound on the next. The band had loosened up by their last number, an energetic Irish folk sound which was cut short before progressing into its full heavy metal ending. Lost have a definite musical potential but they need to concentrate less and relax a bit - work on that stage presence lads!

But a roller coaster night of emotion for fans teetering on the verdict of music judges led to Reece and Lost being the suitors for the final on 7 August after taking a deserved win for each band.


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