This year we moved from the Fathoms back to the Ship due to Management changes at both.

We started off at the Divers on Friday 10th and what a night it was . The place was absolutely rammed with people to the point where no more could get in. The 4 bands on were Numbers uP — High Garden— Peter Garner and Naughty Melodies . Peter very kindly stepped in as we had a late drop out and was his normal brilliant self. Numbers uP and High Garden were excellent but the roof was raised when Naughty Melodies came on and we realised that most of the crowd there had come with them. When they applied they asked if they could play at the Divers because they are a Herne Bay based band but had never played in the Bay —- they have now!!!

Saturday we moved onto the Prince of Wales where we only had 3 bands as we were let down at last minute by another. The 3 bands who played were Kavanagh — CNTL —- Black Roze.

We had a few issues with late arrivals and set up issues but Kavanagh played their normal high powered energetic music with David leaping around. CNTL play all Joy Division music and after some serious set up delays they delivered but we had to cut the set short. Next up was Black Roze (who are an offshoot of Thundersticks who i saw at New Day festival) — they gave us some rousing thunderous good old rock music

Sunday night we were off to the Angling Association where we had again sadly only 3 bands. Tonight’s bands were Rose Darts — Trash Heads —- Trash Mammoth. Rose Darts are a young Herne Bay band with a very talented female singer — superb performance from them. Trash Heads i saw at Penny Theatre and was very impressed then as i was tonight with their very polished guitar rock perfomance. When Trash Mammoth applied they told me they were an audience participation band with a hint of comedy. They came complete with props and had everyone thoroughly enjoying their show.

So Monday night and we are at the Hampton with The Shades — Northern Beauty — Paisley Mess — Strife Darko.

Strife Darko got us going with their powerful vocals and heavy riffs. The Shades are another young Herne Bay band with great vocals , they performed some of their own songs and a number of excellent covers. Northern Beauty are more of a country rock band but went down really well showing off their musical and vocal talents. Paisley Mess , who i had seen in Faversham, got into their groove with some excellent songs and riffs.

Now its Tuesday night at the Rodneys and the crowd was enormous. Many people stood outside and if they had all tried to get in together it would have been one hell of a squeeze. Bands on tonight are The Unknown —- Hello Gecko — Fieves — Bodhi Music .

The Unknown class themselves as a soul band with underlying rock and blues —they certainly showed their quality with some fab guitar playing and strong vocals. Bodhi music have very much there own style of music with great vocals supported by superb technical ability from the other band members –all supported by the trusty laptop. Fieves generate an amazing power driven sound , loud and heavy they really got the Rodney rocking. Hello Gecko came on with a quite amazing video display coupled with some stunning vocals for their “Hippy” styled songs a bit reminiscent of early Syd Arthur

So i went off to a quiet place with my laptop banged in the judges scores and determined the 3 highest scoring bands who would play in the final.


And then it calmed down a bit as we entered 2 nights of acoustic music .

First up we were back at the Ship where we had 6 fabulous acts to enjoy 3 of which were first timers in the competition.

Paul Hiley thoroughly entertained the large crowd with his great songs and wonderful rapour. Brian and Mandy and Sherrie (Strawberry Blue plus) then showed us their harmonic skills and with mixture of own songs and a few covers and of course much humour. Alexis Zacharia –he of Boxing Octopus fame, rattled of his wonderfully worded songs — always a treat.

Phoenix Moon showed their talents with some wonderful own songs and the Red Bay Flow wowed the crowd with their great harmonies and happy style music. Corin Harper then gave a masterclass in how to play guitar coupled with some great vocals including an Iron Maiden song!!!

The last night and we are at the wonderful Heron Angling club. Tonight we again have 6 acts including 4 new to the competition.

Nancy Okai completely silenced the large crowd with her quiet demenea but with some wonderful haunting songs. John Fielder (Fabulous Bakery Boys) gave the crowd a sing along as he performed a number of well known covers. Nusty Rayles (Steve from Bodhi music) along with his female vocal companion took us into another world with superb classical guitar playing and haunting vocals. Nick Lawrence with his strong voice and big personality and some great songs was enjoyed by all. Mark Harris again showed what an excellent songwriter he is as he performed his own songs with his excellent guitar playing.

Then we had Coopers Brother — all from Parkerville— and performing their first ever gig. John Rolfe showed his guitar skills on all 5 of his guitars!!!

Over the 7 days we had a brilliant time and a few other faces were captured

Its on to the Kings Hall for our 2018 Final with 3 quite different and quite brilliant bands — Fieves ——– Hello Gecko ——–Paisley Mess. After 3 epic performances and totaling up the 4 judges scores HELLO GECKO were announced as the winners.