So for 2019 it was the same heat venues but we switched the final to the VIBE rather than the Kings Hall. We generally get 150 to 200 at the final and sometimes they look a little lost in the Kings Hall and it does not help to get a good sound.
First night was at the Angling Association where we were entertained by Unit 56 (including my postman Kevin) , Best Kept Secret , Seb Synth and Luna Blues Band. I did not know quite what to expect from Seb Synth as it was his first gig — he set up his synthesizer with loads of flashing lights and buttons and i said are you ready to go — he said no just 1 more thing to do and pulled his hoodie over his head and put a mask on !!! Then unleashed some brilliant synth music.
Heat 02 and we were in the Prince of Wales to witness Hot Ratz, Perjury,Black Elk Monroe and The Nightmares. Hot Ratz went on first , average age 13 and it was the drummer Elliots 13th Birthday. They were superb with seasoned musicians watching and wondering how they managed to play like that at such a young age!! Overall all 4 bands were fantastic and the the large crowd went home happy
Heat 03 and we were in the Divers with Rocket Skates,Trash Heads, Bodhi Music and King for a Day.
Another superb crowd and the 4 bands all put on great performances especially Rocket Skates who have played in the Divers before. Trash Heads were showing their class , Bodhi gave us a night of covers and King For a Day an excellent selection of their own music
And on to the Hampton for Heat 04 where sadly 1 band let me down at the last minute however we still had Numbers uP, Coopers Brother and Trash Mammoth.
Coopers Brother kicked us off with a brilliant set of their own songs — last year they were in the acoustic section.
Then we had Numbers uP who again played their own songs including the brilliant At the End of the Pier song (thanks Chris)
Next its Trash Mammoth who promised to put a show on for us and they really did. They had a computer or rather a group member with silver foil and a box on his head — they gave the big crowd great entertainment full of good music and humour
Tonight its Heat 05 at the Rodney and we have Nusty Rayles Terror Tactics, Highgarden,MUTO and Pandamoanium.
Another brilliant night with another good crowd although after Highgarden (who were a little loud) we got asked to turn it down!!
Our judges this year were Sherrie Tappenden, Aaron Kitchener, Nick Pygot and head judge Oz Eastman. I gathered their score sheets and went off to bang them into my spreadsheet.
To great applause , a few tears of joy, many whoops and hollers the 3 finalists were announced MUTO —– Highgarden—-Pandamoanium. Quite amazing that they all game from the last night.
On to the Ship for the first acoustic night where we had 5 acts for the big crowd. Stanley Phillips , Bob Howla, Majestic 12, John Fielder and Matty Carr.
Stanley started us off — you may remember him as the lead singer of Nude Vyper of the famous Divers “stuff you” incident.
Bob Howla (real name Howard) came all the way from Liverpool complete with scouse accent to display his considerable talents as singer songwriter
John Fielder who has been in the competition a number of times had the crowd singing along to his renditions.
Majestic 12 (who were actually appearing at the Ship 2 days later) showed their considerable talents with some great harmonies on some fabulous songs
Finally Matty Carr was up after a considerable wait — he sang some fabulous songs and showed true professionalism and courage battling against a noisy crowd
On to the Heron Fishing club and 5 more superb but quite varied acts. We had Sam Carter, Alexis Zacharia,Adam Green,Paul Hiley and Sarah Tonin and the Ephemeral Happiness
Sam started the night off just playing keyboards with no vocals taking songs from his current album Milan. The place was so quiet as everyone was enchanted by Sams incredible tunes.
Alexis — who stepped in at the last minute when Brian Powling fell ill– gave us some of his amazing songs including a few from The Boxing Octopus and of course the Whistle song
Adam Green , another singer songwriter, gave a brilliant performance of his songs with his powerful voice and excellent on stage presence
Sarah Tonin set up on stage with xylophone , flute, melodica , Tim playing bass and drum effects and a guitarist. Wow what brilliant vocals — a bit like Kate Bush– and it was their first gig. They went down really well and i hope they continue to play
Paul Hiley has been in the competition a number of times playing his trusty guitar (a 12 string this time) and doing his version of some great songs. He very quickly got the crowd singing along and waving hands in the air. As his final song he did a sea shanty.
After the scores were all added up Alexis Zacharia was declared the winner. I presented him with a prize of a Mic stand set from Graham at Music Bay
Now we have our final at the VIBE. Griff Rhising was our sound man as he had been for most of the heats but tonight he brought the big speakers!!! Tonight Cabin FM were recording the show to go out later that week — many thanks to Craig Longman.
Highgarden went on first followed by Pandamoanium and the MUTO . The sound was top class so full applause to Griff
All 3 bands were quite superb and i wish they could have all won. However after totting up scores MUTO were declared the winners. I presented them with a powered monitor supplied by Graham at Music Bay
Many thanks to Griff Rhising and Mike Bullen for the sound , to Sherrie , Aaron, Nick and Oz for being amazing judges , to Dan Russel for his stunning pictures , to Hassan for letting us use the Vibe, to all our sponsors without whom it would not happen and to everyone who turned up to make it such another successful Herne Bay Rocks