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Friday 9th March 2012 @ Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
Blissfields is a little festival in Hampshire for those who want something ‘as far removed from the big commercial festivals as you can get’. The road to Blissfields conventionally is the A33. ‘The Road To Blissfields’ however, is a set of competitions for unsigned bands from the south to come and play at this lovely festival. A festival with not only great beer, but a line up of the biggest acts for years to come. Basically, bands before they’re big. What a delight.
With that then, The Roads To Blissfields competition pitted the likes of Liquid Fuse; Yossarian; Astro Physics and eventual winners Half Crown with a finishing performance from the not-so-local Cut Corners.
Liquid Fuse started the evening with some brilliant balls to the wall Rock and Roll. All overdrive and well, shouting. As always though, the energy was through the roof, as was their performance. 5 dervishes jumping around making big noises. Just how Rock and Roll should be.
Half Crown were next, a bizarre mix of funk, ska and grime all swirled together. If that sounds dubious, take solace that it in fact worked brilliantly, the combined vocals of Frankie Harper and David Gayler thick with the charm these guys thrive on. The novel ska/grime combo cementing their position as favourites of the evening, a brilliant number capped off by their trumpet wielding bassist.
Yossarion also gave it a good shot, a slower pace to the acts that preceded them, but no less engaging. The performance reeked of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, but with more feedback and gravelly vocals. An enjoyable performance certainly, but there just wasn’t the energy of those before them.
Astro Physics were the last of the acts, and by no means could they be accused of lacking energy. In a different tact to the other acts, their brilliant blend of old school hip-hop with synth and guitar madness had everyone on their feet. It was a huge ending to the competition and a thoroughly enjoyable one. It was then just down to the judges to decide.
The time was filled by Blissfields Cut Corners who treated the audience to a taste of their own indie blend. There was dancing, there was hollering and there were T-shirts bearing 80s film references. So basically the essentials of most successful indie acts. What they lacked in originality though they made up for in gusto. And anyway, the founder of Blissfields son was a member, so everyone smile. It was during their set the verdict was made, and as Half Crown griined, hugged and posed for photos, you couldn’t help but smile too, knowing the right act won. Congratulations Half Crown, and thank you Blissfields.
Words and Pictures by www.heymancheckmyband.com
Date: Monday 2nd April 2012