Uni Band Comp – Heat Two Roundup

Well, here it is again folks – yet another round of the University band comp is done and dusted. Last night a handful of young hopefuls took to the stage to hit us with their best shot (see what I did there?). This round saw performances from the likes of Sister Rosicky, GovvAnton Lewis, The People and Us and Underachiever; a tough round of competition by anybody’s standard.

Sister Rosicky began with an instrumental number, which was tight but I would have loved to see more emphasis and oomph on stage. Their level of musicality was undoubtedly good, and although I completely understand the broody stoicism that comes with holding a guitar on stage, I’d have to say… Guys, embrace the limelight – and have a ripper of a time whilst doing so.

Govv are one of those bands that I’d love to see live, after a few green tins, at a not-so-secret house show. (The one where your mate ends up on the neighbours roof, and things get really wild.) A little heavier than their fellow competitors, they were probably disadvantaged by the size of the room, and lacked a really solid crowd to feed off. Their vocals definitely needed a little more ‘oomph’, but despite this, their sound was tight and their riffs were good (really, really good in patches).

It was fantastic to see Anton Lewis strip things back for the final act in the round. He performed a string of sweet, acoustic numbers with a whole ‘lotta heart and soul. Delicate guitar, and purposeful songwriting – 10/10 would recommend.

The People and Us… I’ve typed and retyped this review a number of times, censoring my words just that little bit more each time. To me, this band were basically Jet; they performed like they were in the midst of a(nother) mid life crisis, showcasing original Dad-rock numbers to an invisible crowd of screaming fans. The vocals were good and the songwriting was okay, but the Foals cover was better. Their charm was a little lost on me, but their persistence scored points that won them second place and a spot in the final.

There’s a clear standout in any competition, and Underachiever were probably the first band to really impress. The four-piece played a string of scrappy Newy punk originals, with none of the broody stage presence that usually follows these acts. Frontman Daniel Foster was energetic, unapologetic, but also bloody polite about it at the same time. The boys are still churning out new music, too; with their latest single ‘Cliche Sports Movie,’ rounding out their straight hot fire set and securing them first place and a spot in the final.

So there you have it. Not doing anything next Wednesday night? Come and hang out at our very own Bar on the Hill to support local people, playing local music. Get behind the students brave enough to jump up on stage and give it their best shot.