Noise From The Next Generation

Monday 28 April 2014
reading time: min, words
There were two finals, and two winners; but who took home the title?
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Maximum Altitude. Photo: Ian Marshall

The competition saw  two finals, for the age ranges of 11-14 and 14-19. The 11-14 category took place at Sobar, where three local bands took to the stage before four professional judges from the music industry, with each act performing three songs, at least one of which had to be an original.

First up was Live Wire, a very talented, though slightly shy pop-rock band. With two female vocalists, backed by some very skilled musicians, they put on a technically very strong performance. Strong hints of Paramore came through at times, and their only let down was a missed opportunity between their two vocalists, as they were both singing in unison instead of harmonising, which the judges thought would have worked well.

Next up we had Maximum Altitude, a female fronted rock band with bags of attitude. As they kicked into the first song, we witnessed the incredible range that the vocalist had; seriously, we’re talking Mariah Carey esque here. A mix of energetic anthems, some incredibly skilled riffs from the lead guitarist, and some interesting crowd banter, won them this category.

Finally we had Tom McCartney, who was a hard act to judge, considering he was a solo artist against two bands. He held his own very well though, with his unique take on blues music which sounded incredibly authentic. He showed some very impressive guitar licks, and though an impressive songwriter, the judges explained that they would like to see his songs develop a little bit more.

Next up we had the 14-19 category, held in Rock City’s basement, with
e five bands going head to head, again, in front of four judges.

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Hello Tomorrow. Photo: Ian Marshall

The first band to take to the stage were Hello Tomorrow, a four-piece pop-punk band filled with energy. Reminiscent of their heroes Blink-182 in the early days, the band made the crowd feel like they were headliners, not just competitors. After successfully getting the rather resilient crowd dancing, they finished their set with a huge singalong to one of their originals.

The Chase were the next band to take to the stage, a young, grungy band with some very sweet instrumentation. With more swagger than Liam Gallagher and Snoop Dogg put together, the band won over the crowd, and the judges within their first song.

The interestingly named Did You Just Say That? followed, and  came on stage to a huge round of applause. The band had an incredibly powerful pop vocalist, who had a lovely tone to her voice, although the band were a bit too loud and drowned her voice out a bit. They also had technical problems throughout the majority of song one, which was unfortunate, as it clearly knocked their confidence.

Next up we had Override, another female fronted band, who explained at the beginning of their set that they hadn’t found a drummer yet, but their songs did have drum sections. Despite this rather worrying bit of information, the band did incredibly well without a drummer. The vocalist was very charismatic, and got the biggest crowd reaction of the night, including a mass room sing-along to some very catchy choruses.

Finally we had had Lower Elevation; a duo consisting of a male vocalist on piano, and a female vocalist as well. These guys made sweet, pure pop music, that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the likes of Glee or High School Musical, but damn, they were good at it. They both had incredible voices, and great control over them. Although, they did feel slightly detached  from the crowd, and the judges felt they needed to show a bit more character in their lyrics.

So, the judges headed off for a fair amount of time, as they clearly had a lot to discuss. Twenty minutes or so later, they took to the stage to offer their feedback to the bands and announce the winners. First, the judges gave a highly commended runner up, and that award went to The Chase.

Then, after a mandatory pause, the winners were revealed, and the award went to…. Hello Tomorrow. The judges praised the bands ability to make them feel as if they were headlining their own gig. The band took to the stage for one last time, and performed a very energetic cover of Blink-182’s Dammit that made the crowd go absolutely mental!

Noise From The Next Generation ran from 7-8 April at Sobar and Rock City respectively. 

Nottingham Music Hub website

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