Last night was heat four of the MEMM Battle of the bands – and Jon and I were judging, because apparently, we’re now “movers and shakers” on the local music scene. This has struck me as odd, having for ages not being known as a musician anywhere (even in my home town) but thanks to The 4014 Project that we set up five or so years ago now, it seems Jon and I are getting a reputation as “people who know about music” (despite me still struggling to get gigs and having managed to fail to record a full album of my songs! heh.).
This, I suppose, is a good thing… it shows that The 4014 Project is managing to do what we are trying to make it do, which is highlighting and encouraging musicians in our local area. So if people have heard of us, then hopefully, they’re more aware of local music…
So, anyway – on to the judging! There were three bands playing last night: Dinosaur Pursuit, Year of the Thief and Chuck Co Stars – and I have to say (although it sounds so clichéd!) that it was a really difficult decision as all three bands were really good. I was most impressed! Chuck Co Stars had some original songs and a lot of enthusiasm, although their playing was a little loose, Year of the Thief are definitely a band to look out for with their clean, sharp and strong sound, and Dinosaur Pursuit had catchy tunes and bags of confidence.
The night worked on a voting system, where points were decided based on the judges votes, and on an audience vote – Dinosaur pursuit went through on the judges vote and will be appearing in the final. Year of the Thief won the audience vote – the band with the highest audience vote after this heat will go through to the final.
The experience of judging was a bit weird for me though, having been in a battle of the bands myself, I empathised with the bands and I found it quite hard to be critical of them. It seems odd to me to have migrated from the person being judged to the person doing the judging. But, being required to put down feedback, I endeavoured to be positive but fair. Hopefully, my comments will help and not discourage these guys… because that’s what the 4014 project is all about: encouragement and helping people improve!
And finally, just want to say thanks to Drew and Mary at MEMM for asking Jon and I to judge – despite my reservations of being critcal, it was a fun night and I always appreciate the opportunity to hear new music.