May 02, 2012
In an effort to show that all this Band Month business wasn't just idle talk - we invited a handful of new function bands (new to us anyway) to come and audition at Peter Webber Hire's Ritzy Studios in Putney. Armed with a camera and our trusty branded backboard, we settled in for an evening of potentially great/potentially awful (no but seriously, it was all pretty good) auditions from bands hoping to get work at Corporate Events and Weddings through London's Leading Supplier of Entertainment.
First up were 4 piece covers band All Over The Covers who showcased a distinctly 'rocky' repertoire and a singer with a natty vintage RAF pilots jacket. The band's song choices made it immediately clear that they'd honed their craft in rowdy pubs with covers of classic rock staples like 'Born To Be Wild' and AC/DCs 'Back in Black' sat alongside growling versions of modern tunes like the ubiquitous 'Sex on Fire' and Queens of the Stone Age's 'No One Knows'.
All Over the covers would be ideally suited to a raucous wedding with blasts of distortion and howling vocals that'll be guaranteed to make guests throw 'the horns' up and run yelping to the dance floor. The band's repertoire and guitar heavy sound will undoubtedly not be for everyone, but there's a niche in the market for a function band for whom 'feedback' isn't just something they get in an email a few days after a gig.
Three piece outfit Soulscape aren't quite what you'd call a band, but that's part of the appeal. The trio's USP is their ability to travel lighter than a full function band, a great idea for a wedding with a quick turnaround between dinner and dancing or venues where a band just isn't an option. Boasting a repertoire of soulful cover versions performed with the groups two singers and backed by a Saxophone/Backing Track combo, Soulscape are a worthwhile consideration for anyone looking for a function band alternative for an upcoming event.
Without a doubt, the liveliest performers of the evening were 4 piece covers outfit Supersonic, who to be fair, should have been a 5 piece but were missing a keyboard player due to "unforeseen circumstances". It's a credit to them that we didn't notice they were down a member until they told us, making up for the tinkling of the ivories (or 'plastics' as they would be on a keyboard) with an almost manic level of energy.
Equally at home in a sultry version of Prince's 'Kiss' as they were during a reggae breakdown in the middle of 'Sex on Fire' (seriously) the band's sheer energy was only matched by some pretty serious musicianship. Lively, fun and with a few surprises in their repertoire, Supersonic's oddball enthusiasm could liven up even the dreariest of events.
That takes care of Part 1 of our Band Audition Blogs, check back soon for more.