Thornrose Battle of the Bands - 5th Round - 15.10.09 - Fourways

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The atmosphere starting off tonight was rather demure as the patronage was at a minimum… probably due to the overly stressed traffic conditions, but by 20h48 with 2 less judges Mind Clash the first band to start had to do something as time cold not wait…
“Wake up” saw Jad the bassist bring in a subtle intro which lead to Stevo on Guits, Willie on Drums and Marco the versatile Growler /singer backing him up in a simple message dotted with great guitar solos and the words “wake up”

The crowd, more than their supporters, all the way from Parys, (nog al), cheered them into the second song, “I hate you” that sent shiver up my spine. Their lyrics and melody, introduced with excellent finework by Stevo… not a bad guit who plays rhythm and lead
Marco who definitely has his own style in dress from the other typical rocker, but he was a mini-force of his own with his double kicker Willie as back up in the song “Far” (I know, I know… I even said to them **Add a “T” to that to make it interesting** which they all giggled to) – the little fuckers actually used that line to get a rise out of the audience…. Its all good boys, I will forgive you as your Metallica laced, hard rock with a little splash of Linkin Park and a huge smudge of Mind Clash, ended a pretty ok set with “Prejudice System” that brought the quartet together as expected from their close nit group…

Bringing a Shark to a Gunfight whom I first heard at Street Café, but wit the poor turn out I did not have n[-much of an idea as to the crowd pull, but the guitar work of Tim…. Actually both Tim’s, (the other on Bass) was as enjoyable to watch the second time round as was the first.
The songs “Sharks first question later” and from the intro to first song – “Beautiful trigger finger” the skill of Cameron on the double kicker was again evident…..
I still battle to see the growl or scream or the lyrics in metal, but the mix of Ebin’s vox work incorporating a hard scream and heavy growl was evident from tune one through to the end and hard enough, to drown out the idiots in the crowd who know not the metal in the blood…. Screaming “ya, ya”… as a mockery of all sacred metal….. **took a tad bit of restraint from me not to walk up to him and slap him like a bitch…. Little twit**… (perhaps a rival band groupie trying to belittle the other band to make his seem better)
Any way enough with my issues, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the triumvirate of guitarists racing their fingers along the delicate line of the strings making them waver to their very vigorous touch… almost like synchronised guitaring… effective as the crown fed off your feel for the songs “I fucked a mermaid”, “Take the breaks off your life” and “May I Stab you in the Face”… **incidentally some people voiced their approval of your work**
Their final rip “It’s easy to spot a bar one man”, which was introduced by an epic “fail” as Eben tried to throw a bar one into the crowd and it came back after bouncing off the banner above him, but be that as it may, this song was just as hard as the previous ones; great guitar work, but seriously boys…. Slow down on at least one of the songs, …chicks dig the ballads. But as always the hard style was appealing to the crowd and Bringing a Shark to a Gunfight left an impression as the crowd had been banging their noggins into a small headache by the time the boys were done!!!

Even before they were set up the audience was already crowding in to see the next band Wakeupdead.
A clear support base which may sway the decision in their favour, as it has been a trendy thing for the bands to win on support, more than raw talent….. but in this case… it’s CRAP.
The clear technically advanced musician in the form of the drummer (who from a distance has the look of Quintin Tarentoino), who skilfully double kicked and snared his time keeping in sync to the finger work of Colin on the Guitar, who also sported the role as supporting vox together and accompanied by the great singing come screamer Ryan and the rest of the team in the form of Jeff on Bass and James on the guit made for a formidable band…
whom far from the first chord had great crowd appeal.
The first song “Hey, that body bag has got your name on it” was welcomed with glee, but that was nothing compared to the introduction of the next song “Last Confession” that boasted a powerfully collection of sounds from each and every instrument in the band including the attitude that rang out in to the crowd who responded to their attitude and banged their heads through their next song “Forever my Autumn”, though comfortably supported by the whole band and crowd for that matter ** these young un’s got the masses bopping to the feel of the song**, belonged to the guitarist James, whose simple fingered melody will play in my mind over and over and I wait for the showmanship of their fellow band members to re-flash in my mind
I heard the melodic joining of voices as Colin and Ryan harmonised in the quaint interludes of this impressive song and was sufficiently impressed.
“Human Sushi” their next song tried to break free and was almost on the brink each time, but was not as impressive as the first few.
The final song “Waking up with a toe tag”…. (goes well with their name hey??), punched in with a symbiotic bounce with guits and drums, then the roll around with singing and growling….
Their obvious showman ability and internal relationship really works I really like this band and am sure they can go places…So did the crowd as they shouted “Wakeupdead, Wakeupdead, Wakeupdead,”

Vortex - What a name… and wow, I mean WOW,… on their sound test …. They blew the sides off everyone and they all started Exactly the same time… perfectly timed… professional all the way.. And from an empty floor, with in moments it was full…. Can’t wait for them to start to see how the crowd will react.
The youngest member only ringing in at 14…. Such talent… and they have been going for two years already, **fuckie duckie dees kids is goooood **
The distinct Irish/Celtic feel of the first song “Sands of Time”, laced with the rocking strings of the violin played by the Vox Samantha Ferreira…. Yes I did say VIOLIN… and it rocks dudes.. Really rocks… This song that showed the classic and well trained finger work of both the guit girls, sister Jessica Ferreira and Robyn Ferguson.

“Enter the Vortex” the following drum based song, panelled out by Dennis Mills and confidently backed up in the rhythm section by Christovh Weber who brought in the bass, was again a well orchestrated collective song.
Finally the back up singer and keyboardist Janine Engelbriecht made for a great band ensemble and was highlighted in their next punchy song “Kiss of the Vampire”… by now the floor is getting progressively fuller and the appreciation for the finer music is plain to see as the masses gathered like curious onlookers at a morbid scene….. Christovh with his growling brought a bit of metal reality to the song which evoked images of blood curdling agony brought on by the vampire’s teeth tearing at ones flesh…
Celtic rhythm in the feel in the next song was soon blown out of the water as the double kicker of Dennis and the lyrics written by Jessica together with the musical interpretation of the rest of the crew showed the hard, hard rock that these guys are capable of.
Even with the intermittent violin, the flow was not lost and in fact was boosted…with the song “The lost music box”.
I was seriously impressed with the guitar work of Jessica whom I am almost certain has had classical training as her finger moved so fast over strings and the chord changes became an erotic blur.

Their final song and the final one for the evening was skilfully delivered by Jessica, **yes, yes, I know I have mentioned her before, twice, but she is very good** “Fields of Pain” got the kids of Vortex showing the crowd why they have the talent to tour Germany Next year… my one and only criticism for the is that the two vox girls must harmonise.
Other than that…. They ROCKED… top marks here!!

And the boys that pulled it through with the support from all, was WAKEUPDEAD.

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