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The Big Splash Semi Final

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Junkadelic/Amani Consort/Hideous Sun Demon/Old Blood/Pat Chow

Rosemount Hotel

Saturday, August 2, 2014

 

The Big Splash Band Competition has for several months been gathering momentum and tonight saw the second round of semi-finalists taking their turn to impress the panel of prestigious judges who, with decades of industry experience between them, would surely be up to the job of picking the best two acts to proceed on to the grand final.

Taking the plunge first was Junkadelic, whose members looked funkier than a George Clinton P-Funk tea party, with their colourful costumes and synchronised dance moves. The upbeat funk influenced music filled the venue with solid grooving bass lines and an impressive brass section. Although it’s always tough being the first act to play, there were enough early arrivals enjoy this musical spectacle.

After a brief turn around, jazz/hip hop fusion band Amani Consort took their turn to impress the critical ears at the back of room with their take on this contemporary style.  Aysha Amani’s soulful vocals emanated smooth and expressive tones and lead the band confidently, while encouraging the dance floor to get moving, which they obliged without complaint.  Oozy keys rippled forth over solid jazz chords that encapsulated a dissonant synergy that contrasted well with the offbeat rhythms.

By now the room had filled up almost to capacity and the atmosphere was getting hot and excited for the next act, Hideous Sun Demon, whose named derives from a late ‘50s B-movie. Bleach-blonde front man Andy Campbell displayed immense quantities of energy and candid prowess that had the audience transfixed.  Their blend of garage rock imbued post punk, combined with pure raw guitar mayhem, was impressive to witness. The punters up front for the first time got a chance to let themselves go and mosh in appreciation of what surely could be a strong contender for the winning title.

Taking a slightly alternate direction in style, the blues rock influenced Old Blood looked ready to take on the competition head on. From the looks of the crowd who were eager to get as close up front as possible, it obvious this band brought a lot of supporting fans with them tonight.  Vocalist Tony Papa-Adams emanated so much emotional charge and sex appeal that at times it looked like the audience might not contain themselves.  The music rolled on with heavy guitar solos and head mashing beats, breaking down into slow, sensual monologues that captivated everyone in the room.

With four solid acts all performing to their very best, Pat Chow had their work cut out for them, and without a moment to waste began their ‘90s style indie rock set, that was an exhibition of their impetuous musical skill. Merging the intense grit of the guitar textures and emotional vocals from Ben Protasiewicz, their casual stage presence suggested they possessed all the natural ability and experience required to make it through to the final round.

The judges didn’t take long to make their choice, so all it took was for the MC who throughout the night had entertained with his showbiz style of presenting, to announce the second place winner, Pat Chow, and the winner, Hideous Sun Demon. Perhaps the obvious choice, but a portion the audience did not approve of the decision and proceeded to whinge and boo and chant for Old Blood.As with all competitions there are winners and there are losers. The final gets decided on Saturday at the Bakery and should prove to be an event of epic proportions.

 

MICHAEL CAVES

 

Hideous Sun Demon

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