BotB 2012 - The Aurora Skies take heat 2
Wow! Another brilliant heat at this years BotB. Only 5 bands this time but all worked hard in the scorching heat and put on a great show for us.
And once again, the judges had a tough time picking a winner. However there was a winner... The Aurora Skies from Dawlish will be going through to the Party in the Park final on the 11th August.
So first band up was BotB veterans The Devil Riders, with their blend of classic rock and rockabilly.
Kitted out with the trademark Devil Riders war-paint the lads came back to banish their 2011 demons. Last year they suffered broken guitar strings and a set that had to be quickly reassembled. This year they reminded us what The Devil Riders were really all about delivering a top quality opening set and showcasing why they are so busy on the south-west gig scene.
Red on You were on next running the punk flag (but with an electronic synth twist). Red On You are another band that have been really busy over the last 12 months, writing and recording new material and gigging whenever and wherever they can. They delivered classic energetic pop punk with a real Blink 182 party feel. This was feel good music from the start, original tracks delivered in such a way that you felt that you knew them all.
Third band, The Aurora Skies, played the Party in the Park final in 2010 and wanted to come back to show us what they had done over the last two years. Their performance showed just how much effort they have put in with a set that built steadily from the expected indie sound gradually growing in sound and energy to conclude with songs that fused the boundaries of indie rock with metal. Lots of energy, tight playing and shredtastic lead guitar work.
The evenings fourth band were Plymouth based Melafobia from Plymouth who are this years first female fronted band. Melofobia delivered a unique take on the classic rock sound and they kept the crowd moving as they moved through a set of original tracks maintaining and feeding off of the energy created by the previous bands. Plus they started the evening in true Rock n Roll style, having to get their van towed to Okehampton when it broke down!
The final Battle of the Bands offering for Heat Two were another band from Cornwall and also this years youngest contenders. The Ritts cite influences including Razorlight and Muse and with a combined age of just 46, this power Indie/Pop trio have a stage presence way beyond their years. The Ritts gave a fantastic performance which was edgy and contemporary. This is a band to look out for in years to come - we've got a sneaky feeling that they will be back.
Rounding off the night were local metal band First Requiem, previous BotB finalists (2010 & 2011) but with a new front man. Massive energy and aggression, they certainly kicked BotB in the teeth!
So...... Heat Two gave us a fantastic night of live music and was just an all round great gig. In a night that just kept giving it was difficult to have a winner but eventually The Aurora Skies emerged triumphant.
The Final Heat of the Okehampton Battle of the Bands 2012 is on Wednesday 01st August when another 6 fantastic bands will be performing. This is sure to be another great night of music and entertainment. Doors open at 7.30pm. Licensed bar provided by The Plymouth Inn.