KenFest Calling Competition Hots Up

The competition for places on the stage for KenFest 2024 in May started with heat 1 for the first five of the twenty shortlisted bands. This took place at the Kenilworth Sporting Grounds to a packed and enthusiastic audience.

The five bands in this first heat were The Wicked Uncles, The Bangers, Amber Liadan, On Crash Sunday and The Rowan Lawson Band.

First up we had the youngest band in the competition The Wicked Uncles from Leamington Spa. They played four covers including ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ (Beatles) and ‘My Generation’ (The Who) and finished with their own song ‘Gotta Know’. They were enthusiastically received by the fans and others in the room.

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After a brief set change, we next had the local Kenilworth band The Bangers, who had appeared on the stage at the main KenFest 2023. They are a five-piece band who do a wide range of covered to keep people dancing which included ‘Zombie’, ‘On the Chaise Longue’, ‘The Red Light’, Kim Wilde’s ‘Kids in America’ and finished with a reggae song. 

Next up was pop/folk/indie act Amber Liadan with her four piece band who played all original songs including ‘Leaves’, her latest single ‘In Your Arms’, ‘Losing Interest’, ‘Teach Me’ and finished with ‘Nice and Deep’. They were a change from the earlier acts with a more mellow sound.

Then we had a totally different sound with Redditch based band On Crash Sunday who are alternative punk with an energetic three-piece band, with a drummer who gave the kit a hard time with his heavy drumming, backed with the solid bass with strong lead vocals and guitar. They played ‘Aurelian’, ‘These Words’, ‘Silhouette’, Unrecognisable’ and finished with ‘Illicitia’.

Then to finish the evening we had the six-piece band The Rowan Lawson band from Shrewsbury. They mixed acoustic and electric guitar with a harmonica player with two vocalists and bass player and drummer. They played four original songs and one cover. The cover was ‘Proud Mary’ with the original songs being ‘Headlined’, ‘The Dead’, ‘If all we had were Stars’ and they finished with ‘Little Bird’.

Then the audience were asked to complete their voting forms choosing two acts which were combined with the judging panel (Craig Shilton, Andy McKenzie and Laurence Sibley).

The decision was that On Crash Sunday were runners up with the winners being Rowan Lawson Band. To finish the evening the Rowan Lawson Band did an encore.

Heats 2,3&4 will take place on each following Friday in February with the semi-finals in mid March.

KenFest Calling Competition Hots Up
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 3 February 2024
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