A fine night with 6 exceptional bands and our very own Soulhole run out the winners - what a result.
The place - O'Neills in Wardour Street, Soho
The time - about 8.06
The event - The O'Neills Sound of Summer competition finals.
Throughout the last few months that well known oirish pub chain O'Neills has been running a competition to find the band they can dub the sound of summer and make no mistake if you get through to the top 6 you've done a pretty damn fine job.
The finals, held in the street made so famous by The Jam pitted the six regional winners against one another with the promise of much money, recording and festival appearance as bait.
As I wander in and purchase a small libation act 1 - Luke Lavolpe was warming up.
Coming down all the way from Scotland was a bit of a trek and ending up drawing the number 1 slot was probably something that he didn't need but singer songwriter kicked the night off in style.
The format for the night is simple, six bands each get only 3 songs to show what they can do. One cover is allowed and they are marked on Vocal quality, likeability and original material.
La Vople scored pretty highly on all fronts with a sound that falls somewhere along the continuum containing Johnny Cash and Jack Lukeman. I very much enjoyed his original material that sat well with a great Folsom Prison cover.
Next up The Severs who travelled the much shorter distance from Woking. A band that on the night I could have done with hearing more from they launched into a fairly upbeat electronic/indie set that promised much. Liked.
Third slot went to Soulhole. IMHO a fortunate draw given that two bands had warmed the place up and that there was now a crowd but unfortunate in that last place is usually regarded as better for a vote.
From the off they were massively up for it launching into their original material in style. Tight and energetic they kicked ass big style and it was clear that they would be difficult to beat.
Of all the bands they appeared to be the most up for it and the least affected by nerves as they funked through the set and got the joint proper jumping. Three songs was definitely too short but the guys played a masterstroke by segueing into a Faithless cover at the end.
The band given the unenviable task of following on was The Dirty Perks from Sarf Laahnden.
The rocky,indie funsters did a fine job of following on from the eventual winners and I enjoyed their set. I'm thinking maybe it was the wrong setting for their stuff but still good nonetheless.
Another London band up next with Keyhole Company. Sadly good as they may be they failed to impress and largely became background noise as can happen at a pub gig.
At some point we had an impromptu random marriage proposal (as you do) and lastly we get to Systematic from Brum.
I had high hopes for the hip hop/R&B type band and thought they could be contenders but unfortunately for some reason the evening never really took off for them. They seemed to lose focus and never really gelled with the crowd from the off. Their songs became muddied and lost in the hubub, possibly through nerves or whatever.
Anyway that was it. There were many spilled pints, a bit of adding up and a big announcement with the handing over of a big cheque. I really would like to see them turn up at the bank with that.
Well done to all the bands on a great evening and Congrats to the epic Soulhole who are massively back on form. Can't wait for the new EP!
Luke La Volpe https://www.facebook.com/lukelavolpe/
The Severs https://www.facebook.com/thesevers/
The Dirty Perks https://www.facebook.com/thedirtyperks/
Keyhole Company https://www.facebook.com/keyholecompany/