Saturday 13th January 2018
SPH Band Contest
mit Stone Cross, Smack Jack and Krystatic
Photos by Kevin Gaughan
I went there to see two acts: Dosnoirmavericks and Rawkus Redz. Neither of them were there. More of that later.
Firstly, let me tell you what I know about the people who put on this show. SPH Band contest. Based in Germany, this organisation is putting on shows all over the UK. In fact they also operate in Europe and North America. What they do is essentially a band competition. This well-established outfit started in 2008 and held its first UK rounds in 2017. They put on around 500 concerts every year.
The next SPH Leicester night is on 3rd March 2018.
The first band was from Birmingham. A three-piece group. The vocals were shouty and growly. The music was hard and heavy; a bit like metal in certain respects. Some of the guitar work was impressive. A fair bit of energy came off the stage, for sure. What did they sound like? Well, they played a song which they said was inspired by Royal Blood. If you know Lights Out you will get the idea. Plenty of punch. Richly instrumented sounds. Vocals – not nearly as good.
Smack Jack and the Many Grams
Leicester provided the next band. They appeared to have attracted a proportion of the audience and clearly those that were in front of the stage were very enthusiastic about what they were heard. Giving their genre as ‘grunge rock’, the four guys provided a set of songs marked by inventiveness, creativity and experimentation. Some would say they played post-hardcore. A set, that had a fair amount of variation in the type of songs, was delivered with considerable skill and verve.
The final act of the evening comprised two hip-hop artists called Kryst or possibly Krystatic. These two singers were very good. Most enjoyable. They had flair and presence and I think they said they were from Wolverhampton. It was all about “make some noise” and “get your hands up Leicester”. They certainly knew how to work an audience. As hip-hop and rap goes, it was easily recognisable stuff. But, what they did, they did well. I would happily see them again.
Tonight, there were to have been six bands on the line up. Only three arrived at the venue and performed. Not good. And not the two I had come to see. This makes Leicester look very bad on an international basis. Now, I don’t know why those acts failed to appear; I don’t know which, if any, of them came from Leicester. According to what I heard, the promoters had gone to a lot of trouble to put on tonight’s show. In the end it was a good gig; the acts were all good and there was a fairly large crowd there to see them. It struck me as being a rather poor show that some acts did not to turn up at the venue or to failed to perform, having agreed to do so.
After this article was published, Rawkus Redz got in touch with us; they told us “We informed SPH of our decision to pull out of the contest several weeks ago, but they never altered their publicity.”