Gig review – Glastonbudget audition at The Soundhouse, Saturday 27th November 2021

King Awesome. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

with Urania, Revival, Fatality, King Awesome and Rise of the Tomahawk

Looking like another great Glastonbudget audition night at the great Soundhouse, one of my favourite venues in town where the sound is always great and the light show always nothing short of spectacular!

Glastonbudget Music Festival is one of my favourite festivals of the year – the main stage usually hosts top tribute bands to draw the crowds, like Oasish, Mercury and Abba Revival and the smaller stage and marquees host other tribute and cover bands as well as a multitude of smaller original bands from around the country but with a focus on local (Leicestershire) bands. With over ten thousand people attending the weekend each year, the organisers have quite a responsibility to make sure the best bands get through the audition process to perform at the festival.

Each person who attends the auditions can vote for their favourite band and the judges also help decide who goes through.

Tonight’s audition started off with Urania, which I was looking forward to seeing as the frontman, Shaun had previously been in one of my favourite electro-dance bands from over ten years ago – Axis Mundi. As with Axis Mundi, Urania are a two-piece, the drummer, Sam, also hailing from some of my favourite bands namely An English Settlement and Great Imitation.

Being a bit geeky, Shaun likes to sing about science – but that’s great and a little different, luckily between songs he takes time to explain a bit about what the next song is about. Laid down to some spine-reverberatingly bassy electro-acid-dance tunes played on his synth & guitar, their performance made for a great, unique set of songs. The Soundhouse stage, was clearly not big enough for Shaun, who always used to jump around the stage like a demented multicoloured jelly bean! He still looked like he has the urge to run around the stage, climbing and jumping off anything, literally.

Urania. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

A great performance was put in by Urania, they would clearly be at home on a much bigger stage, a bit like the ones at Glastonbudget, so I hope they get through.

Next on today’s lineup were Revival – no stranger to Glastonbudget, and another band I was looking forward to on tonight’s line-up. Fronted by the great Daz Lynch, they played a good mix of their original tunes, both from their back-catalogue and some newer songs written during lockdown which they hope to release in their next album.

Catchy, melodic and performed to perfection, Revival put on a foot stompingly decent indie-electro-rock show. Revival have announced they will be performing at this year’s Glastonbudget – great news, wouldn’t be the same without them!

Revival. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

OK, the rest of the bands on tonight’s line-up were all new to me, so having replenished my beer and adopted my position – nearish the front and slightly to the left, I was all ears.

Next up were Fatality, a four-piece metal band from Essex. Making no apologies, they blasted onto The Soundhouse’ stage with the force of, well, a very energetic and loud band. Their music was a wonderful fusion of metal, rock and rap – I love it when you get a band that mixes up the genres. The frontman was as at home singing in the crowd with his wireless microphone as he was on stage and was very entertaining to watch.

Fatality. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

A great band, thoroughly enjoyed their set and I really hope to be seeing them at Glastonbudget 2022.

After the dust had settled, it was time for the 80’s rock cover band that is King Awesome – Kicking off with, or at least early on in their set, they played the song from the album that got me into rock music back in the 80’s – from 1984, Van Halen’s Jump.

I find it always a bit risky when a band I don’t know plays a cover of a classic I know and love so much, always giving it a few bars before deciding whether I approve or disapprove of their attempt at performing or annihilating one of my favourite tunes. This very happy reporter can confirm they nailed it! – after which followed 80’s classic after classic – making the froth on my beer build up to almost overflow, before giving it an appreciative home, with the music, smoke, entertaining and engaging stage show, this band really hit my rock spot.

King Awesome. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

Cheesy but great, they’ve got to be getting through to Glastonbudget, surely, that’s what the great festival is all about!

Not envying any band who have the daunting task of following that, Rise of the Tomahawk were up next. A five-piece indie band from the East Midlands, performing their own material, they didn’t have the stage show of King Awesome, but then not many bands do! – however, after the excitement and when my froth had settled down and been re-homed, it was time to get in the zone and enjoy what Rise of the Tomahawk had to offer.

It’s always much more difficult for an originals band to get the crowd engaged, as people don’t know your music, and being last on, some people had left to get their transport home. However, I did enjoy their indie set, especially some of their new songs – the music seemed good and well performed but, I know it’s a little unfair of me to say this after King Awesome, but the stage show could have been more engaging.

Rise of the Tomahawk. Photo (c) Kevin Gaughan

However, they did leave me wanting more and certainly a ‘one to watch’ on my Glastonbudget 2022 clash sheet as I enjoyed their music and would like to see them in the festival setting. But they would need to liven things up to make me stay for the whole set.

In summary, a great night of proper live music – a good mix of original bands and covers and a great taster of what’s to come at next years Glastonbudget Music Festival 2022!!!

Reviewed by Kevin Gaughan

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