Queen Margaret’s new event series Versus, a fresh take on the battle of the bands style competition had it’s first heat Thursday 26th of January in Jim’ bar. The heat was hotly contested by four bands fighting it out to become our esteemed champions and win the tantalising prize of time in Carlton Recording Studios. The bands were compared based upon audience members votes and the ratings of three judges; QMU President Kirsty, regular QMU DJ Corrie Gillies and qmunicate’s own hot-shot music writer and soon to be online columnist Jake Casson. The categories the judges rated the bands on were song writing, performance and musicality. One winner from each heat AND the highest scoring non-winner of ALL the heats will be in the final.
The first band, Junebug, were strong, their performance gaining them a lot of crowd support, singer Katie’s vocals shone throughout. Their great songwriting ability put them in good stead with the judges, along with the skill they showed in their great use of dynamics and alternating their set up for different songs to achieve a congruous but changing sound with each song. They also benefited from a great deal of crowd support, which carried them to the final, to take place 26th of March
Then an entirely different kind of act limbered up to play, full drag and sparkling microphone stand at the ready. Demimonde can be perfectly described as what would happen if the Pet Shop Boys had children with the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Their dramatic techno astounded the audience and their high intensity was highly entertaining, earning them much needed points for performance. Demimonde’s musicality was also surprisingly powerful considering all of the effort put into putting on such a highly visual show. Their songs, while at times basic, lived long in the memory. A band to make a big impression, Demimonde’s were rewarded for their effort, taking second place of the heat at the end of the night. This puts them up for a possible wildcard place at the final, should they score the highest of all the other non-winners over the next two heats.
The next band to take the stage were indie rock outfit The Ashtones, who got off to a roaring start. Their drummer and guitarists put on a good show, putting in a good deal of noticeable enthusiasm and their song quality was generally good, if a bit repetitive. Where they suffered was perhaps with their lead singer who was slightly whiny and the crowd did not respond particularly well to them. This is perhaps why with the lowest number of fan votes, the Ashtones tryst in the competition ended with this heat.
Last but not least were Clench, a young band that included students from the university itself, who showed a surprising amount of maturity and a great deal of potential. They did well to bond and chat with the audience, something may bands find difficult and had some great original songs. Their youth belied their talents. However, the crowd did not feel Clench had achieved the heights of their potential yet and needed more time to grow before they became good enough to get to the final of a competition like Versus. Without the crowd on their side in the voting Clench were sent home empty handed at the end of the night.
So at the end of the day Junebug became the first exciting addition to the final line-up. Look forward to the 9th of February, which you can see our preview for here.