Queen Margaret Union – 24/4

Battle of the Bands cropped

Picture that scene in ‘School of Rock’ where the school kids completely rock out with a fantastic array of grungy and punked-up attire, and their parents are stunned beyond limits. Well QMU’s own ‘Battle of the Bands’ utterly swept that image aside with a night brimming to the seams with impressive upcoming student acts from across Scotland.

The night saw eight bands battle it out for free ‘T in the Park’ tickets – the most renowned Scottish festival, soon to host massive names Arctic Monkeys, Calvin Harris and Biffy Clyro.

First up we had solid indie Edinburgh band, The Indos. With an innovative set and Scottish White Lies type vocals, the lads put up a good opening fight. Unfortunately, quirky female fronted Where’s George? defended their name with original songs off their new EP ‘The Underground’. Where’s George? were very White Stripes-esque with an exceptionally talented female drummer and co-vocalist, knocking aside any previous misconceptions that female singers must remain floppy, orange haired or pure glitter. If you get a chance, try and get a copy of their EP – definitely a student name to watch out for.

Up next we had an absolutely astounding utterly crazy multi-tracking bass player. Floppy, mousey haired David Devereux made playing bass sexy (and seemingly arousing for both sexes in the room) with intricate fingering and sweet Daft Punk covers – merging ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Around the World’. Perhaps even more original than if a band were to cover this work, this singular musician blew minds around the room and contracted an uproar of cheers and wolf whistles. Devereux finished the set with a rather genuine grin proving that he was just as immersed in his music as we were.

Following Devereux we had a set from Paisley born The Vegan Leather. Hawaiian shirt clad, curly haired and bare footed musicians gave us a reincarnation of poppy summer tunes with specey keyboard playing in the style of Two Door Cinema Club and guitar solos in the highest frequency. The Vegan Leather gave us the tacky side of funky that all of us are guilty of enjoying. Catch them in the 13th Note on the 26th if you want to see more.

Next, a rather unique set from cap wearing K-Fed lookalikes (I mean, are they shorts, three quarter length trousers, pedal pushers..?) Monkey Puzzle. Dressed in an early 2000’s nu-metal style, Monkey Puzzle presented us with jaw-dropping rapping that proved better than Korn or Limp Bizkit. Although the rapping was incomprehensible at times this band were phenomenal. They even broke the cymbal and still carried on with a mouthful of abuse and grins.

Following this we had QM’s very own Aonghas Maxwell. Although he had a tough set to follow, Maxwell was really rather good. With beautifully chilled out country folk and a singular acoustic guitar, Maxwell presented us with a passion and heart that is usually lost in most areas of music presently.

As we neared the end of our night, Made as Mannequins still put up a fight with a tight Oasis set, taking vibes from The View or The Fratellis. Who doesn’t love a good bit of indie? And last but not least – Perpetual Motion. A great looking, female-fronted, psychedelic garage rock band who covered ‘Somebody to Love’ by Jefferson Airplane made a fantastic ending to an otherwise brilliant night.

As the judges consulted with one another it was extremely tough to decide on a winner but eventually nu-metal rockers Monkey Puzzle won 800+ quid’s worth of ‘TITP’ tickets which I am awfully sure they will put to good use. Second came Where’s George? and third place went to Devereux. However, everyone was indeed worthy of winning to have the courage to play in front of a hall full of judging students.

If you fancy your chances of showing off, head along to Unplugged, the QM’s Tuesday night open mic and keep your eyes peeled for more QM live events to come!

We are always happy to have budding young musicians and sexy bassists.

[Emmie Harrison]


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