Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yorkshire Unplugged

Last Thursday saw the final of Yorkshire Unplugged - a battle of the bands style competition to find the best acoustic group or individual musician in Yorkshire. The line up was comprised of the five heat winners plus one wild card slot making six acts in total. The rules were simple - each act were allowed four songs, one of which should be a cover and the rest originals. The Forum bar that was hosting the event was rammed to the rafters with music fans and the jollities got under way with a solo a cappella song from special guest Brogan Hird.

First on stage were Old Man Pie, a folk rock group from Holmfirth with a Brechtian tinge. They picked 'The Model' for their cover which I enjoyed, but the rest of their songs were not really my cup of tea. I suspect that I might have enjoyed them slightly more in a smaller pub after a few pints of real ale. Next on was Matt Longdon - a solo artist armed with a guitar and a fine voice - not as polished as Old Man Pie, but he more than made up for that with a touch of rock and roll attitude.

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love the Velcro Teddybears who were third on stage. They are probably the hardest working band in Yorkshire, and they have certainly paid their dues in playing gigs in what seems like every sticky floored dive bar and free festival in the region over the last year. There was not quite as much banter as normal tonight, but they pulled out all the stops for an utterly professional and passionate set that certainly converted a few fans amongst the crowd.

They were followed by another singer songwriter. Steph Stephenson delivered a good selection of songs about pollution, not going out and eating chocolate bars mixed with the best cover of the night - an audacious mash up of Jolene by Dolly Parton and Do it Like a Dude by Jessie J. You can hear it here and it's well worth a click.

JonPaul Palumbo was the fifth act - not bad but again not really my sort of thing. Adam Pond closed the night with a polished and soulful performance, supported by a loyal fan base that it turned out we were sharing a table with.

A brief break for voting and then compere Carl Maloney took the stage to announce that the winner was .... The Velcro Teddybears! They now have a thousand pounds worth of studio time to play with, a professional photo shoot and a headline slot at the Limetree Festival this summer. Hurrah for the Teds!

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