Last night the volume was turned up, the lights were turned down and our young performers were waiting nervously in the wings ready to take to the stage for the annual School of Rock battle of the bands contest.
Fourteen bands featuring students from all year groups took part in the concert, each adding their own unique twist to a classic track from the recent past. First on stage were Brad, Sam, Ellie and Jon from Year 10 with a Queen combo of ‘Hammer to Fall’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Year 7 trio, JLT, took their place on stage for their unique rendition of ‘Highway to Hell’, followed by Millennium and their interpretation of the early 1990’s Nirvana track ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. The night continued with, amongst others, versions of Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ coming hot on the heels of Year 7 Wildfire’s version of ‘Sweet Dreams Are of Made of This’, originally by the Eurythmics.
Everyone then had a chance for a breather during the interval, before the next seven acts came on starting with the Whitney Houston’s definitive 1980s belter, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. The Year 10 band Antidisestablishmentarianisms shook the evening up with their superb performance of ‘Free Bird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd and the competition closed with another top-notch version of the AC/DC anthem, ‘Highway to Hell’, this time performed by Year 7 group The New Q.
Each performance was judged by a panel of experts: Craig Barnett (local musician and music teacher), Simon Newton (local musician and vocal coach) and Sedgemoor FM presenter, writer and actor, Sinead Gillespie. They had the challenging task of deciding which band would win which of the seven trophies! After a tense 10 minutes, the judges returned to the stage and announced the winners in each category. Best Band Name went to The Lankies and Stamina took the trophy for Audience Participation. The Year 9 groups did well with Millennium rated best younger act (Key Stage 3) and the Best Costume trophy going to Anonymous. Year 11 student Libby from Stoons Dogs, was picked out to receive the Most Outrageous Rock Move trophy and talented Year 10 guitarist Callum was rewarded with a trophy for his stunning Free Bird guitar solo.
But the biggest and most prestigious accolade of the night – Best Band 2019 – was awarded to the amazingly confident and talented Year 7 band The New Q whose Highway to Hell caught both the judges and the audiences imagination and was definitely the song everyone was singing on the way home!
Congratulations to everyone who took part and a huge thank you to all the staff and helpers (especially Nicole Saxton and Josh Warren for their comparing) involved in making this, yet again, one of the best nights in the Haygrove School calendar!