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Posted 18 Feb 2017, 6:36 p.m.

Judge: Fin

Artist: Kuebiko

Musicianship/skill: 2.5/5

Drums - not enough oomph - can barely make out the hats, some nice grooves though. Shame about the fumble in the first song, well held though.

Center - Decent vocals, but wobbles at times. Guitar a few clipped notes here and there.

S.R - Guitar fine, not cutting through as much as it needs to though. Vox feels a touch restrained.

Bass - Bass not just copying guitar, good - some interesting bass lines.

Professionalism: 2.5/5

Whole thing is quite messy, not always in time with one another.

Songwriting: 3/5

Feels like you're using all the instruments effectively - nothing is redundant. 

Songs are well constructed, though very messily presented. I don't know if you might benefit from stripping back some sections.

Creativity: 2/5

Your songs go to some interesting places, but nothing too unfamiliar. Not particularly revolutionary. Songs all sound fairly similar.  

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 2/5

A big ending to a song like that is quite out of place. Whole set seems a bit restrained.

Overall: 12.5/25

I like what you are going for however it needs a bit more punch and you need to be crisper.

Rank: 6th





Judge: Fin

Artist: Like a Dirty Sheesberger

Musicianship/skill: 3.5/5

Vox - mostly ok, becomes a little forced at higher notes.

Guitar - cleanly played, good solo.

Bass - fine, cleanly played

Drums - giving the kit a good wallop

Professionalism: 3.5/5

Feedback issues.

On and off clearly

Songwriting: 3/5

Second song seems to jump about. Try to link sections together in a coherent way.

Nice interplay between instruments - something feels off about that drum and bass though.

Creativity: 3/5

I think you owe phil collins royalties for that drum fill. You've mixed a variety of styles to decent effect. Some interesting ideas not all work out though.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 2.5/5

Not a lot going on on stage, you seem to be having fun though.

Overall: 15.5/25

A decent trio of songs, I think they need refining. Some of your sections don't quite flow and make your songs a little disjointed

Rank: 4th




Judge: Fin

Artist: Will B/M

Musicianship/skill: 4.5/5

Guitar - mostly very clear picking and strumming, the occasional clipped note which is fair enough give the complexity.

Professionalism: 4.5/5

Maybe don't tell your audience you think that they might fall asleep.

Songwriting: 4/5

Songs are very well structured, good use of dynamics and different picking to add flavour to the songs.

Creativity: 3.5/5

Several repeated motifs, but with enough changing each time to keep things engaging. Nothing particularly new but a good example of the style. Influences from several different styles showing through.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 3/5

Some good guitar faces. Hard to do much onstage when you need to be sat down. Crowd seems enthralled though.

Overall: 19.5/25

Very well played and written set. Nothing revolutionary but highly competent.

Rank: 2nd



Judge: Fin

Artist: Cap'n Falcon

Musicianship/skill: 4.5/5

Drums - loads of power. Seems going back to 4/4 threw you off a bit. Good beats though.

S.R guitar - good use of feedback, huge sound.

Vox guitar - simple riffs but nicely complement the songs.

Bass - backing up guitars, possibly a touch under utilised.

Vox - you're cracking a bit at the heavy bits where you really need the power

Professionalism: 3/5

1 minute over the 15 minute time limit. On and off without issue.

Songwriting: 4/5

Good use of dynamic changes and half time. Heavier sections are your forté some of the quieter bits start to drag.

Creativity: 3/5

Straight into 10/4 (good buddy).

First song is very very tool-esque.

Wear your influences very much on your sleeve.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 3.5/5

Lots of energy on stage. Wall of sound.

Overall: 18/25

Great set, you need to find your own sound. Need to work on vocals too - the softer bits were slightly off and you lose it at the top end where it feels like you need more power.

Rank: 3rd





Judge: Fin

Artist: The J.H Experience

Musicianship/skill: 5/5

Drums - flawless dynamics control, perfect amount of sizzle coming of those cymbals, with a hearty thub from the snare.

Guitar - very well played. Clean and clear.

Bass - some tasty bass licks, compliments the rest of the music.

Keys - nice, well utilised, suitably spacey sounds.

Professionalism: 4.5/5

On and off without issues. 

Banter is fairly brief, though seems to be an inside joke leading into the last song which split the room a bit.

Songwriting: 4/5

Songs put together very well. Not a huge amount of dynamic changes found, seems to be all out all the time, which leads to a fairly repetitive feel.

Creativity: 3/5

Virtuoso guitaring isn't really anything new, but this is well thought out stuff with some interesting ideas. Botch called it 'videogame music' which is the same insult I've seen levelled at Satriani, but it fits to a point. All epic all the time, vary the feel a bit.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 4/5

Loads of energy. Some more great guitar faces.

Overall: 20.5/25

A very good example of this genre, but a bit cookie cutter. You're all talented musicians, you could write some very interesting stuff unless you're content just showing off what you can do onstage.

Rank: 1st


Judge: Fin

Artist: Jack Rawlins

Musicianship/skill: 3.5/5

Vox - soulful stuff. Good range. Possibly losing it at the top end.

Guitar - clearly strummed, but not much more complex than that.

Professionalism: 2.5/5

On clearly, no issues during, off without issues.

Oh no, you finished exactly on 15 mins, then played another song.

Songwriting: 3/5

Soulful vocals over strummed guitar. Music nothing complex, seems a little like the music was just slapped on as backing to the vocals. Second song starts out much better - more like this. Good interplay of instrument and voice.

Creativity: 2.5/5

Fairly standard singer songwriter stuff. Slightly different feel to third song.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 2.5/5

Good power to your voice, crowd seems engaged, but not much happening on stage.

Overall: 14/25

You're a very good vocalist, but your music underlying the vocals is a bit thread bare at times. When you've hit the set time exactly don't start a new song...

Singer songwriter is a rather over subscribed genre, you need something special to stand out.
Rank: 4th


Places:

1st: The J.H Experience

2nd: Will B.M

3rd: Cap'n Falcon

4th: Jack Rawlins

5th: Like a Dirty Sheeshberger

6th: Kuebiko

Posted 19 Feb 2017, 7:44 p.m.

Judge: Late Boy (Simon)

Artist: Kuebiko

Musicianship / Skill - 3.5/5

Slightly bumpy start in timing but settled into a nice groove

Bass - driving, locks in nicely. Lots of movement. Nice solo work.

Drums - good stuff, tasteful fills.

Lead guitar - nice riffs, shame about tone.

Rhythm guitar - nothing too showy, capable. Nice jazzy solo.

Vocals - capable, could do with some power in the louder sections.

Professionalism - 4/5

On with no fuss. Congratulating the crowd at the end!

Songwriting - 3.5/5

Chilled out songs with some catchier heavy sections. Lovely riffs in the first and third. Really enjoyed the busier bass in the first song, could do with more of that! Slower songs enjoyable and progressed nicely, with clear understanding of song structure.

Creativity - 3/5

Swapping singers is fun, could you combine your talents? Nothing too different to set these guys apart, just solid indie rock.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5/5

Swaying and moving to the music. Come across very relaxed and comfortable on stage, not much talking between songs.

Overall - 17.5/25

Despite a few timing issues to start, a very relaxed vibe with some groovy sections made these guys a great opener.

Rank - 4th


Judge: Simon

Artist: Like a Dirty Sheeseburger

Musicianship / Skill - 3/5

Bass - simple, locks in well with the drums. Gets more technical later.

Drums - good grooves, maybe a few timing issues in a couple of fills.

Guitar - solid fingerpicking, decent solo work.

Vocals - can carry a tune but struggling to hit some of these notes. Improved as set went on.

Professionalism - 4/5

On and off without fuss. Minimal problems.

Songwriting - 3.5/5

Solo in danger of being a little wanky in first song, crowd loved it though. Bass could play around a bit more considering the lack of a second guitar.

Bit of a top gear theme-y riff in the second song. Very chilli peppers breakdown to the point of being plagiarism. Catchy chorus. A few iffy changes but overall pretty smooth.

Stops are a bit off - bass and drums need to be super tight to make that work. Improved as the song went on. Good sense of song structure.

Creativity - 2.5/5

Good range of ideas on show, be careful not to show your influences too obviously!

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3/5

Took a little while to settle into the stage. Got the crowd clapping which is always good. Could do with looking a little more comfortable on stage - should be when the crowd is on your side!

Overall - 16/25

A solid set with some obvious thought put into the songs. Guitarist does well to fill out his range, but perhaps another guitar would add that missing factor.

Rank - 5th


Judge: Simon

Artist: Will BM

Musicianship / Skill - 4/5

Clearly a capable guitarist, the occasional flub unfortunately - made more noticeable by the lack of a band behind you! Playing technically challenging stuff with relative ease.

Professionalism - 4/5

On and straight into it. Very smooth tuning handled well. Always enjoyable when a guitarist can make their tuning sound good!

Songwriting - 4/5

Injecting emotion into instrumental music can be tough but you've done it with aplomb. Songs show good progression while not overstaying their welcome. Good choice keeping Watchtower in the set! V. impressive songwriting.

Creativity - 4/5

Interesting and diverse chord progressions. It's so difficult to write music like this and it comes across as easy for you.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5/5

Enjoying himself on stage despite fighting against some chatter at the back. Good stage banter - brief but amiable. Maybe there could be more discussion about the music to give the audience a story to hold on to through the songs?

Overall - 19.5/25

Talented musician who could hold the audience in the palm of his hand with more work on stage presence.

Rank - 2nd


Judge: Simon

Artist: Cap'n Falcon

Musicianship / Skill - 4/5

Drums - driving and tight, give this a lot of its kick!

Bass - Solid backing for the guitars, could do something more? Bass is meaty though!

Middle guitar - Good control of feedback. Tasty riffs.

2nd guitar - sometimes struggles to stand out in the mix but otherwise good stuff!

Vocals - what a shout! Love it!

Professionalism - 2.5/5

On no fuss, smooth flow between songs. Ran over a little!

Songwriting - 4.5/5

Catchy and some of these choruses kick like a mule. Solid transitions, could do with some more dynamics? Sometimes wish the second guitar would do a little more!

Creativity - 3.5/5

Great heavy riffs but sometimes it feels like there's just not enough going on. When it works it really works.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4.5/5

Suitably moody with second guitar really getting into some of the louder sections. Great energy. Shame the crowd didn't get into it more.

Overall - 19/25

Intense, brooding and heavy, marred by a lack of texture at times. Drums do a lot of work to keep this interesting and usually succeed!

Rank - 3rd


Judge: Simon

Artist: The J. H. Experience

Musicianship / Skill - 4.5/5

Bass - booming and locked in.

Guitar - smooth with great tone.

Keys - insane at all the right times.

Drums - lovely jazzy and tight to start. Kept pace when things got faster.

Professionalism - 4/5

Smoothly on and off, great tones. All good.

Songwriting - 4/5

Keys / guitar interplay fantastic in first song - lots of space into a terrific payoff. Love that keys solo. Exciting and energetic if occasionally a little excessive. Could there be some more dynamic range within songs?

Creativity - 4.5/5

2nd and 3rd song a little similar. Perhaps a few more listens would make them feel more distinct? Love the range on display here between 1st and other songs. Octave pedal!

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4/5

Groovy and v. comfortable. You guys are having so much fun on stage! Infectious and got the crowd bobbing along.

Overall - 21/25

Incredibly fun and technically impressive.

Rank - 1st


Judge: Simon

Artist: Jack Rawlins

Musicianship / Skill - 3/5

Guitar - simplistic chords strummed well - a little more ambitious later in the set.

Vocals - not technically amazing but very appropriate for the songs, carrying a good amount of emotional heft.

Professionalism - 1/5

No qualms here until running over by a whole song! Little too much time spent tuning, but at least it was quiet.

Songwriting - 3/5

Vocal lines are nice. Later song has some more interesting guitar work, adds some depth. Moving, feels like lyrics come from the heart. Good storytelling.

Creativity - 3.5/5

Difficult to do much exciting and different in this genre. Interesting choice to use an electric guitar with a touch of overdrive.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5/5

Comfortable at times, feels like he's really opening up - doesn't seem to be holding the entire crowd's attention, although this is obviously very difficult for this type of set!

Overall - 14/25

Laid back but emotionally engaging. A lovely end to the evening although running so far over is a big no no!

Rank - 6th



Places:

1st - The J. H. Experience

2nd - Will BM

3rd - Cap'n Falcon

4th - Kuebiko

5th - Like a Dirty Sheeseburger

6th - Jack Rawlins

Posted 19 Feb 2017, 8:12 p.m.

Judge: Botch

Artist: The J.H. Experience

Musicianship/skill: 4/5

Nice bend down on the G string! Guitar using an onslaught of effects, the wah is insane. The keys are monstrous, really wailing on the pitch bend! Holds the lead parts to a T. Bass, initially rooted in the first song, comes to life in the later set, really wanted to hear a bass solo. Drums held the rhythm but there were a lot of missed hits - not quite on the money given the musicianship of the others.

Professionalism: 4/5

No probs setting up and remarkably tight given the tempo and complexity. Have to call it based on the technicality you're going for, so the guitar and keys need to be tighter! No nonsense  interludes, could have done more in the guitar switch over.

Songwriting: 4/5

1st song was quite vanilla and generic but you made up for it in song 2 and 3. Really throwing yourselves into the technicality of the song, and the structures really benefit from it. I'd say constructively song 3 was the most "Jam Band" - just playing a groove for the sake of it without taking it somewhere.

Creativity: 4/5

Quite literally transported into a video game. Ever hear of Guilty Gear? Great use of the keys to really provide that power metal/ Snarky Puppy sound. Channelling a bit of Deep Purple to good effect but what let you down was the bluesy 1st song. Just too different.
Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 3/5

Obviously having a lot of fun - owning the stage. There did feel a bit of a disconnect with the audience however.

Overall: 19/25

Rank:2nd


Judge:Botch

Artist: Jacky Boy

Musicianship/skill: 3.5/5

The Rickenbacker guitar fucking delivers on the singer songwriter tone, much like the Taylor for acoustic. The chords are interesting and provide as much melody as the vocals. Vocals are wirey and vulnerable, and again suit the vibe - great stuff.

Professionalism: 0/5

Not put off by the band at the bar yelling away - gets the job done. A little light on the banter as well - I want to hear more about these songs - it doesn't necessarily need to be a show - but got to hook us in where possible. Overruns by a whole song! WHY! You were doing so well! 19:15

Songwriting: 4.5/5

Wonderful lyrics - great storytelling and the hooks are there! Lovely, 1st song runs slightly long - but nevertheless lovely. "I would like to enjoy myself, living in hell" - what a cracker! 3rd song drags just a touch, but back on form on song 4.

Creativity: 3.5/5

Feels a bit Foo Fighters right? Throw in a bit of Iron & Wine, and you have a far more interesting Keaton Henson. Unfortunately there are a lot of singer songwriters - but your songwriting and lyrics are your strength! Powerful.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 3.5/5

I think a lot of people are into this - a testament to the atmosphere you've created. I put a lot of this to the guitar tone and your intensity behind the mic. Good Job.

Overall: 15/25

Personally I love this, but objectively harder to score without a band behind you(not that you need it).

Rank:4th


Judge: Botch

Artist: Cap'n Falcon

Musicianship/skill: 4/5

Bass deserves top praise here, dominating that rhythm section and locked in with the drums. Drums really doing a great job - every hit is perfect, crisp tom fills and a snare that remains consistent. Guitars work so well together, balancing lead and rhythm - the chord choices alone demonstrate a bit of thought and the dissonant moments are your strength. Lead guitar needs to be careful playing consistent, a lot of missed notes on lead lines. Tapping was a nice touch, but the slides were not hitting every time.

Professionalism: 2.5/5

Wall of sound. What control of dynamics! When it's on, it's ON! A few slip ups but it's made up with ferocity. Played a full minute over. What a shame, you were into it, but it shouldn't have ran over.

Songwriting: 5/5

Some inspired songs here, but not rip offs at least.  Fully grunge and a shit ton of energy. Melodies feel memorable and you immediately want to jam out on this. The vocal screams are so powerful - just wish there was more audible singing in the verses. Structures were original.

Creativity: 4/5

TOOL Forty Six and Two. Great time signature in first song - becomes a little less inspired in 4/4 in song 2 & 3. The dirty basslines are so crucial and you nailed it. I loved the dissonance - great effect.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 4/5

Seriously, everyone felt that "Falcon Punch!" Stage right guitar is killing it! Bass deserves to be worn lower, this set demands it. Not a fan of wearing the hoodie.

Overall: 19.5/25

Rank:1st


Judge:"Have you got ID?" NO!

Artist: Sheeseburger

Musicianship/skill: 3/5

Lets start with the drums, great rhythm and you really attack those drum fulls, great job. Careful with speeding up. The guitar has an uneven tone, very tough to balance when playing without a pick. But great job with the solos! Good use of tone to cut through. Bass was solid and locked with the kick - but a little rooty. Vocals are OK, work on the projection & the higher notes start to thin out - breathe more.

Professionalism: 3/5

No nonsense and much better as the set worn on. The use of stops was nice, but they just didn't work. I felt the bass could have led rather than the drums and bass on the half beat. On the money with 15 minutes. Frontman was sweet but failed to hold the crowd.

Songwriting: 2/5

Very vanilla songwriting. There are good concepts shown but the transitions are underdeveloped and the chorus failed to hit. The 3rd song was like an open mic jam night - the piano chords felt so bereft of a rhythm section. Vocally the melody kept driving the songs but failed to cut through that mix. Bridges and endings felt very tacked on - work on those.

Creativity: 1.5/5

I would get another guitarist and beef up the rhythm, lead guitar and bass is great but lacked a bit of depth. Songs felt a little underdeveloped past the jam poppy rock sound. I liked the 1st song, but wasn't a good choice to throw it in as the first song.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 2/5

A very polite and unoffensive band. Felt like there should have been more energy to carry the show. A lot rides on the frontman here.

Overall: 11.5/25

Rank: 6th


Judge: Botch

Artist: Will "Live Stream" B.M.

Musicianship/skill: 3/5

With such few errors it was a great set. Very difficult to score with just one instrument on stage. The Taylor guitar performed perfectly, great tone.

Professionalism: 3.5/5

Got the job done! Everyone who was into it, was into it. A little light on the set banter. Felt there either needed more descriptions or a longer set.

Songwriting: 4/5

Fantastic - the repeated rhythms didn't drag and you kept each song moving. What struggled was taking the instrumental to a crescendo - felt like a series of patterns without more of a journey.

Creativity: 3/5

Channelling that Tommy Emmanuel. Really pushing yourself to some very interesting rhythms. I am just gutted there aren't more musicians with you. Could you imagine a drummer on some sample pads and some swirling keys? This being a band comp - I have to mark you down a point.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 2/5

Struggling to hold the rent a crowd, but I guess he didn't pay for the extra 15 minutes. This was a set for the musicians, and you were hypnotic in that sense. Would love to see more from the interludes - tell us more about why San Fran made you write like that. Devoid of vocals, it's about the atmosphere you instill.
Overall: 15.5/25

Rank:3rd


Judge: Botch

Artist: Kuebiko

Musicianship/skill: 2/5

Bass is way too trebly but wow you hold a nice groove with the drums. Lead guitar has a shoddy, shitty, flat tone - again, your ideas are great but you really got to cut through the mix. Drums played well but simply - lost time on crucial fills(nerves?). Vocals had great tone but were very unsupported. Get used to singing with a mic and let your voice relax.

Professionalism: 2/5

On and off no probs. The problem was the relaxed vibe paved the way for a really sloppy performance. The drums need to hold the rhythm much tighter and the guitars need to perfect to execute those lead lines in time. You guys were polite and top draw for a great start!

Songwriting: 3.5/5

Chill. Very interesting structures but no memorable hooks. Just solid songs - no comments other than build more memorability into the vocal melodies. Music wise - you are there!

Creativity: 3.5/5

I like the use of the two vocalists, adds a nice change as both voices are very different pitches. Would be nice to see more harmonies with two complementary vocals. I like the use of the lead parts, top banana.

Stage Presence/Entertainment Value: 3/5

It's the carefree, lazy vibe which really works for you guys. everyone just sways to the music so well. You guys are a lot of fun to watch for 15 minutes but there feels like there could be more of a show. Frontman talk to the crowd or intro the songs a little more? There's a story to your songs which could win a crowd over.

Overall: 15/25

Rank:5th


Places:

1st: Cap'n Falcon

2nd: The J.H. Experience
3rd: Will B.M.
4th: Jack Rawlins
5th: Kuebiko
6th: Sheeseburger

Overall Places:

1st: The J.H Experience (1+2+1=4)

2nd: Cap'n Falcon (3+1+3=7) 

2nd: Will BM (2+3+2=7)

4th: Kuebiko (6+4.5+4=14.5)

5th: LADS (4+6+5=15)

6th: Jack Rawlins (5+4.5+6=15.5)

Posted 19 Feb 2017, 10:08 p.m.

Sounds like it was a good heat! Would any judges past or present care to comment on what exactly factors into a judges' decision in the case of a tie?

Posted 19 Feb 2017, 11:03 p.m.

Cracking effort from Si on your first judging session - looks like I'm in danger of being replaced!

Regarding your question Eric - I'd say my choice comes down to a personal preference in a joint situation - aside from the scoring, which band did I enjoy the most. I think we then out that to a vote, and the winner goes through.

Posted 19 Feb 2017, 11:10 p.m.

There tends to be a huge variety of reasons for a judge's decision . A common one (though not the case here) is which band has the best chance to improve in the few weeks before they'll play again.

Posted 20 Feb 2017, 8:34 a.m.

The main decider on which band gets through when there's a drawn place is who's paid the judges the most.

Posted 20 Feb 2017, 12:52 p.m.

Jake said:

The main decider on which band gets through when there's a drawn place is who's paid the judges the most.

Damnit Jake, you're not supposed to tell people!

Posted 21 Feb 2017, 2:11 p.m.

Anyone know when the audio for this will be uploaded? I'm intrigued by The J.H. Experience.

Posted 21 Feb 2017, 2:47 p.m.

They should be playing The J. H. Experience and Cap'n Falcon on RaW at 4pm today, but not sure when it'll all get uploaded. They uploaded heats 1-3 all at the same time.