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Posted 19 Jan 2018, 3:34 p.m.

Judge: Fin

Artist: the smoking kills

Musicianship / Skill - 2.5

Vocals - Good, both the quieter stuff and the belting it out

Guitar - Pretty rudimentary stuff, but played well.

bass - Mostly seemed to follow the guitar lines

Drums - Confident fills; nothing special in terms of beats, but nice and tight - let rip a bit more!

Professionalism - 3

Start was a little timid, but you relaxed into it. Set was too short at ~9 minutes: better than running over but still bad, especially after false starting the third song.

Songwriting - 2.5

Nothing revolutionary in terms of structure. Songs all fit together nicely - not a lot of novelty - but not long enough for that to start to wear thin.

Creativity - 2.5

Nice opening, sets the tone well - if a little timid. No real evolution of sound throughout the set. Could use something to set you out

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

Drummer giving it laldie (Scottish informal: great energy and enjoyment, or great force) in the fills. Not a huge amount of movement on stage - rock out a little bit!

Overall - 14

You are solid as an act, but there's nothing to set you apart. There's definitely some promise here - I just want to see you all let loose a bit.

Rank - 3rd

Artist: Naga Sadhu

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Drums - Loads of power, nice fills

Guitar - Tight and clear playing. Tone might be a touch muddy at times. Impressive to keep playing the same thing so consistently.

Professionalism - 5

Kinda wish there was a bit more high end on the guitar in the heavier sections - tone is nicely evil though so that might fuck everything up

Songwriting - 3

Impressive to keep one riff interesting for that long. Great tension. The idea does get a little stale after a while though.

Creativity - 3

You don't have a lot of riffs but you've woven them together well. Samples don't add much - they are a bit muffled and with the acoustics in the room you can barely make them out.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 3.5

LOUD. Good rock faces, loads of presence. Feel the ending would have been better as a slow petering out rather than switching up to the "big" ending

Overall – 18.5

It's good, and you really know how to stretch out your material, but about 2/3rds through I was waiting for something a bit more. Maybe look at incorporating your samples in with the building sections to try to keep it fresh.

(Would randomly shuffle to on spotify and add a few songs to a playlist)

Rank – 2nd

Artist: Floorboard

Musicianship / Skill – 5

Very tight, all together, excellent sound separation between instruments. Great little fills from everyone. Some…interesting choices in the drum solos, third section felt misplaced and could’ve worked as a transition instead

Professionalism - 4.5

Since when can you actually hear the keys in a live set? Impressive!

Bass tone possibly lets you down a touch, slightly too muddy. DON’T YANK OUT YOUR CABLES.

Songwriting - 5

Songs flow nicely, are very well crafted and everyone is utilised. Nice use of stops

Creativity – 3

You took the music in a few interesting places, there was a change in the last song that was pretty damn tasty. Overall though there’s not a lot of your own “stamp” on the songs. Fairly sure it was all 4/4 too? Experiment with time. I know you can!

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 4

Big presence, a little movement. It’s crowded up there sure, but I’d still like to see a bit more energy

Overall – 21.5

Phenomenal playing and wonderful tones. Your songs are ace, but you need to inject a little more of your own unique style into them. Expand and experiment.

Rank – 1st

Artist: Space Whales

Musicianship / Skill – 2

Solid through the quieter intro but it got quite messy in the heavier bits. Lower vocals get lost in the mix – you need more power behind them. More confidence needed – especially for the drummer – hitting with more purpose will get you a better sound.

Professionalism – 2

Is that guitar out of tune? Generally a little messy in execution. Work on tightening up. Quite shy vibe as well – own that stage.

Songwriting - 2.5

It seems like everyone is playing on top of each other instead of synergising. If two people are playing different things make sure they are distinct and complementary. Structurally your songs are fine, but they need polish and refining.

Creativity – 2

Some interesting avenues were definitely walked down, but the general cacophony obscured them. You can’t pick out uniqueness if you can’t pick out anything at all.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 1.5

Shy on stage, little presence. You need more confidence in your right to the stage.

Overall – 10

You don’t seem all that solid as a unit yet, but it will come with time. Keep working to get tighter and refine your songs to utilise all members better and you could have a stonking act (“stonking” adjective: british informal used to emphasize something impressive, exciting, or very large.)

Rank – 4th

Artist: Victor Emmanuel

Musicianship / Skill – 2

Very rudimentary guitar work, but mostly clean. Vocals are decent, but a little muddled at times. Louder sections are where you are strongest.

Professionalism – 2

Don’t start a song then check tuning then get a tuner then start tuning silently. Set was just a touch short.

Songwriting - 1.5

Try not to have a complete stop between sections unless it serves a distinct purpose – bridge the gaps. Song kind of jumps all over the place – very dissonant sections.

Creativity – 1

Interesting chord choice – but in a fairly pedestrian chord progression. Try to write more for the guitar than just chords, - it should work with your vocals and not just be a backing track. Also obligatory creativity drop for playing a cover.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 1

You’ve got some energy but mostly staring down at your guitar – give the audience a glance occasionally.

Overall – 7.5

It’s mostly basic stuff and the more complex stuff kinda fell flat. Try to develop your guitar lines, get them to work in synergy with your vocals, and keep at it.

Rank – 5th

Places:

1. Floorboard

2. Naga Sadhu

3. the smoking kills

4. Space Whales

5. Victor Emmanuel

Posted 19 Jan 2018, 3:35 p.m.

Judge: Adam Thompson

Artist: (the) smoking kills

Musicianship / Skill – 2.5

Guitar: Mostly harmless – I wanted a lot more from you

Bass/Vox: Vox mostly slick with an occasional over-reach. Bass well picked but a bit simple.

Drums: Packing a solid punch, if simplistic – mostly appropriate but timing sometimes a tad sloppy.

Professionalism – 1

Slightly lacklustre start. Decent level of confidence but the band intro is an unnecessary cliché – ditch this right now. Keep the snare off when not playing or it will ruin the ambience. Song 3 intro fell apart. Waaaaaaaay too short at 9:10 & sketchy packdown.

Songwriting - 2.5

Song 1: Moody grungy goodness, decent flow throughout.

Song 2: Built at start a little slow – doesn’t go anywhere

Song 3: Great shift in style, but riffs extremely simple. Less good gratuitous solo, but great end.

Creativity – 2

Fairly well trodden ground, but well put together within your Nirvana roots. I know a certain SU employee whose street this would be up. Set as a whole was OK, though could have benefited from some variety moving through

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 2

Not completely dead, with some moments of lucidity. I’d have liked more from the performance though and I don’t think the 90’s spirit had its chance to shine through.

Overall – 10

Hmm. I was let down a lot on the extreme shortness of the set, and it was sadly forgettable other than that. With developments this will be excellent, but I’d give it a few hours longer in the crockpot

Rank – 3rd

Artist: Naga Munchetty

Musicianship / Skill – 3.5

Guitar: Not convinced by your heavy tone, it’s a little clean for me and I think could use some crunch – bit of feedback too. Playing is competent.

Drums: Fucking power house – timing utterly on point & some banging fills.

Professionalism – 2.5

Intro take – just as I was about to complain it ended – didn’t add much. Transition into song 2 was a tad awkward. Elsewise, generally well-rehearsed and tight. A bit shy at 13 minutes but nice outro and fantastic band fluency.

Songwriting - 2

Song 1: Now that is how to develop a song – lovely drop into the meat. I’d have liked a little more development afterwards though & transition into 2nd (3rd?) riff didn’t work well.

Song 2: intro take doesn’t work again, and I’m sadly starting to lose interest by minute 9 of the set. Dancing for riff at 11:30 though – very amusing!

Creativity – 3

Now I know you’re going for minimalism but for me it didn’t always work – some excellent sections but the rise and fall, while occasionally perfect, didn’t always progress as smoothly as I’d hoped. Fairly novel though which is nice.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 3.5

Drums giving it the absolute beans & is totally lost in the sludge (in a good way). Guitar is much more restricted and while you occasionally drop into it, the performance comes across as nervous.

Overall – 14.5

I wanted to love this, and at times I really did, but I felt you needed to lose yourself a lot more in the music, work on transitions and tighten up the conceptual flow of your songs.

Rank – 2nd

Artist: Floorboard

Musicianship / Skill – 5

Drums: Solid and you’ve tightened up loads in a year. Great fills, well done.

Bass: Nice work – some lovely licks.

Guitar: Giving the wind centre stage, but still good.

Keys: As with guitar, with some really stand out moments – vocoder was fucking brilliant.

Flute and Trumpet: Both very very good with fantastic dynamic control

Professionalism – 3

Excellent until you opened your mouth – keep your love of Spicy Bites to yourself. Quality of the music is at a highly pressure level though, makes for a great show.

CABLE POP = -1!!!

Songwriting - 4.5

Song 1: What is it with these intro takes? At least this worked. Tad sloppy into riff but tasty once in. Tight as fuck, lovely flow.

Song 2: Excellent transitions, genuinely really nice piece of music

Song 3: As above! Fabulous!

Song 4: Rockier tone – I like it. That riff gave me the chills and will be in my head for days. Some experimental stuff in here that mostly worked but no always. Tasty end.

Creativity – 4

Jazz like this is well trodden, but this is more thought through and beautifully designed than most. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and is an absolute delight, but guys – for jazz there is room for something other than 4/4

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 3.5

All well into it, and acting like a cohesive unit. Trumpet particularly rocking out and great mustard from the drums. Let down by awkward sections between songs.

Overall – 20

Musically wonderful – really, really nice. Tighten up on the betweeny bits and sort out your “act”, then this will be really up there.

Rank – 1st

Artist: Space Whales

Musicianship / Skill – 1.5

Drums: Seriously lacking punch, but mostly in time

Bass: Some duff notes in there – mostly simple

Guitar: Acceptable riff work

Guitar/Vox: Competent guitar. Falsetto is haunting, but lower notes out of tune and/or lost in mix

Keys: Totally lost in the mix, likely superfluous

Professionalism – 1.5

“Hello we are BLAH BLAH BLAH” – weak start. Squire strat out of tune. Generally reeks of “fresher band” – this will fade with time and practice. Shy at 13 minutes.

Songwriting - 1.5

Song 1: Not terrible, but very derivative and doesn’t go anywhere. Forgettable and weak diction means lyrics are totally lost. Faded out of existence- why did a 4 minute song last 7 minutes?

Song 2: Intro, stop intro 2? Unusual choice. Not formed into what I’d really refer to as a cohesive song, but some nice moments.

Creativity – 1

Walking a very familiar path here I’m afraid, sounding a lot like every lazy four-chord band I’ve heard. Not a lot to say other than that.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 1

Practically non-existent – needs a lot of practice but this will come with gig experience. Plays as often as you can and work on your relationships as a band – this looks more like a group of acquaintances than a unit

Overall – 6.5

Not strong, and this feels like an act in the making for the future year. We’ve all been there: keep working at it and you’ll be in the final before you know it(there’s a smiley drawn here but emojis are haram on this forum)

Rank – 5th

Artist: Victor Jesus

Musicianship / Skill – 3

Guitar: Competent but deeply, deeply dull. Tone is very scratchy, and it becomes unpleasant quickly.

Vox: Diction is lacking, which means your lyrics get lost. Tone is nice though, mostly in tune.

Professionalism – 1

On fine, not particularly unprofessional as such, but definitely not what I’d call professional either. A cable that short worries me – get a longer one or risk damaging amp, instrument and self. On stage tuning without silencing is a big no. Very shy at 11 minutes.

Songwriting - 1.5

Song 1: Drastic shift after 1st verse was odd, and the transitions are sketchy. Guitar work is backing at best to the vox – with solo work, you need to put more into the guitar to prevent it being dull.

Song 2: Cover…

Song 3: Very dull, completely forgettable – have I heard this at a million open mic nights before? Probably.

Creativity – 1

Very, very run of the mill solo work, bringing practically nothing to the table. Can’t play covers if you want to score above bare minimum here, unless you’re going to bring something very special. You didn’t.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 2

The audience are paying attention, barely, and you do very little to endear us ot your performance. Some moments are engaging, but this is far from the stage show required to enrapture an audience.

Overall – 8.5

Not bad, just completely inoffensive and lacking in anything to keep me interested. You sing well, but the songs, guitar work and performance need a lot of work.

Rank – 4th

Places:

1. Floorboard

2. Naga Sadhu

3. the smoking kills

4. Victor Emmanuel

5. Space Whales

Posted 19 Jan 2018, 3:35 p.m.

Judge: Botch

Artist: The Smoking Kills

Musicianship / Skill – 4

Moody vocals open up the set – love the presence and you don’t shy away from the mic. Really enjoying the power in your voice. Drummer holding time exceptionally well with such a slow-mid tempo 1st song. Careful on the fills not to lose time though. Drumming style definitely suits the rough and ready guitar/vox style. Guitarist solid but would’ve liked to see more. Dynamically it’s a bit too monotone. Bass did the business.

Professionalism – 4

Oddly really like the quick intro to the band after the first song – gets it out of the way without being pretentious about it. Songs were short and appropriate for the style, you played fast & loose but I wish there could be more use of dynamics.

WASTED the allotted time, one more song maybe?

Songwriting - 4

Song 1: Love the grungy first song. Really grabs your attention as a set opener, great if straightforward structure!

Song 2: Surprisingly short – found the lack of instruments was a detriment to where I felt the song could’ve gone.

Song 3: What a riff! Best of the 3. You really find a strength here with the tempo of the song bringing out the best of you as a three-piece.

Creativity – 2

Nirvana through & through. No apologies for that and you certainly do it justice. I’d love more development of your 2nd song to really break out of the grungy roots. Unfortunately there isn’t much creative about your songs, but damn that 3rd song was TASTY!

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 3

As a unit you do it well: the songs punch through and you’re certainly having fun with it. I’d love to see the guitarist do more on stage – you are grunge after all!

Overall – 17

I think you write some good songs, so really go for it to sell the sound! You could push the creativity a too; try to get yourselves out of the obvious grunge!

Rank – 3rd

Judge: Who Botches the Botch men?

Artist: Naga Sadhu

Musicianship / Skill – 4

I seem to be hearing something unique, the blend of overtones with the guitar riffs and the cymbals are creating a whole new experience to listen to!

Drums: Fucking love the dynamics, excellent consistency with your rim shots, snare hits and cymbals.

Guitar: OK job with the riffs: watch the slides as they often sound imprecise.

Professionalism – 4

Nice touch with the intro, it didn’t last long enough to become a problem. OK, I really like how the audio carried you through your tune up, definitely a good touch. On/off no problems and you’re tight – especially hard to do at such a tempo.

Songwriting - 3.5

Song 1: starts with such an annoying riff, so monotonous, but wow what a contrast when you develop the song! Good call back at the end.

Song 2: Is this an inversion of the first song? Nice and different enough, though familiar. Big call back at the end of the set is cool. Enough dips and rises to sustain my attention.

Creativity – 4

Drums really drive the dynamics her, but the muddy tone of the guitar suffers in the louder sections of the songs, feel this is brought on with the lack of pickup low end. Overall I really enjoyed this, reminds me of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 3.5

Guitarist has eyes locked on the guitar which make for an unassuming stage presence. Drummer does what he does and is fun to watch. For what you were going for I just wanted a little bit more performance here.

Overall – 18.5

This section was left intentionally blank

Rank – 2nd

Judge: Botch Processing

Artist: Floorboard

Musicianship / Skill – 4.5

A Rhodes on stage – YOU WIN! Have never seen a Rhodes on this stage in EVER! Overall you’re a technically minded band, you’ve had to put thought into creating space for each other, and the trumpet/flute interplay is fantastic. Really like the vocoder, another first here! Rhythm section on point, but you don’t stand out until song 3. My main criticism is the dynamics between Rhodes & guitar: you’re occupying the same space and that’s a waste of dynamic range. Really prefer when the guitar uses wah to cut through.

Professionalism – 4

It was going so well until the jack unplug. Minor gripe but losing a point for it. You were tight and sounded great as a unit. What really stood out was how no single member was dominating musically, which I’m chalking up to professionalism.

Songwriting - 4.5

Yes, yes, yes. You’re thinking about structure, dynamics and giving everyone some time to shine. This is some fantastically written stuff. What I would like is for you to show me something different, take this funky jazzy thing and do something even more unexpected.

Creativity – 4

The drums solo & response was a little too long – started so well though! I’m a really big fan of Casiopea and you tread the line so well. Sadly, I would have loved more as I can tell you’re more than capable of doing it. Get out of 4/4? Bust out some polyrhythms?

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 2

Great to listen to, hard to watch. I got a sense of nerves from most of you, which I felt increased as the set went on.

Overall – 19

Can I hire you for my wedding? Secretly I spotted Fin “conducting” your band from his seat

Rank – 1st

Judge: Lord Botchington III

Artist: Space Whales

Musicianship / Skill – 1

Vocals: flat when you go into your lower falsetto – the higher notes are really cool though. Chest voice really doesn’t stand out though, weakly projected and flat. Considerable bass mistakes at key moments, please fingerpick more confidently. Drums were all over the place, and the fills were…just no. Guitars held things together as the main rhythm section. E-bow, just no!

2nd guitar: love the chunky lead of the dreamy guitar in the 2nd song – this is really adding dynamics to the song.

Bass: You have to get away from the root notes, and you need to lock into the drummer’s kick!

Drums: Nail those fills or don’t risk playing them: you can’t drop the beat like that! Simple fills will do the job instead.

Professionalism – 2

Weird feedback overtones, overly polite intro, don’t need it! You should start with the high falsetto, it was unexpected and really good. When you haven’t rehearsed well it really reveals the flaws, which is a shame because your vibe is so cool.

Songwriting – 1.5

Song 1: really felt like the longest 7 minutes of my life. Your songs don’t need to be so long if they don’t go anywhere. E-bow interlude just felt disjointed and lacked purpose.

Song 2: starts really nicely and I hear way more confidence. Pretty good.

Creativity – 1

A lot of Radiohead influence (add Anathema to that!). I like what you’re going for, but it just wasn’t executed well enough. You’ve really go to lock in tighter as a band to pull off this sound! The ideas were great but I can’t rate what I can’t hear.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 2

Piano tucked away stage left didn’t even see you. Very polite looking band. Get in there and play your hearts out please. There was a lot of fear on show, a lot of looking to the frontman for direction.

Overall – 7.5

You just have to rehearse more, iron out stronger sections. Listen to your monitors and watch the vocals.

Judge: Botcherbingo

Artist: Victor Emmanuel

Musicianship / Skill – 2

Guitar is played well enough, but the clean tone just grates after a while – there are no dynamics that stand out. Your voice is strong but your words often mumble, which really isn’t ideal for a singer songwriter. Would really prefer more dynamics than the strumfest presented.

Professionalism – 3

Boring chat – Backstage, a song about backstage? Really? Doing a kinda cover, kinda not was not a good way to win points! Off at 11 minutes, could’ve fit another song in there man.

Songwriting - 0

An Inuit face? Eminem riffage? This song will never end? So you can write a solid song but there’s nothing memorable about it; focus on writing some hooks. Verses and chorus blend together without any interest.

Creativity – 0

Just overly plain – nothing that’s pushing the boundaries and that’s the problem. Not original, which is something critical for a singer songwriter.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value – 1

You perform confidently enough, but without the songs to back up your performance, it all falls apart.

Overall – 6

Your voice is really good, but you just don’t have the songs yet. Focus on some hooks and add dynamics.

Rank – 5th

Places:

1. Floorboard

2. Naga Sadhu

3. the smoking kills

4. Space Whales

5. Victor Emmanuel

Total Scores:

1st Floorboard (1+1+1)

2nd Naga Sadhu (2+2+2)

3rd the smoking kills (3+3+3)

4th Space Whales (4+5+4)

5th Victor Emmanuel (5+4+5)

Posted 19 Jan 2018, 3:37 p.m.

Judge Judge: Joe Blake

Judge: Fin

Handwriting – 4

Good, legible but lacking elegance.

Language – 2

I’d prefer more technical terms. Pleasantly verbose in areas, but in future try to stick to dictionary words

Puns – 0

Fucking pathetic.

Spelling – 1

I really wanted to give you a 5 in this category: the first four pages were impeccable, but I can’t give you more than 1 after seeing the seven (7) crossed out attempts at the word “tuning” on page 5.

Overall – 7

Good read, but try to remember that “tuning” has only one n.

Judge: Thompson

Handwriting – 1

It seems you’ve finished your PhD early: you already have the illegible handwriting of a doctor.

Language – 4

Very nice, knows the language and isn’t afraid to use it. Bonus points for the British spelling of “lacklustre”

Puns – 3

Solid effort with solid puns.

Spelling – 3

Some a’s where there should be e’s and one “proffesionalism”, but definitely passable.

Overall – 11

Really nice work, just work on that handwriting.

Judge: Botch

Handwriting – 4.5

c-can you sign my programme please? Only thing holding you back from a 5 is the speed – everyone’s always waiting for you to finish!

Language – 3.5

Nothing to fault and a lot to enjoy, but your big words keep flowing off the bloody page. ONE SIDE, MAN!

Puns – 4

“Who Botches the Botch men?” is a hands down winner

Spelling – 4

So close, yet so far. Angle your head up slightly next time and you’ll see how to spell “professionalism”. ONE F!

Overall – 16

Top performance, just try to stick to the right side of the page.

Places:

1st Botch

2nd Thompson

3rd Fin


Posted 19 Jan 2018, 3:38 p.m.

As usual, if anything above is (objectively) incorrect please let me know.

Posted 19 Jan 2018, 5:48 p.m.

Judge judge judge: Eric Melander

Judge judge: Joe Blake

Creativity - 3

Inventing a new judging role is bold. Criteria fairly predictable, however.

Sass - 4

Dishing out critique, especially regarding pun dearth and spelling inadequacies.

Bins - 0

Could you stay away from them, please?

Overall - 7

Posted 19 Jan 2018, 6:13 p.m.

My Mum on Naga Sadhu coming second: "Obviously the judges have no taste in music!"

Posted 19 Jan 2018, 6:26 p.m.

*SHITPOSTING ACTIVATED*

Posted 19 Jan 2018, 6:50 p.m.

To be fair with your Mum Bec, Fin doesn't have any taste in music, so she is bang on there.

Posted 20 Jan 2018, 10:53 a.m.

I also spelt with, withe constantly throughout the night. Tuning really fucked my brain up and looked wrong constantly. I eventually had to look it up on my phone. 1 is pretty generous tbh.

Puns – 4

“Who Botches the Botch men?” is a hands down winner

That was mine! I demand a recount!

My Mum on Naga Sadhu coming second: "Obviously the judges have no taste in music!"

#iagreewithbexapostrophesmum