Friday, 22 March 2013

Gig Review: The Y Factor Final 2013

Northampton's music scene isn't just full of has beens and old fogies, you know; we're a town brimming with talented youngsters that are just waiting to be discovered. So some of the bright sparks at Rotary Beckett organised an under 21s competition that they like to call The Y Factor - an opportunity to showcase a selection of county's finest and youngest in a bid to be crowned winner. After all performing at the semi-final in January, nineteen acts were whittled down to seven that then went on to battle it out for the title of The Y Factor Champion 2013. Let the final commence!

After an alarmingly good beginning (inside joke), the responsibility fell to the more than capable Colm Lyons to kickstart this year's finale, and he didn't disappoint. Colm's cover choices were spot on, sung with genuine feeling and emotion whilst his fingers scuttled along the guitar. As the first of four young acoustic acts on the night, in this competition, the quality of singer/guitarists had never been higher.

2nd Place - Tear Of Eden
And now, as John Cleese would say, for something completely different. Shattering, shredding and shaking their manes in fury, the Rugby-based metal band rocketed from the main stage in a cloud of chaotic riffery and menacing musicality that juxtaposed against the more melodic, ominous moments of their prizewinning performance. With a sound as petrifying as that it's no wonder Eden was in tears!

Broken Revolution
Rock School. It's just like School Of Rock only without Jack Black and set in a Towcester Primary School, not suburban New York. And every year without fail they always manage to secure one of their bands a place in The Y Factor Final. This year was Broken Revolution: the enormous rockers leaping around stage with both technical skill as well as heaviness-loving energy. Just five of many incredible graduates.

1st Place - Scott Walters
I have only one word: loop pedals. Okay, so admittedly that's two words, but sometimes when somebody as breathtaking as Scott walks onto stage you just have to forget those trivialities like counting words and stop, stunned, marvelling at their talent in complete awe. If he was brilliant at the semis then here Scott performed exceptionally, mesmerising the audience into screaming his name, waving their lights in the air and singing along to every last line. Sublime.

3rd Place - Kelly Barnes
Dressed fantastically and sounding even better, I can't think of anyone who deserved a place in the final more than Kelly Barnes. The gorgeous songstress has competed every year for the past three years consecutively, fine-tuning her skills both in writing and performing, before eventually cracking the final three as a powerfully-voiced, show-stopping, blue-guitared beauty.

"When a funkyass meteorite crashed into the seedy back alleys of Kettering town" begin The Incidents "two brothers and two strangers were exposed to a cosmic radiation that embued them with mighty superpowers." Donning a leather jacket and shade combo, this retro-infused explosion of vivacity shook The Roadmender to within a whisker of its existence, their onstage frolics as much a part of the performance as their abrasive musicianship.

Morton Piercewright
As the final act on the final bill, it was You Me Us singer-songwriter Morton Piercewright whose heartfelt, superhero-inspired lyrics would resonate last of all and conclude this year's talent spotting competition. At times dazzling with the heights his powerful acousticity could soar to whilst elsewhere recessing into an intricate serenity, Morton's set was a genuine showstopper (quite literally: after he had performed, the show stopped!)

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