Warwick Battle of the Bands 2014: Semi-Final

The funny thing about photographing BOTB is that when you take into account all the heats I’m at and the hours of editing time I put in, my brain almost gets tricked into thinking I know these people I’m literally spending hours starring at. Which is kind of awkward considering I spend 90% of my time with a camera covering my face and they probably don’t have a clue as to who I am – I’m just some girl who turns up, sticks a camera in their face and leaves. As creepy as that makes me sound when I put it like this (although I promise you, I’m not), I do still enjoy it a lot. It can, however, lead to some strange moments. Last year I had a fairly lengthy conversation with this guy on the piazza where, the entire time, I couldn’t help but think I recognised him and couldn’t place it. He felt the same and it took a while before he suddenly came out with ‘YOU TOOK MY PROFILE PICTURE’ and it suddenly all made sense; he’d been in the last years BOTB final.

Anyway, these weird memories and thoughts were basically triggered by the fact that last night was the BOTB final and that is could potentially be the last one I ever photograph. I know, that sounds like a silly thing to get sad about but it’s been a surprisingly big part of my past 3 years at Warwick and I’ve really enjoyed it.

But no mushy thoughts, I’m too tough and manly for that. And wayyyyy before we get onto the final I have the semi-final photos to share!

So the semi-final was last Thursday and it was very good. Some really incredible bands played and I would have hated to have been judging. Not that I actually know anything about music but that’s beside the point…

First up was Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus who I, unfortunately, missed seeing in the heats but who were pretty great on the night. Not necessarily my favourite style of music but still pretty awesome.

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Sir Wheat and Miss Elaneus

Second band of the night was At Ease and I enjoyed their set tonight even more than in the heats. They’re just a really fun band to watch and listen to and the more I hear them, the more I like them.

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

At Ease

With These Machines are a band I’ve seen in the past but, sadly, didn’t get to see their heat this year so I was very excited to see them playing in the semis. They’ve improved a lot since I last saw them (not that they weren’t great before) so their set was really impressive with a lot of energy.

With These Machines

With These Machines

With These Machines

With These Machines

With These Machines

With These Machines

With These Machines

With These Machines

Another band I was very excited to see again were Brave The Woods. There’s just something about their performances that make me smile. I’m sad they didn’t get through to the final but I reckon they could do really well next year so I’m hoping they enter again, I’m just sad I might not be around to see it. (Looking back, I’ve just realised how sinister that sounds. Don’t worry, I’m not dying, I’m just planning on running away and getting a real person job for a year or so before I finish my degree.)

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

Brave The Woods

The next band was one I have a bit of a weakness for because their songs always get stuck in my head so I can’t help but love them. Jordan and the Sketcheads. A really fun, energetic set and you can’t deny that Jordan has a crazy-impressive voice. I’m really happy they got through to the final, they’re a talented bunch of guys.

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Jordan and the Sketcheads

Finally there was The Victor’s Jig who are one of the few bands I saw from Heat 4. Slighty better photos this time, but still difficult with so many people on such a small stage and so few lights. They played well despite having a little problem with the keyboard… If I’m being honest, I think I preferred their set in the heat but that’s not to say this one was bad. Far from it. Their frontman was who really stood out for me. He had the most energy and really let his personality shine though and had a great voice on top of that so he really impressed me.

The Victor's Jig

The Victor's Jig

The Victor's Jig

The Victor's Jig

The Victor's Jig

The Victor's Jig

The Victor's Jig

The Victor's Jig

So that was the semi-final! I now have to go sort through almost 3,200 photos from last night’s final – yay!

In the end Jordan and the Sketcheads went through to the final (spoiler: it was a great performance there too) and to see the judges comments for them and all the other acts just head over to the BandSoc website.

All the semi-final performances, and all the ones from the heats too, can be heard on RaW’s website. Seriously, go listen, they’re awesome.

And all the photos from the semi-finals can be seen (in terrible quality) over on my Facebook page.

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