On Friday night at The Apex, BURYSOUND, which is now in its fourteenth year of running, played host to a mixture of bands and solo artists from a variety of genres and musical backgrounds all competing to be crowned this year’s winner!
First up was Harmless Insanity, a three-piece punk rock band from Ipswich, raising the energy in the room and kicking off to a great start. With the large stage it was near impossible to pin them down. Their music style heavily influenced by bands such as AC/DC was portrayed well; however it seemed to lack the originality that is looked for within the competition.
Next we had Rusty Keys, a fairly young alternative rock band from Bury St. Edmunds. Despite their ages they were a crowd favourite displaying influences from many genres of music, such as old school rock, reggae, and even funk in places. As a band they performed these well, interacting with the audience and providing some light hearted humour from their nervous and quirky performance. For the entertainment factor the band had this nailed, as well as having a mature sound for such young musicians, although they lacked the tightness and strength as a band that will develop over time.
Then we had Cathedral & Cars, a three-piece acoustic indie/folk band from Bury St. Edmunds who had possibly the best image of the night, having Christmas lights decorating the floor of the stage, and even a table for wine next to the lead singer. Their music was delicate yet powerful, with clear influences from artists such as Mumford & Sons, however lacking the energy that was needed to charm the audience and hook the judges enough for the win.
After we had our first solo artist of the night, Danielle Scharpf, a contemporary singer and pianist from Newmarket who took to the stage, apologising quickly for her sore throat before beginning the first of many powerful and emotional songs about the stages of break-up and learning to love again. She chose an unexpected cover of Foo Fighters’ Best Of You which brought the audience to almost silence as they listened in awe of her version. It was a shame that her throat let her down in places; however it was a good performance none the less.
Finally we had Lewis Mokler, an acoustic singer/songwriter from Newmarket who’s influences range from Bon Iver to Ed Sheeran. As he walked onto the stage the audience gave the best reaction of the night, cheering, screaming, whistling and even chanting as he introduced himself to them. He blasted out a number of his original songs including Bubble-Wrapped Heart, Nutella and Love Recipe, which all had the audience clapping along and singing back the chorus as he played. Although not as energetic on stage as others, he used his breaks between songs to charm the crowd with funny little stories of the songs and the meanings behind them. With local boy Ed Sheeran so popular at the moment it was hard to fight off the comparisons with him, however Lewis shone through showing his differences vocally and his unique singing style.
Lewis Mokler was crowned Winner of BurySOUND 2011 before taking to the stage yet again to perform his song, Live For Today. As a prize he was awarded two days free recording at The Shrubbery Studios, as well as free CD duplication and £250 to spend at Sounds Plus, which Lewis has told us shall be going towards album production early next year.