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Battle Of The Bands -
Hannah's Bar, Liverpool
26th November 2004

"Enjoy this trip"

The last few gigs I had attended were all by well established professional bands, so it was with some eagerness I attended at this latest round of the Battle Of The Bands hosted by and held in the upstairs bar of Hannah's. Apparently this was round six of a possible twelve with four entrants on each night. Each band used their our equipment, bar the drums which for practical reasons were provided by the house, the sound then being fed through the house PA and mixed in house - all in the name of fairness. Each band being given approximately forty minutes to impress before the votes were cast.

Sadly two of the entrants, High Fly and Unforgiven were forced to withdraw at short notice, and replacements were not found.

First on were Seventh Letter, a four piece rock outfit that took to the stage and presented to us a very average sub Led Zep grunge type noise that in fairness was hampered by poor vocals, probably caused by unfavourable mixing. Despite the best rock god poses the frontman could offer, audience interest waned as each song blurred into the next, failing to grab anyone's attention.

Which then left Trip, who took to the floor and immediately set to work with their arty rock, post punk funk influenced sound. Frontman Ivan was able to work the crowd easily winning over any doubters, whilst a solid sound was churned out behind him. Apparently this was only their second ever gig and the first with this line up, that being the case things for Trip look very positive, not quite as tight as they could of been but this is early days. But what do they sound like? well if your as old as my good self, think of bits of Gang Of Four, elements of Pere Ubu all mixed together with a bit of reggae thrown in for good measure. A more up to date reference? possibly a little bit of Franz Ferdinand, either way they certainly offer up an interesting mixture, that is worthy of future attention.

We were treated to eight songs, seven of which were their own material and then a cover of Coldplay's 'Yellow' which thankfully was so distorted from the original that it became barely recognisable, and then that was it, just the votes to be counted.

To be fair it was a forgone conclusion, Trip being declared the worthy winners by apparently the largest margin of the contest so far. And the prize, well they gained entry to the next round and a further shot at the all expenses paid trip and gig in New York that will go to the overall winner. Myself, I reckon the more in the know New Yorker would immediately take to a quirky English art rock sound, but that's a long way off...

Credit also to Hannah's Bar and the organisers of the contest for offering a stage to bands at this early stage in their development. And the crowd, well I reckon it measured a healthy hundred all of which went home having seen two bands for the princely sum of 3 - cant really argue with that.


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