VIDEO: First-rate rock ’n’ roll at Horsham Battle of the Bands 2017

Horsham revellers enjoyed two superb days of live music at this year’s Battle of the Bands finals.

The annual event, which was held in Horsham Park’s Human Nature Garden on Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20, took the form of a festival, offering soul, folk, metal and plenty of rock ’n’ roll from a diverse line-up.

Numskull (Originals winners). Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

Numskull (Originals winners). Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

It included the finals for three competitions – Covers, Originals and Acoustic – and the acts had previously been selected in heats at Horsham Sports Club (August 13 and 18).

BotB organiser and Sussex musician Jamie ‘Stan’ Stanley praised the high standard of musical acts at this year’s contest, as well as the professionalism of those working backstage.

During the event there were some concerns that the good weather wouldn’t last.

On Saturday, for example, the team had to deflate the stage covering because of the strong winds.

Half My Kingdom (Covers winners). Picture by Lawrence Smith

Half My Kingdom (Covers winners). Picture by Lawrence Smith

“That was a bit of a shame,” said Stan. “But the crew was excellent and they sorted it out in record time.”

The rest of the festival ran smoothly and on Sunday the team were able to get ahead of schedule by racing through the changeovers for the different musicians.

“That was absolutely essential,” said Stan. “It was scheduled to rain at 6pm and we were scheduled to finish at 6.30pm.”

Luckily enough, it started to rain just after Stan had announced the winners and brought the event to a close.

Serena Dalton (Acoustic winner). Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

Serena Dalton (Acoustic winner). Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

“It worked out perfectly,” Stan added.

The winners for this year’s Covers category (Saturday) were Half My Kingdom. The runners up were Manbitesdog and Dead 70’s, who were also the People’s Choice winners.

The Originals winners (Saturday) were a trio of 15-year-old punk rockers from Chichester called Numskull. They were also the People’s Choice champions.

“I think they were deserving winners on the strength of their performance on the day,” said Stan. “They’re all really young, but they’re a very tight band. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea but they’re very good at what they do.”

Soho Dukes. Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

Soho Dukes. Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

The runners up for the Originals competition were the rock ’n’ roll band Soho Dukes and the mellow swing and pop group Leave The Engine Running.

The winner of the Acoustic contest (Sunday) was Serena Dalton, who was the People’s Choice winner as well.

“She’s just an excellent singer-songwriter,” said Stan. “I’m not sure how I would describe her music but she’s just really good.”

The Acoustic runners up were 17-year-old Brighton songwriter Christelle and soulful Americana artist Rebecca Riedtmann.

The Covers winners get £200, plus a £50 Sussex Soundhouse voucher.

The Originals and Acoustic winners get to record one of their songs at QM Studios, as well as a photoshoot and a professional music video shot by Scott Chalmers.

Jo from Leave The Engine Running. Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

Jo from Leave The Engine Running. Picture by Chezzimm Photography/Cheryl Zimmermann

As well as music, the festival weekend provided plenty of fun for youngsters in the form of circus workshops, face-painting and other family activities.

Stan thanked everyone who sponsored and supported this year’s event, including QM Studios, the Horsham District Live Music Alliance, Sussex Soundhouse, Horsham District Council and High Gain Events.

Visit www.horshambotb.co.uk to find out more.

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