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Petchfest - Battle Of The Bands (Round 4)

With a vision of remembering a dear friend of the organisers, Petchfest is a great local festival, full of energy, fantastic people and incredible bands. They want to celebrate what Sean Petch kept close to his hear - passion for live music, raising money for charity and bringing people together. It is a great event, which focuses on improving their local community. I've had the pleasure of attending the Round 4 of their Battle Of The Bands, featuring Paperfriend, Turtle Circles and Hounding. The stakes? A place in the final round of Petchfest BOTB, with the ultimate prize of taking a spot at the festival itself. It's a great opportunity for local bands to play for a bigger audience and possibly get a breakthrough they desire. It's no wonder then that all of the bands went all out. Paperfriend, who opened the show, were at a disadvantage from the off. Their bassist, Matt Ladbrooke, unfortunately wasn't able to attend the show and the band simply didn't have time to draft someone else in. It was absolutely no problem for Dean Ince (guitar and vocals) and Andy Beck (drums) who gave all they had and got the whole crowd going. There is something special about the band, the way they present themselves on and off stage. It draws you closer, leaving you wanting more and more every time they finish a song. The band describes itself as 'Emo', with influences from bands such as Biffy Clyro and Deaf Havana. When listening to them, one can definitely hear those influences. With their energetic performance and catchy, dynamic songs, they certainly know how to hook their listener in. A very enjoyable experience, and I look forward to hearing more from the Maidstone based band. You can listen to Paperfriend's newest single "Gone" right here. If someone asked me to describe Turtle Circles, my mind would go into meltdown. They describe themselves as "the band you want to listen to when your parents are in and they won't give you your allowance 'til you finish your chores". A mixture of post-punk extravaganza and absolute mayhem, they stole my heart after I've heard they played a show just a couple of hours before playing at Petchfest. After racing down to Dover to get to the venue on time, they were still able to give an unforgettable show. Coor Brow-Obles (vocal, guitars, Gerrard Way look alike), James Clarke (keys, pulling faces at the camera) and Luke Cooper (drums, being an absolute beast on the kit) are the people behind this extraordinary piece of carnage. These guys play, because they love it. They enjoy every second of it and it shows. I was really looking forward to discovering them a bit more. That is, until they pulled a Creeper on the crowd and announced that this was one of the last shows they will play. (Who the hell needs a dissertation, anyway? Serial killers. That's who, Coor). If you want to experience this absolute madness, and then go curl up in a corner and cry like a baby because there won't be any more of it, then you can listen to Turtle Circles here.


Hounding. A band that needs no introduction if you're keeping an eye on the local scene. Back on my old blog I said that they have a great future ahead of them, and oh boy are they an exciting prospect. While Paperfriend wowed us with their brilliantly balanced songs and lyrical masterclass and Turtle Circles whipped us away on a journey to the centre of madness, Hounding simply stole the show by doing both at the same time, and adding a dash of spectacular on top. Their choppy, fuzzy riffs and punchy beats would make anyone bop their head to their tracks. It is no wonder then that the whole venue went into a frenzy during their performance, demanding an encore, catching Stu (bass) crowd surfing, stealing the mic from El (vocals and guitar) and swapping Tom (drums) with James Nesbit (the legend organising Petchfest) for a song. Hounding had the whole place rocking. It was a mental, high energy performance, full of excitement. Their garage punk style combined with the energy they have on stage and ability to get the crowd roaring make an explosive mix. It's just a matter of time until it explodes into something amazing. You can listen to Hounding's debut EP "Mutt" right here.


The final round of Petchfest's Battle Of The Bands is taking place at Les Fleur's, Dover on the 18th of May. Be sure to come down to this amazing event. It's free entry so no excuses!

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