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Battle of the Bands 1985 - Wiinners: Breaking Point

LAST SATURDAY saw the climax of one of Tamworth’s biggest ever rock contests – with the trio, Breaking Point, being hailed as the town’s top band.

LAST SATURDAY saw the climax of one of Tamworth’s biggest ever rock contests – with the trio, Breaking Point, being hailed as the town’s top band.

Saturday 23 February 1985
Battle of the Bands Final

1. Breaking Point (Winners)
2. Scarab
3. One On One
4. BHX
4. Spirit of Water

Tamworth Arts Centre
Admission: 60p

Judges: Liz Swift and Sam Holliday from Musicbox, Richard Whitehead, the former editor of Musicbox, Nick Ewbank and Jed Moore from Tamworth Arts Centre, Geoff Beales from Tamworth Borough Council and musicians Rikk Quay and Ian Gibbons.

Contestants were marked out of ten on: content, presentation and ‘star quality’.

The Heats

Heat 1
Thursday 14 February 1985

Tamworth Arts Centre
Dance Stance
One On One - (Heat Winners)
Love On Board (Withdrawn)
Original Royal Family

Admission: 50p

Note: Controversy raged when one of the five judges was disqualified for walking out half-way through the gig of the last band The Royal Family. The disqualification gave One On One a clear victory, making them the first band into the final.

Heat 2
Friday 15 February 1985

Tamworth Arts Centre
Child’s Play
Vicious Malicious
Wolfsbane (Withdrawn)
Pulsebeat
Scarab - (Heat Winners)

Admission: 50p

Note: Vicious Malicious – an unholy alliance of Select Elect and The Elusive They took to the stage and proceeded to smash up guitars and tape recorders as well as run riot with a chainsaw.

Heat 3
Thursday 21 February 1985

Tamworth Arts Centre
A5
Spirit of Water - (Heat Winners)
Ideal Standard
Sitting Pretty

Admission: 50p

Heat 4
Friday 22 February 1985

Tamworth Arts Centre
Breaking Point - (Heat Winners)
BHX
Caprice
Sacred Oath

Admission: 50p

Complete Musicbox Coverage

1985
Tamworth Herald – 01/02/85
TAMWORTH is to stage its first-ever ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition next month. The contest, to find Tamworth’s top group, is part of the Young People’s Arts Festival event which is held in the town every two years.

The contest will stretch over five nights at the Tamworth Arts Centre and 16 bands have been lined up to chase the first prize of a special trophy.

The way the contest is run is simple. There will be four qualifying heats with the winners of each earning themselves a guaranteed place in the final.

In addition, there will be a place for the best runner-up, to make a five-band final on Saturday February 23.

The idea for the contest has been around for a long time, following the repeated success of a similar venture in Burton. When the idea was put before Tamworth’s bands, the contest was greeted with universal enthusiasm.

The award follows hot on the heels of Musicbox’s own popular top band contest in which Dream factory took first place.

Competing

The contest gets underway on Thursday, February 14, when Dance Stance, One On One, Love On Board and The Original Royal Family will be competing for a final place.

On each of the four nights each band will be given a maximum of 25 minutes to impress the five judges, who will each give points on content, presentation and, in true ‘New Faces’ style, star quality.

The acts will be marked out of 10 for content and five for the other two categories, enabling the five judges to award a maximum of 100 points between them.

For the overall winner in each heat, their place in the final is ensured, but for the second-placed bands there will be a nail-biting wait to see which runners-up have the highest points.

As an added incentive, all the five finalists have been guaranteed a place in the August Bank Holiday Festival.

Each of the qualifying heat concerts will cost just 50p admission, and the final, on February 23, will cost 60p. For the bands themselves it will be a unique chance to see who is the local ‘top of the pops’, but for the Tamworth public, it will mean five very good – and very cheap – concerts.

The full night by night line-up is printed below.

Thursday 14th
Dance Stance, One On One, Love On Board, Original Royal Family

Friday 15th
Child’s Play, Wolfsbane, Pulsebeat, Scarab

Saturday 16th
A5, Spirit of Water, Ideal Standard, Sitting Pretty

Friday 22nd
Breaking point, BHX, Caprice, Sacred Oath

Tamworth Herald – 08/02/85
Musicbox – Launching into a battle of contrasts
THURSDAY night sees the start of the first ever “Battle of the Bands” competition to be held in Tamworth.

The five-night contest, part of the Young Peoples’ Arts Festival, kicks off with arguably the most varied line-up of the four heats.

Dance Stance, One On One, Love On Board and The Original Royal Family will all take to the Arts Centre stage chasing the one final place up for grabs.

Like all three other heats, the bands will be judged by five different people who will mark them on content, presentation and ‘star quality’.

The judges

Among the pool of judges – five of whom will judge every night – will be Liz Swift and Sam Holliday from Musicbox, Richard Whitehead, the former editor of Musicbox, Nick Ewbank and Jed Moore from Tamworth Arts Centre, Geoff Beales from Tamworth Borough Council and musicians Rikk Quay and Ian Gibbons.

Thursday night’s heat starts at around 7.45pm and entry is 50p.

One of the dates of the four heats has now been changed. There will not now be a heat on Saturday, February16, instead Sitting Pretty, A5, Ideal Standard and Spirit of Water will battle it out on Thursday, February 21.

Tamworth Herald – 15/02/85
Musicbox
DON’T forget tonight is the second night of the Tamworth Battle of the Bands contest. The late pull-out of Wolfsbane made the nigh even harder to predict as it brings together popular rockers Scarab and Childs Play plus the unknown of Pulsebeat. Like all the other Battle of the Bands heats, entry to the gig is 50p and the winners will be given a guaranteed place in the final on Saturday, February 23.

Tamworth Herald – 22/02/85
Musicbox – Shock waves on battleground
Smashing time as riot hits stage

TOMORROW night Tamworth Arts Centre will play host to the final of the keenly-fought ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest.

The final, featuring five groups will be the culmination of four strong heats, the last of which is at the Arts Centre tonight (Friday),

Already the contest has attracted great interest and has been packed full of surprises and controversy.

It all began last Thursday when three very different acts – Dance Stance, One On One and The Original Royal Family took to the stage.

Controversy started to rage however, when one of the five judges was disqualified for walking out half-way through the gig of the last band The Royal Family. The disqualification gave One On One a clear victory, making them the first band into the final – and therefore the Bank Holiday rock festival.

Overflowing

Twenty-four hours later at the Arts Centre a packed-to-overflowing audience saw an amazing four-band contest. Childs Play opened the proceedings with their former guitarist, who had been dragged out of the bar because their normal player had disappeared!

The shock continued when Vicious Malicious – an unholy alliance of Select Elect and The Elusive They took to the stage and proceeded to smash up guitars and tape recorders as well as run riot with a chainsaw. The word was bizarre. All part of the act, of course.

And, if that wasn’t enough of a culture shock to the audience, then the new Pulsebeat, who after starting cautiously, had the whole crowd on their feet with some brilliant, individual guitar playing.

By now nothing could be surprising – but last band Scarab almost were. They came on and gave a blinding show bashing out 100mph rock anthems which sent their loyal fans into a state of acute frenzy. They threw in volcano-style fireworks, flashing lights and fake blood to provide a riveting performance. Needless to say they won, so booking their automatic place in tomorrow’s final.

The third heat was held last night (Thursday) and one of the following four acts will be in tomorrows final – Ideal Standard, Spirit of Water and Sitting Pretty.

The final heat will be tonight when Breaking Point, BHX, Sacred Oath and Caprice will battle it out.

Each of the acts has a lot going for them and predicting the result is extremely difficult.

BHX have proved their status by being offered several dates all round the country; Sacred Oath are now back fresher and more determined; Caprice get more confident with every gig and Breaking Point are Breaking point.

Surpassed

Don’t forget there will also be a place in tomorrow’s final for the highest scoring runner-up during the whole contest.

On the first two heats, Childs Play and Pulsebeat both with 59 points held second equal though it is likely that this total will be surpassed tomorrow night.

So an extraordinary night is in prospect. The finalists will be given only 20 minutes to impress the judges that they are Tamworth’s top band. The overall winner will be invited to play at the Young People’s Arts festival night in March where they will also be presented with their winning trophy.

Saturday’s final starts at around 8pm and entry is 60p. it is going to be packed to the rafters so people are advised to arrive early to enjoy this potentially tremendous occasion.

SAM HOLLIDAY

Tamworth Herald – 01/03/85
Musicbox – Cream of the bands surfaces in fine battle
LAST SATURDAY saw the climax of one of Tamworth’s biggest ever rock contests – with the trio, Breaking Point, being hailed as the town’s top band.

Fore the past fortnight, Tamworth’s music scene has been monopolised by the “Battle of the Bands” competition. It has been a full-blown fight between 16 competitors to find out the cream of the local groups.

After a series of heats which have seen musicians smashing up their instruments on stage, lead singers “bleeding” fake blood, a judge being disqualified for seeking refuge in the bar during the heat of the action and the Arts Centre filled to the brim night after night, there was no knowing what would appeal to the judges of the final.

Breaking Point did. The three musicians delivered a potent package with professional verve. Where other bands leaned heavily on the impact of barrages of sound, they concentrated on detail. Vocals were clear and rhythm and bass powerful and gripping.

Breaking Point were awarded 88 points out of a possible 100 and will receive their trophy at the Young People’s Arts Festival night later this month.

Five bands qualified for the last leg of this sonic spectacular. The five brought with them the crowds of faithful fans who were packed like sardines into the rainbow-lit auditorium.

Unlike sardines they represented five wildly different types of music. The discrepancies of opinion in the audience were mirrored in the judges’ panel…each judge showed a tendency towards extreme reaction to the bands – they loved them or hated them.

Poor imitation

Joint fifth place went to BHX and Spirit of Water. BHX were the first to perform and it was a disappointing start to the evening. The band were a poor imitation of some of the more forgettable heavy-metal groups.

No matter how much the vocalist screamed and bawled, he didn’t manage to put himself over at all. I did detect a melody at one point but it fizzled out pretty soon beneath the drummer’s monotonous onslaught. I hear BHX have a national tour on the cards. Perhaps they were having an off night?

I was surprised that Spirit of Water didn’t do better. There was plenty of variety in their performance and the group had the advantage of a talented vocalist. They were seen at their best in their final number called The Fox.

One On One were placed next. They produced a well rounded sound though unfortunately the performance was a little disturbed by microphone trouble.

The outrageous Scarab were the runners-up. If there had been a prize for the highest number of decibels achieved, they certainly would have won. After the fireworks, the fake blood, the amazing verbal ad-libbing from the band and the blatant flouting of the 20-minute time limit. I scarcely noticed the music. But frenzied fans seemed to like it. And that, as the lead singer pointed out in no uncertain terms, is what it’s all about.


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