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Stratcast Radio Live From The Riverside Revelry
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July 02, 2011 03:49 PM PDT
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James Blackburn and Wayne Bartlett brought three hours of radio gold live from The Riverside Revelry in Barton. We've collected all the best bits for you to download and keep. Check back at www.stratcst.co.uk for more upcoming events for you to get involved in.

Stratcast Live From The Stratford Fringe Festival
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May 28, 2011 03:17 PM PDT
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James Blackburn brings you exclusive interviews with two performers at the Stratford Fringe Festival ahead of their performances. Ginny Davies popped in to chat about her two plays, 10 Questions and Double Booked. We also caught up with Fiona Cox, the warm up act for The Occasional Orchestra.

Soundclash 2011 - March 30th - The Final
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March 31, 2011 01:32 PM PDT
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Coffee Shop Situation vs. Basement Services vs. The Death of Johnny Alpha

After many weeks of local unsigned bands battling it out to be crowned the winner of Soundclash 2011, the final is finally here. We’ve had passion, performance and integrity and now the public have chosen the final three. Two indie acts and a metal rock, the music promised to be varied and colourful.

First up was a very nervous Coffee Shop Situation who has been classed as the underdogs of this competition. Let’s face it; the other two bands have a bigger following so they would really need to pull out all of the stops. This band performed better than their previous sets, with more energy and charisma than we thought possible. This band genuinely wanted to win but they certainly had a great appreciation of the competition. With an excellent cover of the Kook’s ‘Naïve’, the enormous crowd were treated to a beautiful set. The crowd were singing along, and really soaking in the atmosphere.

Crowd pleasers Basement Services were up next and they were to enjoy every moment of the set. This young band delivered every ounce of musical talent they possessed, and loved every minute of it. The band was quite nervous, but in awe of the support and opportunity to have a place in the final. The tempo was definitely quicker which gave the set a more raw edge. The crowd loved it, with cheers of support. This competition was going to be close, well if you were an indie fan, but we still had the epic delights of zombie loving Johnny Alpha.

We were promised an epic performance, and they were not lying. Opening the act were performers from Koss and Doktors Rendezvous to allow the Death of Johnny Alpha walk on stage and deliver metal rock, as we know it. From outfit to music, this band had thought of it all. The adrenaline from the guys oozed into the audience, with wannabe zombies dancing with the dead. One of the most energetic sets to be performed on Soundclash, these guys was always going to be finalists. However, it’s not up to us to choose the winners, it was down to the overpopulated audience to make that choice. Would we have an indie or metal winner? Will this really be the end of Soundclash? What will we do on Wednesdays from now on? As always, check out the podcast to find out and have a quick recap of the night. If you really miss it, you can always catch up and watch the whole show back again on Stratcast to your heart’s content. From full sets to all the interviews, you really are in for a treat.

This is sadly the end so far, and we would like to thank everyone involved. All the staff at Cox’s yard, all the bands that have performed and have become good friends, all the technical crew who have helped out in the background, all the college staff with their support and dedication, and also to you at home that without, this venture would never have been possible. Whatever happens with Cox’s Yard…let’s keep music rocking.

Soundclash 2011 - March 23rd
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March 29, 2011 03:54 AM PDT
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After many weeks of musical talent being thrusted upon us, we are finally here at the penultimate round of Soundclash. We have three bands all fighting it out for that last available place in the final. So which band will be joining The Death of Johnny Alpha and Basement Services?

First up was Deflection Theory, who gave us a set that showed us what heavy metal was all about. Pure passion and andrenaline was delivered through the vocals alone, but accompanied by the pumping instrumental this was a treat for all in attendance. Deflection Theory deserved a place in the final, and would be good competition for the likes of Alpha and company. If it is enough was down to the voting system and if their stage presence encapsulated the crowd.

Doktors Rendezvous were favourites for this round because as half of them are in Johnny Alpha, it would have made for an interesting final. However, it’s the music that counts and not our wishful thinking. This band had more of a stage presence than Deflection Theory but not as heavy as them. You could see that the band was enjoying the performance, and so they should. They were delivering a set that was considerably better than their previous performance, and I think they knew it. A beautiful band for a beautiful competition, the final was definitely in their reach.

Coffee Shop Situation was up last, and was the mellow indie band of the night. There was a lack of stage presence by these guys, but they more than made up for it with their catchy lyrics and amazing tunes. The set flowed seamlessly, and the audience enjoyed what were they were hearing. These guys would have a winning final set if they considered having more of a stage presence, which needs to be looked at if the audience voted in their favour.

So who will be joining stage loving Death of Johnny Alpha and crowd pleasing Basement Services? Will it be more of a metal or indie based final. Check out the podcast to find out and make sure you join us live from 7pm for the last ever grand final of Soundclash. And for those wondering what has happened to the curse of Soundclash, Stratcast was its latest victim…but don’t worry we have the cuts and bruises to make sure that we will never see it again.

Soundclash 2011 - March 16th
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March 22, 2011 04:36 PM PDT
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Well after a heavy start to the semi-finals last week, the music has mellowed slightly with three very popular bands battling it out for a place in the final.

Basement Services had the honour of starting the ceremony, and even though there was a slight glitch with a guitar string breaking, it was an excellent start to the show. The strong audience thrived on the epic skills of this band, with much kudos going to the sheer talent of the lads and their musical skills. Let’s not forget our female vocalist, who has a unique voice, which can only be described as gravelly. She puts her own mark to the lyrics and the style she sings them in. With the inclusion of a funk cover, this band had a range that created so much final potential for them.

Second up saw the return of Wave Goodbye Sunset, and some of their tracks that originally secured them this spot in the semis. A bit more relaxed than Basement Services, WGS had the attitude that their music has you engrossed. There is no denying that this indie act had a sense of melancholy intertwined with the lyrics and instrumentals. The crowd loved them, which caused confusion as to which band they were actually here to support. Music seemed to be the actual winner tonight, but with two strong acts so far Upon Collide needed to pull all the stops out to win.

Let’s just say that the strings were pulled. Upon Collide is one of those bands that seem to have everything. They had the audience at their beck and call. With the banter on stage to the most stunning voice the lead vocalist delivers with, the odds were certainly looking better for this band. Upon Collide had brilliant songs, great adaptations of covers and another request for an encore. The crowd loved them but then the crowd apparently loved them all. The discussions backstage all involved comments about who the crowd were here to support. This was genuinely going to be a close call, with three talented bands all deserving that final place after their performances tonight.
To find out which band the crowd loved the most, check out the podcast. With one more place left in the final, things are definitely hotting up at Soundclash, and we’re loving every minute of it.

Stratcast will also be doing a feature length special for the final, so listen out for more details on the next show.

Soundclash 2011 - March 9th
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March 15, 2011 01:44 PM PDT
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Well the selected bands are back to fight it out for that divine title of Soundclash Winners 2011. Yes, the semi-finals are here which means more music, more sweat, and more ridiculous interviews from Stratcast. Round one saw Beyond Dreams of Grandeur facing the wrath of zombie wannabes Death of Johnny Alpha. Both bands have previously been very successful and popular, so this was not an easy ride for either band. They would need a cunning plan to ensure a place in the final.

Beyond Dreams of Grandeur were first up, and ready to kick zombie ass. There was no faulting their set, with excellent choice of tracks, brilliant vocals and instrumentals that would rock any rocker’s world. This band have shown a real passion for live events, and it was clear to see, well hear, that this has been a new focus of theirs. It is a strategy that seems to be working because this was pure live rock that deserved a place in the semi-final, and excellent practice if they were to make it to the final. The only criticism that could be said about the band was that their stage presence was not as inspiring as their music, but surely that really isn’t something to worry about…

Well apparently it might be. Zombie obsessed Death of Johnny Alpha followed with what can only be described as the best entrance to a set that has ever been seen at any live event. Johnny Alpha has obviously been researching, because zombies are walking the earth, and they’re dressed to impress. And impress they did, with a rocking set that would have woken the dead in a ten mile radius plus their well thought out stage act, Johnny Alpha had certainly done their homework. However, would the crowd buy into a zombie stage gimmick? Both bands were impressive music wise, but is it a case of dreams coming true, or nightmares wearing red shirts for the final vote outcome.

To find out the first band to secure a place in the allegedly last ever final, check out the podcast that also features exclusive band interviews and banter. With only two more rounds before the final, music is going to get bigger and better at Stratcast. More news on the end of Soundclash will be featured in upcoming shows, let us know your thoughts on the possible end of an unsigned music era.

Soundclash 2011 - February 23rd
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February 27, 2011 03:16 AM PST
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After last week’s lacklustre phenomenon, all was put right with the music tonight. The curse felt like being nice and rewarded us with an extra band; Dirty Voice joined Coffee Shop Situation and Hurtseason for the last set of round one.

Indie band Coffee Shop Situation had the honours of getting the crowd in the mood for a night of what can only be described as music debauchery. These four young lads had it all, unfortunately that included a broken string for the bass guitar. However, the crowd were very forgiving tonight, and embraced the variety of catchy tunes that these guys had to offer. What they lacked in stage presence was made up for with their extremely noteworthy talent. The drumming was even commended by compere Andi, a rare occurrence indeed.

Hurtseason was a change in style, as we veered towards the metal style attitude of the night. This band had everything, from raw vocals to a tremendous use of instruments. These guys were the hardcore metal version of Coffee Shop Situation, with total respect from the crowd who could recognise that this was metal talent at its best. We have definitely been spoilt for choice for a variety of talent tonight.

Last up was last minute addition Dirty Voice. Not as heavy as Hurtseason, but not as light as Coffee Shop Situation. Again a lot of passion was put into their performance with pleasing results. A suitable stage presence blended with some courageous tracks, this was a last minute band with no intentions of being last minute.

With an accolade of talent available, it really was going to be a close call for the eventual winners. Check the podcast to find out who did win, along with exclusive interviews with the bands. We’ll be back with the night’s winner, joining: The Death of Johnny Alpha, Deflection Theory, Beyond Dreams of Grandeur, Upon Collide, Basement Services, The Doktors Rendezvous, and Wave Goodbye Sunset. Ladies and gentlemen, round two promises to be a very close call throughout!

Soundclash 2011 - February 16th
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February 21, 2011 05:33 AM PST
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Soundclash returns with a heavier sound again this week, but sadly it seemed to lack something that previous rounds have had. Maybe it was the pure energy of last week’s bands that saw a room full of appreciative fans that the bar has been raised and so we are expecting so much more.
First up was Koss (don’t ask where the name came from) who were a two-man band trying to take the lead in this competition. Now there was nothing wrong with their tracks, in fact, there were a couple that were particularly strong, but the lack of stage presence and energy made them look like they were the pre-warmer. The instrumental skills of these two men were impressive but not enough to grab your attention. The crowd did warm to them, but if they were to go through, more was needed of them.
Following Koss was Doktors Rendezvous, which contained members from week one winners The Death of Johnny Alpha. Now there was definitely more of a stage presence, and quite a rocky set was delivered. Not enough wow factor as Johnny Alpha, but definite contenders to go through to the next round. I assume it’s the pressures of being in more than one band, but hey, if you want to win Soundclash… Some enjoyable tracks and the crowd seemed to like these more. What happens if it is a Johnny Alpha versus Doktors Rendezvous semi final will make very interesting viewing, but they had Sanctified Torture to compete with as well before a guaranteed round two place.
Sanctified Torture had recovered from their bout of flu, which saw them drop out from a previous week, and was here to show that metal rock is here to stay. These guys had what you expected, with impressive skills on vocals and instruments. They were definite crowd pleasers with some dedicated followers vying for their success. Only the votes would decide if they had done enough to secure entry into round two.

Check out the latest podcast to see which band did triumph, and tune in live on Wednesday from 8pm for the next lot of bands battling it out to get that coveted Soundclash title. Just one word of warning, standards and followers need to be high.

Soundclash 2011 - February 9th
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February 11, 2011 04:28 AM PST
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The night's line-up was always promising with an eclectic range of style on offer. From indie-pop to indie-rock, and a full house at Cox's Yard, these three bands had many treats to offer. However, the curse of Soundclash is a regular feature meaning that something was at stake. That something was popular band the Cosmics who had failed to turn up.
Part of the Soundclash feature is for bands to self-promote, so all their dedicated followers come along and help vote for them. A staggering 152 people had turned up, so someone had certainly done their homework. The atmosphere was positively charged, adrenalin was running, the queue for the bar was ridiculous...oh yes, by far the most entertaining Soundclash night was on offer.

It was a case of respect your elders, as Project Ozma took stage first. These Leamington based lads, with their beautiful female keyboardist, were impressive. With their indie-pop feel, which had a unique twist to it, they certainly had the crowd going. The band had an affinity with each other and their music. The heavy metal regulars had a sense of self-loathing because even they liked what they had heard. Never have I seen such an instant liking to a band from one set before. With visions of filming them in the grand final, you had to feel sorry for Basement Services, young teenagers performing on a school night. You could feel the twitching as people wanted to vote there and then, but this is Soundclash where anything can happen.

Never underestimate youths, especially youths in a band. This five-piece band were performing their first proper gig. Hilarity was assured as MC Andi had to resist his usual type of banter (there are only so many restraining orders he can fit in his wallet) but the crowd loved him, and so they should. There was a weird sense of anticipation, you almost felt nervous for this band. Here they were, following the most infectious set Soundclash has seen for a while, with their very first. Like I said though, never underestimate today's youth. From the very first chord, looks were given, eyebrows raised, comments were spoken, and the moshing began...yes moshing for an indie band! The extremely talented vocalist mesmerised the crowd with astounding lyrics, the rest of the lads contributing by making the audience pander to their rock needs. The stage presence was energetic, ass-kicking almost, with cheeky little scissor kick jumps to go with the awesome guitar rifts, and drumming that would put people in the industry to shame. These were the guys that had invited about 90% of the crowd, and it was plain to see that maybe Project Ozma may not be in that final after all. Forget Basement Services, these guys should be called Penthouse Services. Their music lessons must be the best in the world.
Votes means prizes though, so check out the podcast to see if Basement Services did the homework with their marketing campaign and talent or if Project Ozma were really that infectious...

Check out the podcast to find out, and remember, you can tune in live for all the banter, interviews and sets only on Stratcast.

Soundclash 2011 - February 2nd
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February 04, 2011 06:36 AM PST
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Strange things are happening at Soundclash 2011, with the curse back in full swing. Down to two bands, yet again, and one of those were not even advertised as playing. It did not matter though, cheeky compere Andi was back with his witty banter, and firelighters at the ready…this man should really be presenting, but maybe not the family shows.

The night was going to be interesting though, as it really was a clash of sounds – indie versus metal. We had last year’s semi-finalists Wave Goodbye Sunset against Shrike, who were performing their first ever gig together. Would it be a case of the band that brought the most fans (due to the controversial voting system) would win, or would it be down to the actual music?

WGS were first up with a very laid back set. This popular band have had a lot of experience at gigs, and so why wouldn’t they be relaxed on stage. However, it may have been a case of too laid back. Now don’t get me wrong, these guys are good but there did not seem to be any energy or vibes being passed on to the audience. It felt like they were the warm up act for the event. Now WGS have many gigs lined up, including another set at Cox’s Yard, so maybe they were taking it in their stride. Perhaps it was just a case of prestige of being semi-finalists that will see them through. Great lads, great music but tonight their stage presence had to be questioned for its greatness. Only votes would tell if they had done enough.

Second up were metal band Shrike. A last minute replacement, and their very first gig, no one really knew what to expect. From their opening song, it felt like they were pros and had been doing it for years, and not just a couple of months. This was pure metal and not for the faint-hearted. The lyrics, the sound, the tattoos all symbolised what metal stands for, and these guys had it all. The audience loved it. You could see the passion and energy in the souls of their eyes…if these guys had a soul that is. The group did a great interview, and you could see they wanted to do well. Apparently they were nervous before going on stage, bless their cotton socks. However, it’s votes that win prizes, so would it be experience triumphing or performance snatching that prize money and a place in the next round? Check out the podcast to find out, and remember, you can tune in live for all the banter, interviews and sets only on Stratcast.

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