OK, bad news first. The Van Rockman boys didn’t manage to progress into the final despite great feedback from the audience and the judges. It was always going to be close. The competition fierce. Everything to prove. In the end only seven points separated them from victory. All that despite being in front of ‘young people’.

Great news: The crowd was won. The great thing about any battle of the bands is that you’re bound to get a radical mixture of musical taste from audience members. To some this may be inconvenient, even outrageous. ‘How could it possibly be fair to play indie to metal fans?’ is often the cry from certain bands. Those people don’t get very far. Rather than seeing opportunity to win over a new fan base, they see it as a problem and act accordingly. This wasn’t so with Van Rockman. They saw this eclectic mix of characters and thought: ‘Game on!’

Badass bluesy rock sprang forth. Everything was tight, on form and above all, entertaining. The rhythm section was as tight as (insert your own crude joke here). The drums felt like they were getting pounded into dust. Strong vocals were punching through. Keys were adding to the songs beautifully. Then there was the guitar. Very few guitarists can pull off finger splitting solos without breaking a sweat, as well as wearing a Jimi Hendrix hat. Then again most guitarists aren’t Johnny Lowry!

The end result of that performance was clear. Many that had come to see their own were taken aback and loved it. Van Rockman may have come with about twenty fans but they left with a hundred.

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