Alias battle it out to take title at the Horn, St Albans

A JAM-PACKED music pub in St Albans was teeming with talent when four local bands slogged it out on stage in the final of the Battle of the Bands competition. The Horn pub is without doubt one of our trendiest live music venues and, alongside some uncanny

A JAM-PACKED music pub in St Albans was teeming with talent when four local bands slogged it out on stage in the final of the Battle of the Bands competition.

The Horn pub is without doubt one of our trendiest live music venues and, alongside some uncanny tribute acts, the most impressive performances come from the city's melting pot of talented local bands and we were treated to the very best last Thursday night.

Alias, Fuel For Tired Minds, Trouble With Tuesday and Dirty Money beat nearly 50 other bands through 12 heats and four semi-finals to earn a spot in the Battle of the Bands final, where each band has just half an hour to showcase their talent to the critical crowd and a team of judges.

I was lucky enough to fill one of the nine judging spots and I entered the cosy venue at the back of the bar bent on keeping an open mind throughout the competition. It was hard to stick to my resolve, however, after hearing the first band Alias, who were by far the best local band I have ever heard play at The Horn.


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Originating from nearby Bedfordshire, Alias are a smartly-clad, groovy four-piece band who strive to make people get up and dance with their swinging sound. Lead singer Tom's boundless energy was infectious and everyone from the screaming girls at the front to The Horn regulars at the back were boogieing before long.

Their radio-friendly sound reminded me of music I listened to in my teenage years and you wouldn't be far off to describe Alias as an uber-cool version of Hanson, a sunny, upbeat band who everyone happily mmmbops along to.

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Second band on, Fuel For Tired Minds, immediately changed the tone with their melancholy sound and being a 22-year-old teenybopper, lead singer Dave's drawling lyrics weren't really my cup of tea. But the band gained confidence as their set went on and many people around me were likening Dave to a young Julian Lennon.

Trouble With Tuesday were the penultimate performers and by far the most energetic. The lead singer was even bouncier than Alias's front man and he seemed to be enjoying belting out his poppy tunes just as much as the clapping crowd, who formed a makeshift dance floor to enjoy tracks such as the swaying Stay With Me.

No-one came close to stealing Alias's front spot until Dirty Money strutted on stage. The most serious-looking band of them all, Dirty Money are an edgy four-piece rock band whose sensational front man Jack stole the title of best vocals on the night with his Kings of Leon-esque sound.

But, after tallying up the scores upstairs, Alias turned out top trumps in the closest Battle of the Bands final that The Horn has ever seen. Snatching up a cool �500 winners fee, lead singer Tom said that he was "chuffed" to have won and promised the whooping crowd that he'd be back to get them swinging again soon.

CHARLOTTE MORGAN

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