Live at O2 Academy Leeds on Monday, 26th March 2012
On the 26th of March, the Leeds O2 Academy was host to the Leeds 2012 AMP Awards, a competition in which bands from schools across Leeds can rock out to become the battle of the bands champions.
Seven school bands made it to the finals this year: Sprayed Aces, Reason 32, The Blacktop Clan, Almost Like People, Stalemate 38, Apathetic Excuse and The Aftermath. Also last year's winners, The Gonzo's, would be headlining the show. All of the groups were to perform two original songs to the awaiting crowd and the feeling all around backstage was nervous, along with anticipation for the thrill of performing in front of a busy O2 Academy.
The music was mainly rock, but each of the performers added their own unique twist, from The Aftermath's fusion of hip hop to Reason 32's addition of metal. But one band in particular were hoping to go one better after being runners up in the 2011 competition; this band was The Blacktop Clan.
After losing to The Gonzo's last year, the boys were back and ready to go all the way this time. Being the first act up can never be easy for anyone, but The Blacktop Clan handled it like pros and got the crowd pumped. The group quoted that winning the contest this year would be "the cherry on top of a really big cake, like one you'd get from Costco."
However as the night progressed it seemed like all the schools were out to make their mark, as they all performed spectacularly, especially The Aftermath, Almost Like People and Apathetic Excuse. These three got the crowd rocking out the most and gave the judges a real challenge in picking the positions on the podium for the bands.
The judges consisted of Stuart Rhodes, a successful band manager; Andrew Pickles, a former music producer mainly with Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers. Also in the panel was Dom Smith, who in 2009 set up the music magazine, Soundsphere, which has helped many young journalists start their careers, and finally a former AMP Award winner, Luke Nelson, the drummer of Book of Job.
Even with all the experience in the music business the decision was still difficult, but eventually the choice was made and ready to be announced. But not until The Gonzo's had finished their set, which had got the entire venue buzzing.
After what had seemed like an age since the start of the night the awards were starting to be handed out. In third place were Almost Like People, who seemed very happy with the result. In second came Apathetic Excuse, who had just missed out on the top spot, but the second place position wasn't too bad as earlier in the night their lead singer Ashley Chisenga had won the outstanding performer award.
The first place position was awarded to the rock-hip hop band The Aftermath, a result that came as a shock to most of the other groups, including The Aftermath themselves, but they all seemed fairly happy with the way the night ended.
The aftermath of the 2012 AMPs was that the winners now had a reason to stay together and perform as the headliners in 2013, and who knows maybe become world famous. But the question is will you be there in 2013 to witness a new champ be crowned and see a potential school band have their dream reached?
Four-piece alternative rock band.
We are a 3 Piece band from Wetherby near Leeds. We play our own style which is a sort of mix of Indie, Grunge and Punk.
Almost Like People are a rock band formed and based in Leeds.
Stalemate 38 is a Garage Rock band from Leeds formed from another band called The Panic Room in late September 2011.
An up-and-coming alternative band, trying to fill a niche in the musical world.