It was a Thursday evening in week seven, and the atmosphere was starting to heat up in Tempo. People had rushed closer to the stage, for a few seconds the audience went quiet, as they listened to the intro to the song “Alarm Clock.” The soothing guitar stirred the crowd and the song slowly developed into a fast paced tune. The spotlight was on Such Modern Ways, the third band to perform in heat four of Warwick’ Battle of the Bands.
Organized by Band Soc, Warwick’s Band Society, the Battle of the Bands is a “spectacular showdown” which happens in term two every year and is the society’s main event. The society brings a large variety of genres together from folk, to funk, rock, punk, jazz, blues, metal and Latin. It offers fully equipped practice facilities in the Students’ Union, which can be used by members at discounted prices. The exec is there to help arrange gigs and offers information on recording, promotion and equipment. Band Soc also occasionally gets support slots for live shows in the Union or for university events. Past gigs include supporting performances for bands such as British Sea Power, Bowling for Soup or Reuben.
Will Brierley, lead guitarist of Such Modern Ways, told the Boar a bit more about how the society actually works. In the first week of term one, a “get-to-know-each-other” social takes place which offers the perfect networking opportunity for all Band Soc members. It is through that social that Will’s band found its second guitarist. They then found their singer online, through the [BandSoc forum](http://www.bandsoc.co.uk/forum/). [BandSoc’s website](http://www.bandsoc.co.uk/) also offers practical information on issues such as booking practice rooms or organizing gigs, and includes a list of all the bands on the society with a short intro to each and an events calendar.
Dispelling a common myth about Band Soc, Oli Nowers, drummer of Such Modern Ways, told the Boar that sometimes “people don’t get involved with Band Soc because when they think about Battle of the Bands, they associate it with long-haired dudes playing hardcore rock music. A few bands do that, but you get quite a diverse range as well. People there can actually play instruments, some of the bands are bloody good” he concluded.
Yanik Joshi, Band Soc’s vice president, also commented: “Band Soc is great because it helps like-minded people meet each other and create some cool music. And who doesn’t love music? The misconception that we’re just about the metal annoys us, we want everyone and every genre to thrive, and we do our best to support our members in their endeavours”.
Thinking about his experience with Battle of the Bands, Will went on to say that “everyone is so nice and the atmosphere of all the bands in general is really friendly. All the other bands went around after the gig congratulating each other, it’s not competitive at all.” People are not after the winning prize, “it’s more about awareness, and considering that it’s all so friendly, they’re just happy to get recognition that they’re really good, and that’s what matters the most” Will added. He said the same was the case for Such Modern Ways: “It’s a really good feeling once you’ve finished the gig and it’s gone well, you just feel so happy!”
Such Modern Ways, despite not getting through to the next round were appreciated for their performance, and delivered an amazing set, even though they had spent only about 12 hours in total rehearsing. That’s the main problem with the actual rehearsals, as the way the academic year is organized is not very helpful in this sense. Bands are usually formed in term one, and don’t have many rehearsals before the Christmas break. They only start to practice properly in term two. Then in week five, the actual competition starts to take place, so if a band’s unlucky, they might not get more than five weeks to practice.
The great thing about Bandsoc is that it actually produces quality bands, out of a total of roughly 30 bands competing in the Battle, “one or two of them were not very good, all the others were at least good and some of them were really good, like the band that won, Club Silencio. They’re the sort of band whose album I’d buy, they have some really impressive stuff” Will added.
Returning to Such Modern Ways, Will went on to say that Bandsoc offered a great starting point for their future as a band, and that they plan to gig a lot more next term. They’re currently working on a few new songs and are also planning to do a cover of D.A.N.C.E, by Justice. With the partial inauguration of the new union taking place next term, the band also plans to have several live gigs on campus.
If you’d like to start your musical career or just want to have some fun on stage, why not give Bandsoc a go?