A win for Warwick

On Friday February 27, myself and a whole busload full of Warwick students were lucky enough to be invited up to London for one of the three regional finals of this year’s JD Unsigned Set. The reason for Jack Daniels’ kind hospitality was that one of the bands to make it through to this heat was Warwick’s very own musical hopefuls, The Fanclub. The evening’s event was preceded, for those who wished to attend, by a Q and A session with industry insiders, including Marc Sallis, editor of Artrocker. This session was held at the Institute of Contemporary Music, London, after which it was around the corner to the small but plush Luminaire venue for the main event.

The Fanclub were up first and, I have to admit, from listening to their myspace demos I wasn’t expecting much. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. The demos sounded rather dull and lifeless, but this cannot be said of their live performance. Playing first must have been daunting, but helped along by an enthusiastic group of supporters The Fanclub quickly captured the full attention of everyone in the room. Heartfelt vocals and the band’s visible desire to make it are what sets them apart from the floods of vacant and insincere indie currently drowning the new music scene.

They were followed by BANGBANGBANG!, another three-piece, from Brighton. Any descendant of riot grrrl has a place in my heart, and there was certainly an element of Kathleen Hanna in frontwoman Natalie’s performance. Close contenders, I am sure this lot have a bright future ahead of them. Last up were The Elrics from Oxford, a rather odd bunch. Although a talented group musically speaking, the problem with their performance was the discrepancy between the sound and the vocalist, who gurned about the stage in some sort of bizarre Mike Patton tribute act.

At the end of the evening, and after a couple of Jack & Cokes, The Fanclub and their fanclub were elated at the announcement that they beaten off their rivals to take a deserved place in the final round of the competition.

This last stage takes the shape of an online vote against the two other regional winners, Neon Kicks from Durham and Odd Shaped Head from Newcastle. The grand prize will be a 4-track demo mounted on Artrocker Magazine, and endless publicity. So to show your support for our band, go to [www.thejdset.co.uk](http://www.thejdset.co.uk), where the online vote is now open, then click on unsigned, The Fanclub. Voting closes Monday May 18, and the winner will be announced immediately.

However, like all good Warwick students, The Fanclub are not resting on their laurels, or putting all their eggs in one basket, or counting their chickens before they hatch, or any of those ridiculous activities. After meetings with Underdogs Management, and with 14th Floor Records, the label who signed The Wombats (winners of the JD Set 2007) and Biffy Clyro, they are hoping to release a limited edition single by the end of the summer, and are rumoured to be playing the new Union night combining Electric City and Crash, which is also playing host to Camera Obscura and Dinosaur Pile Up this term. So vote, catch them live if you can, and do your bit to support our university’s talent!


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