2010 New Talent Search In Closing;…

It’s 02h39 on Tuesday morning and as I think back, I can still see everybody dancing and screaming,” I’ll be there for you”! (lyrics of the theme song “friends” for those who wasn’t there.) This was Riaan from Paradigm, shifting up a gear, because he needed to…

The evening started with me and Chris Swanepoel doing a couple of classic tunes to warm everyone up and then it was Naughty Nancy’s turn. This great bunch of guys showed a great deal of promise throughout the competition and they gave it their all, to the delight of their fans.

(Yes they brought Rent- a- crowd along)

Nice repertoire choice, but they lacked a little of the spark they had in the Semi - Finals! Maybe it was too hot on stage after performing in the freezing cold, outside, on Monday night. Better luck next year boys. I can’t wait to see the improvement. Watch the Quay 4 schedule, They might be there SOON!

Next up and Anthony and Linton let rip! Now this is what I’m talking about. My Fellow judges, Richard Griggs from Fine Music radio 101.3 and Stavro Michel from the band Tuxedo both agreed that Undercover Band lifted their game. They had come here to compete and that was just what they were doing! The crowd was dancing within the first 3 songs and was singing along to the popular tunes performed and off course they ender with one of my favorite tunes by INXS - Mystify. Great job Guys!

Halfway through the evening and it was time for something different.

Stavro,me and Tiaan got up on stage and performed Sweet Home Alabama and Mustang Sally to the delight of the crowd. Brian from Naughty Nancy then joined in on vocals as we bludgeoned the crowd with Basketcase and now for the curveball!

Chris Swanepoel performed his Classical Questa Quella medley to a thunderous applause from everyone, including Naughty Nancy’s, young student crowd.

Next gear and Riaan Joined us for great harmonies on Long Train Running and baby when you’re gone and then it was back to the competition. (Sorry if it went on a bit too long, but it was Saturday night and no-one was in a rush.)

Riaan quickly summed up the crowd and took them on a journey, force-feeding them a repertoire, tailor made for Quay 4 and had all the guys singing along to classics like Wonderwall, Sweet Caroline and I’ll be there for you by the Rembrandts! A Paradigm shift was coming and in, Don’t stop believing, Summer of 69 and Country Roads, Paradigm set the Bar to Beat!

Enter Shen Winberg and his band and performed no more than 11 different Styles of music!

An incredible performance that made 40 minutes seem like FIVE! Shen’s different style of songs flowing in and out of one another, fused with a couple of amazing party trick stops here and there, had the crowd’s attention from the first to the last song. A spectacular musical performance!

Unfortunately, Shen was still recovering from a bad fever bout and lacked a bit in the crowd interaction department which saw Paradigm sneak past them and taking the spoils by a half-a-point.

It’s at this point that I’d like to thank all our sponsors for the awesome support over the past 3 years. We couldn’t have done it without you - Smirnoff, Quay 4, Raymond and Lynette from Wild and Marr supplying The Shure, JBL and Soundcraft prizes and Paul Bothner, for supplying the Drumkit and Backline as well as some great prizes.

Well done to all our Finalists and a tip for those great bands/artistes that didn’t make it to the final.

In this competition, you can’t rest on your laurels or afford to go through the motions. There are entertainers out there who are hungry for the opportunity to perform and to show why they should be considered for a contract at Quay 4.

It is now 04h45 and I’m of to bed.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

After last nights freezing experience, there was only one thing to do;........ Move the stage back inside. Cape Town Weather 1 Bands4Africa 0 and once again it was game on!

Just give you a short version of a very long day;

After striking the PA and Stage on the Quay 4 deck and resetting up everything inside, rushing home to have a 15min power nap (fortunately,
I have been blessed with this ability),A stunning night was had by all, as Shen Winberg, Nico and Fran, Riaan(Paradigm) and
Benj and Wayne absolutely rocked the house and left the Judges with the immence task of chosing to acts to go through to the final.
From the word go, it was clear that the bands had come to compete and just as we have experienced it year after year; put the bands in a competition environment and they excel.
Shen Winberg and his band put on an impressive, tight, musical show that flowed effortlessly from one song into another,
culminating in the Click song which brought the house down and set a bar, too high for some of his competitors.
Enter Nico and Fran with a great variety of tunes and pieces of useless information that had everyone in stitches.
Paradigm performed as a solo as Tiaan was not available but Riaan had the crowd in the palm of his hand, the minute he started his sound check.
A skilled musician, and a great vocalist, he set about doing what he knows best,... entertaining the crowd and by the end of his 30min's he was rewarded with his place in the final.
Thank heavens I was not a judge! Benj and Wayne came on and as seasoned professionals, used their party tricks to keep us interested and then blew us away with their musicianship,
leaving us in awe with their great renditions of Mr. Brightside and INXS's Never tear us apart.Benj, your guitaring was inspiring!
This duo was worthy of the Wild card Status, however they are unavailable due to to a last minute enquiry for a corporate function.

I would like to compliment all the Finalists on a job well done, but what is really encouraging is the fact that the standard of most of the Entertainers in the Bands4Africa stable have improved tenfold in the past 3 years.

The message that this talent search is sending out, is that in order to progress to the final rounds, you need to ensure that you constantly re-assess your total performance package, given the dynamics of our exciting industry.

See you there at 19h00 on Saturday. This is another final that is NOT TO BE MISSED!

Monday 12 July 2010

In the Frrreeezzzzing cold Tent at Quay 4 where temperatures plummeted into single digits,
Naughty Nancy nailed it and there was no Jacket required for this performance.
They truly performed as if this was their last gig and set the tone for a brilliant finals on Saturday.
Undercoverband lead the freezing pack with a couple of stunning renditions of new and old popular classics.
It was very interesting to see how certain artistes' show has evolved over the past three years
and it is true to say that this competition has proved without a doubt that in this cover industry,
you can't rest on your laurels, no matter how good you are or how polished your product is.
Our Judges, Stavro Michel( Tuxedo) Cheryl Wilsher(Stagefright) and Richard Griggs(Fine Music Radio 101.3)
were on song and Boy! Oh! Boy, if you guys think I was tough and unforgiving, you are in for a rude awakening.

The next chapter unfolds in the Cauldron tonight with another 4 bands giving it horns.
Whatever the weather, this promises to be another hot encounter with three more bands being left out in the cold.

See you there at 19h00.

To All contestants

Firstly I would like to thank you all for entering this year's New Talent Search.
This year, out of the 26 performances, we have had 16 new entrants and this is extremely encouraging as most of the them are young and new to the Cover Band Circuit.
I would personally like to Compliment Neviell Shatar and The Circle of Friends on being the most improved act this year. Watch out for this band next year!!!

Unfortunately due to time constraints brought upon us by the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it was not possible to do a Quarter Final Round this year.
The Standard has improved immensely over the past two years and this has made the semi -final selection very difficult

As most of you know that the main objective of the competition is to find suitable artists to perform at Quay 4 as we have live entertainment every night of the week.
Some of the most important aspects we are looking for, in our regular bands/artistes, are;
a. A wide variety in their repertoire, in order to be able to entertain our global clientele and
b. An interactive Entertainment style - Cover bands are again( like in the 80's) required to be Quality entertainers before they are brilliant musicians!

After much deliberation, the following artists have made it through to the Semi - Final Rounds; .

Monday 12 July
Albireo
Benj and Wayne
Synchronicity
Fishbowl and
Naughty Nancy

Tuesday 13 July
Nico and Fran
Rowland Gutsche
Undercover Band
Paradigm and
Shen Winberg

Each band is required to perform 6 songs (no longer than 30min's) to showcase their ability to entertain their Quay 4 audience.(Semi Finals and Finals)
It is therefor IMPERATIVE that you bring your; "Rent-a-crowd" or certain loyal supporters/family members along,
as this will give the judges an indication as to how you relate to and engage with a crowd.
On the topic of Judges;
We will be having 3 independent judges, judging the semi - Finals and Finals.
Artistes will be judged on the Following;
1. Commercial Repertoire Appeal
2. Interactive Entertainment Value ( We will have Wireless microphones again!)
3. Multi dimension of Total Performance (Different Music Styles covered and variety of instruments played, intensity of performance)
4. Appearance of Band/Artistes
5. General Quality of Performance (Quality of Backing Tracks, Tightness of Band and Continuity of stage performance and )

Starting time is 19h00 each night and I would like each act to be there by 18h00.
Two acts will be chosen each night as well as a Wild Card contestant from both nights will be chosen to go through to the Finals.

Best of Luck to all of you and remember
Play each gig with the enthusiasm as if it is your first and with the intensity as if it is your Last.

If you have any questions, re. logistics,please give me a call
All the best
Francois