Battle of the Bands Heat Two: Yeehaw!


Alexandra Pullen (she/her) attends the second competitive heat of Battle of the Bands 2024

Article Image

Image by Luke Snell

By Alexandra Pullen

After reading Niamh’s review of the first heat of Battle of the Bands, I couldn’t wait to head to The Lounge for heat two on 22 February. As previously stated, this year’s competition received so much interest that a semi-final will be held on Thursday 14 March to allow even more bands to get involved. It’s safe to say that this was an extremely competitive heat and each band brought their A game, even with a change in lineup. Unfortunately, Upstarts were unable to play at this heat and instead, Superposition took their slot.

Each competitor was judged on performance, musicality and crowd engagement, and immediately upon entering the packed venue I knew that the final factor would be no problem. Here are my thoughts, and a recap of all of the act’s competing:

Jason Woods

The night opened with Jason Woods, one quarter of Darted who are set to compete in the third heat of Battle of the Bands. He started his acoustic set with ‘Levitating’ by Dua Lipa, a familiar song to many which made the audience sing along. Jason then went into an original song named ‘Down By The Steppies’ which he released on his EP back in October. The set was a relaxing start to the night, but in the closing song, ‘Through The Valley’ by Shawn James, something seemed to be unlocked within Jason’s voice which I was not expecting.

Grim Up North

Grim Up North came next, and this was their first ever live performance. They certainly brought the energy to their set which was needed to liven up the crowd. The band played two original songs named ‘Echo’ and ‘Mina’s Dream’. The latter was written by one of their guitarists Loz and inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. They closed their set with an “outrageous and contagious” rendition of ‘Flagpole Sitta’ by Harvey Danger, better known as the theme song of Peep Show.

I got to have a chat with Grim Up North after their set to see how they thought it went and they said “It was fucking outrageous. It was contagious. I think performing second out of eleven bands was certainly a choice but we pulled it off.” They then let me into a secret about a potential rebrand to ‘Impaler’, based on a story about their guitarist Kian attempting to climb over a fence…I won’t go into the details.

Rusty Tim’s Missing Members

Rusty Tim’s Missing Members were a favourite of mine in this heat. They opened their set by asking the audience “Has anyone found Tim?”, carrying on to say that he’s their drummer and he’s missing, which got a laugh! They performed a couple of great original songs, but what made the duo stand out was their interactions with the crowd. Throughout their performance, they cracked jokes about throwing guitar picks into the audience, then proceeded to do so. During their final song they even came and had a boogie with everyone. They certainly were popular with everyone watching!


Sygil started their set promising something a “little bit crazy”, before going into ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ by Queen. Everyone clapped along with the band during their set and were encouraged to do so by lead singer, Alice. Before closing their set, a few thank yous were given out including one to Dylan, who joined the band on bass for the competition.

The Strand

Unfortunately, I missed the opening of The Strand’s set but when I re-entered The Lounge the energy had seemed to pick up significantly. The band were jumping around while performing ‘Underdog’ by Kasabian, followed by their original song ‘Epilogue’ which can be streamed on Spotify. When I asked my friend what I had missed, the words used to describe The Strand were “grungy and rebellious.” I can certainly agree with this after catching the last part of their set which included a lot of moshing on the crowd’s behalf. You can catch The Strand performing at The Fulford Arms on 15 March!

Carters Lane

Most of the acts who had performed so far had been of the rock or punk genres, so when Carters Lane took to the stage wearing cowboy hats and shouting “yeehaw” down the microphone, I knew something different was in store. They opened their set with ‘Bury Me In My Boots’ by The Cadillac Three and followed this with an original song of theirs. For their final song, they brought two special guests on to perform a duet of ‘Shallow’ from A Star Is Born. This was amazing. They split the crowd into two to sing along with them, and with that people started to put on their phone flashlights and sway to the song.

Fox Force Five

Next up were Fox Force Five, whose name is presumably inspired by the classic film Pulp Fiction. They brought a ferocity to the stage with their rendition of ‘Celebrity Skin’ by Hole before going into an original song of theirs called ‘Rear View Mirror.’ The band reminded me of The Runaways or Bikini Kill. They closed their set with ‘West Coast’ by Lana Del Rey which seemed to both excite and impress the crowd.


After being signalled by their lead singer “go” and “faster”, Blackwater had to restart their set as they explained that this was their first ever live performance. However, after this they came back and powered through but with some nerves. They dedicated one of their songs to the late Jane Birkin, who passed away last year.


By this point in the night, the audience were at their peak and Superposition only boosted everyone even more. They opened their set with ‘Californication’ by Red Hot Chilli Peppers  and went into an original song after this. During their time performing, some inflatable beach balls and light-up batons were distributed throughout the audience which added to the atmosphere. In between songs, they gave a birthday shoutout to their friend Matthew, which was met with a huge cheer. And to finish off their slot, some huge confetti cannons were set off. Superposition certainly livened up the crowd.

Suspicious Liquid

Immediately, Suspicious Liquid met the energy of The Lounge and jumped into an original song named ‘Horoscope Holly’ which was all about tarot cards, the song broke down in the middle into a short spoken word section in which the lead singer shouted about card number 13 – death. Vanessa had an amazing stage presence throughout the entire set, encouraging the audience to sing along and ending with the crowd surrounding her as she danced on the floor.

Half Baked

The night ended with Half Baked who were unfortunately missing a guitarist but still did a great job of closing a night of strong acts. They performed ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters which was great as well as an original song called ‘Running on Empty’. Their drummer was a standout in the band, but overall, Half Baked closed Battle of the Bands Heat Two very well.

Every act during this heat was memorable and it was evident that all of the bands were having fun while performing. After a few moments of tense deliberation, it was announced that the two acts who immediately qualified from heat two were Rusty Tim’s Missing Members and Suspicious Liquid. These two groups certainly deserved to go through to the semi-final, but it’s not all over for the other bands, as Band Soc have introduced a wildcard aspect to the competition. One of the guest judges is able to use this at any point during the contest and a band will be fast-tracked to the final.

I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of Battle of the Bands, and it must be said that it is an extremely well-prepared competition. A huge shout out to Band Society for all their effort and hard work in organising everything!