When Eastbourne Borough Council called on us to help them find some bands to join Glam Ryze, No State, The Blues Evergreens and Bat Country at Eastbourne Extreme we had high hopes. Our aim was to put together a lineup full of energy and talent that would knock the socks off of everyone present. We didn’t for one minute expect anything close to the near 100 submissions we received.
Going through each track and choosing just twelve bands to play seemed an impossible task. So many great acts applied that we could’ve easily put on a half decent gig each day, but sadly we didn’t have that luxury.
At last the final lineup is decided, we couldn’t be happier. The winning bands are Collisions, Juno, Oh! My Head, Kalestix, Loose Lips, Liquid Fuse, The Harkes, Lauren Rebecca, Run Young Lovers, The Vindickers, Lion Bark and Half Crown.
Who? A high-energy Rock’n’Drum’n’Bass quintet from Brighton.
‘Once Weary Eyes’ is exactly what you expect from a high impact band like Collisions. Featuring a plethora of different sounds from multi-leveled, multi-paced vocals akin to bands like Hadouken, and hardcore screams to Drum’n’Bass beats and a real, progressive sound. The track bridges genres with a passionate style that deserves to be moved to.
Why did we pick them? As if their incredible sound wasn’t enough, Collisions are a band that we predict will tear the stage in half.
Who? Effortlessly cool Juno are a festival rock band from Seaford.
With plenty of bouncy, harmonic hooks and a tap-along guitar line, ‘Johnny Big Spuds’ is the perfect example of what made Juno exactly what we were looking for. Intricately played and infinitely catchy, the track feels like a kumbaya campfire song, with all the cheek of a lad’s holiday.
Why did we pick them? Juno are a summer band. With plenty to sing along songs and rich instrumentals, they just scream sunshine.
Who? A progressive rock trio from Brighton doing all they can to step away from the crowd.
An edgy track with interesting, gritty riffs and sharp solos, ‘The Soup’ is punk with a dash of talent to sweeten the bitter taste of angst. More of a dessert than a starter, the track sees a rich variety of robust and melodic vocals get combined perfectly with an accomplished backing.
Why did we pick them? Oh! My Head gained their place on the SQ Stage purely based on their talent. They’re a band with a rich tapestry of material that’s sure to grab the attention of everyone watching.
Who? A three-strong rap super group from Eastbourne and Hastings.
Evol’s ‘Sumbody I Used 2 Know’ sees the MC breaking away from normality and experimenting a little with a track that echoes the work of Tech N9ne. Built around a sample taken from Gotye’s single of more or less the same name, this entry displays a flexibility that guarantees to keep Kalestix interesting.
Why did we pick them? With an impressive history behind them, Kalestix are part of the furniture in Eastbourne, with rhymes that have raised eyebrows in pubs and clubs for years. At Extreme we think they’ll stand out, and we think they’ll be well received.
Who? An up and coming indie-rock trio from Brighton that’s supported bands like Madina Lake and Futures.
Infectious from the start, ‘Blue Rubber Blanket’ by Loose Lips is full of catchy lines and choruses that’ll get everyone singing along. With sweet riffs, fast playing and catchy drum work, the musical section of the track is outstanding but the fantastic vocals outshine that, taking centre stage.
Why did we pick them? With such a fantastic track record of gigs, Loose Lips were always a safe bet; their sound is phenomenally catchy, and perfect for a hot summers day.
Who? A real rock’n’roll fivesome from Brighton.
Beginning with a surge of guitar that just screams power, ‘Loaded Gun’ by Liquid Fuse is an adrenaline-filled hypodermic needle, straight to the aorta, that hits you again and again. Clearly influenced by classic bands of American rock like Guns’n’Roses and Led Zeppelin, as well as more modern ones like Avenged Sevenfold, Liquid Fuse have real energy behind every note.
Why did we pick them? When we started this competition we wanted a band with an explosive sound that would turn heads and shake the ground around them, a band that just bled passion. We found them.
Who? A Springsteen style rock band with more name changes than David Bowie. Kinda.
Bassy and full of surprising little jolts of guitar, ‘Palpitations’ really suits its name. Mature and full of depth, this latest offering from The Harkes will get the crowd up, moving and singing along before they know what’s happening. The Harkes feel like a group of American legends, and they’re not even famous yet.
Why did we pick them? The Harkes, or Monroe as they were called at the time, smashed it at last year’s Eastbourne Extreme Battle Of The Bands. They truly deserve a chance to showcase themselves as one of the best bands in Sussex.
Who? An up and coming singer/songwriter. One of the finest young songstresses to come out of Brighton.
With a voice in the same vein as Kimya Dawson, Lauren Rebecca has a distinctive, almost child-like voice that lifts the souls of those around her. With lyrics that speak of love – and a guitar sound that echoes those emotions – she’ll prove to be a nice change from some of the louder, more raucous acts of the day.
Why did we pick them? Rebecca’s distinctive vocals and delicate sounds will relax and charm the crowd and serve as a beautiful calm between storms.
Who? A five piece indie-rock band from Brighton.
With a history that includes support slots for famous names like The Pigeon Detectives, and a future that will surely see their charismatic sound propel them into the pages of the NME, Run Young Lovers are a real British band. Distinctive in style and grace, ‘Moonshine’ is packed full of intoxicating guitar work and smooth groves, a real indie classic.
Why did we pick them? Run Young Lovers are an ambitious band with a quality sound that is sure to be lapped up by the crowd.
Who? An Offspring and Millencolin influenced pop-punk band from Hastings with an edgy sound.
One of the best things to come out of Hastings since, well, has there been anything else? The Vindickers are a hard rock infused pop-punk band with a passionate and powerful old school sound. Fast paced and obviously catchy with a great bass backline, ‘Buddy Song’ is the type of track that should be played loud.
Why did we pick them? The Vindickers are one of our favorite bands, and regulars in our Soundcloud showcase. They’re a terrific band, and we can’t wait to see them live.
Who? A chill-wave foursome from Brighton.
Quite a lot different compared to the other bands we’ve chosen, Lion Bark are an unusual act with a real, mysterious sound. With an almost folk-funk vibe, ‘Relax Me’ is bound to do that very thing to the crowd at Extreme as the song seems to float erratically through the air. At times Lion Bark seem a little like the band Captain, with a simple but complex style of playing, but really they’re in a league of their own.
Why did we pick them? Lion Bark will mellow the crowd, with a hazy, crazy summer sound.
Who? A funky, bluesy, dubby Brighton-based band that pack a real punch.
Totally unexpected Half Crown really grab the crowd by their necks when they play live. With a sound that’ll get the audience up on their feet, the band capture the minds of all that hear them with mixed melodies, flaring guitars and Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque vibes. ‘Keep Up Or Keep Out’ is a stylish, funky track with a real British feel.
Why did we pick them? We’ve seen Half Crown live before. They’re a band whose energy knows no bounds. Not to be missed.
So that’s the line-up for The SQ Stage. There were plenty of bands we would have loved to have play, in particular Pink Narcissus, Arkital Sound, Lost In Vegas, The Meakins, Ian Edwards, Conker B, The Dead Life, Candela and Puppet Kings.
The SQ Stage takes place on the 14th and 15th July at Eastbourne Extreme, from 11.00 – 5.20 each day.
Keep your eyes peeled for set-times and even more details as the event draws nearer!