Battle Of The Acoustics Final

After a month of competition, last Monday saw Unit 11 hosting the finals of the Battle of the Acoustics featuring Luminati, The Weekend, The Wildernes Act and Nich Pitman. Russell Grant reviews the show.


While we all know who won, the Battle of the Acoustics Final was still a great show in its own right. For me at least three acts were deserving of the prize; Luminati, The Wilderness Act, and Nich Pitman. The Weekend not so much, and I’ll explain why in a second.


7:00 pm. Empty. Beer: Cold. Nothing to moan about so far (damn). BORED BORED BORED!! BOOOORED!!!.


Such is what the first of the pages of my notebook dedicated to the night looked like. Get there at 7, the blog implored. Sure thing, blog. Never trust a blog. Thankfully the previous Saturday I had gotten a haircut. A fairly drastic one, too, and so I could kill at least half an hour inspecting its new habits in one of Unit 11’s many bathroom mirrors. Thank God for that. The other half hour or so would have to consist of sitting around looking ponderous and grave and professional; a skill well cultivated in recent times.



And so at around 8:00 pm the first of the four acts got going. Luminati’s self-proclaimed ‘explosive Jazz’ has a transportive effect, and it took me from the familiar, vanilla Unit 11 to a jivey shebeen in 1950’s Sophiatown. And then to a window sill in old Europe. And then back to Sophiatown. All the while laying it on thick with likeability, charisma and feel good charm. They were a shoe in for the win for me at this stage.



Following them was the Weekend, and once again I was transported; not to another country, but to a mate’s house where we’d once laughed so hard at a CollegeHumor video about how to get chicks by playing the guitar. They set the scene with a string of lights bathing their boyish faces in a romantic amber glow and played a set strictly contrived for luring women. They squeezed Jailhouse Rock and Johnny Cash and a few other old favourites into a medley, relieving a set that was otherwise heavily drenched with teenage hormones.



The Wilderness Act was up next and they delivered a stripped down, whimsical, infectiously expressive set well suited to sipping coffee in a Parisian café. They were deserving winners in my opinion, along with Luminati and Nich Pitman, who was the final act of the night. This unassuming young white kid plays the blues like a chain gang inmate on a Mississippi Railroad. His massive rent-a-crowd went wild with each scowling intonation of Hoochie Coochie man, every time his baby left him.



I guess you could say the acts I thought were deserving of the prize were the ones which did the best at transporting me away from where I was , and this to me was Luminati, The Wilderness Act, and Nich Pitman; each thoroughly enjoyable in their own right. The Weekend unfortunately took me to a place too laden with the things I find humorous in music.


*All images © Russell Grant

9 Responses to “Battle Of The Acoustics Final”
  1. “… In the first place, white people got no business playing the blues ever. At all. Under any circumstances, ever! What the fuck do white people have to be blue about? Banana republic ran out of khakis? the espresso machine is jammed? Shit, White people ought to understand that their job is to give people the blues, not to get them. And certainly not to sing or play them. Tell you a little secret about the blues. It’s not enough to know which notes you need to play. You gotta know why they need to be played. And another thing, I dont think white people should be trying to dance like blacks. Stop that! Stick to your faggotty polkas and waltzes, and that repulsive country lime dancing shit that you do. And be yourself. Be proud, be white, be lame, and get the fuck off the dance floor!”

    -excerpt from ‘You are all diseased’.

  2. luke says:

    your name may change but that website address never does.

  3. Jimi says:

    Recording Nicks EP album at the moment.

    ” Not Black Enough for Blues Blues”.

    It’s gonna be big.

    And Black.

  4. Tam says:

    love this. It makes me sad that I wasn’t there.

  5. Phillip says:

    You seem to be someone who takes pride in correct grammar and proper sentence construction, so PLEASE spell a blokes’ name right.

    How many non-Nazi white guys are given the name “Nich”? Have the class, nay decency, to get it right!

  6. Not a Nazi says:

    Fuck off Fillip.

  7. Matt says:

    Yeah, fuck you Philip you sack of shit.

  8. luke says:

    ch and k can have the same phonetical sound. the ch in ‘character’ is not the same as the ch in ‘check’. being pedantic about nick(h)names is about as infantile as having one, phil.

  9. Pitbull says:

    I named him so I know……..but I’m not telling.

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