Battle Of The Acoustics: Round 2

After being slightly disappointed by the outcome of the previous week’s heat of the Battle Of The Acoustics, Bob Perfect reviews Round 2 and is pleasantly surprised throughout the night.


We here at Durban is Yours are very professional. Which is why, when I arrived at The Collective, it was only half way through Nick Pitman’s first song. Judging by the second half of the song, I missed out.
Before the gig, I had no idea who Nick Pitman was. I never saw his name on any posters or have it come up in conversation. I pegged him as probably being an Amsterdam open micer giving the Battle a shot, and I turned out to be kind of right. It was midway through his rendition of Albert Frost’s Catfish that I realised I had seen him once before, at Amsterdam, where he’d blown me and the Go! Go! Bronco gang away. This time, it wasn’t just four guys whispering to each other “Holy shit, he can play.”, but an entire roomful of marvelling admirers. Nick delivered a set that had many people comparing him to John Mayer which I’d say is fair, but not entirely accurate. Nick has a much grittier touch than the heart throb and I enjoyed him because of it. The only criticism I could really offer is that his set wasn’t varied enough. In competitions such as this the key is often to show off how diverse you can be, and although he plays a mean guitar, the tempo of the set didn’t really change much throughout.


Up next was Roachy, who most people would recognise as the guitarist from Sheep Down. As expected, Roachy played a set of songs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Punk Goes Acoustic CD and even did a cover of Rise Against’s Swing Life Away. Although Roachy didn’t deliver the most technical set, he got the crowd behind him by genuinely having fun on stage. He’s a great performer that knows how to get the crowd on his side with a few rocking out moments, which you’d think would be out of place in an acoustic show, but instead brought life to the small room. Roachy’s set ended with standing ovations and cheers from the crowd who seemed to genuinely have fun watching him.


The Wilderness Act were the third act and before the competition had even started, I had them pegged for the win. After watching Nick and Roachy, I had second thoughts but they rose to the occasion and delivered a set of pure class. Where the previous two acts could be accused of being a bit one dimensional, nobody could ever give that criticism of The Wilderness Act. Their set of soulful jazz influenced lounge music took us all on an emotional journey that ebbed and flowed. Jon showed that he’s much more comfortable and skilled on the guitar than he is on keys for The La Els, and Portia explored the full range of her voice which I can only describe as beautiful. There’s no need to look for a synonym, beautiful is the perfect word. By the time they were done, they had reassured me that they would take the top spot of the night’s heat.


Last to perform was Luna the Orca, and being the judgemental prick that I am, I wrote them off before I even got to the show based on their name alone. In walked Jane Bailie, Spencer Ray Kerr and Chloe Clark, and out walked my assumptions that Luna the Orca would be a hippy band. It was great getting to see Jane play violin in a project other than with Veranda Panda and to see Spencer show off his musical ability. They played a set that at times reminded me of Aidan Cornhill and The Dearly Beloved but with keys instead of a glockenspiel. It was a gentle set, that I’m finding very difficult to describe adequately, they say they’re revolutionising folk music and to be honest, I believe them. Each of them showed that they’re more than capable musicians but once again, their only set back was that after a while, their set levelled out and they didn’t quite reach the bar that The Wilderness Act had set.


This week’s heat had me grateful that I was only reviewing the show and not judging, and although The Wilderness Act won, and I’d say rightfully so, had any of these acts been in the previous week’s heat, they’d probably have won it.
Tonight is the last night of the heats and I’m interested to see if Cornel Meyer, The Trees, Luminati or The Lace Guns will reach the same level as the second heat.



*All images © Gareth Bargate

8 Responses to “Battle Of The Acoustics: Round 2”
  1. Roachy says:

    hey stokage, you were kind to me Bob!

    Sick pics Gareth!

  2. Matt says:

    Made me sad I missed this, good review.

  3. HappyMoose says:

    Was Spencer really in The Ranks?

  4. Bob says:

    I may be wrong, but to my knowledge, yeah. If anyone can correct me, feel free.

  5. I cant find their albums on any torrent sites :/

  6. Ozzie says:

    Go Roachy! Putting the rad back in “Brad”!

  7. Yas Allen says:

    Spencer was definitely not in the Ranks 🙂

  8. Bob says:

    My bad entirely then. Thank you. Edited.

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