Saturday 21st April 2012 - the date of the first Band Quest semi final. Due to work commitments I arrived after the set of Aonia, but I am assured they played their material effortlessly, and a great opening to the night. Bands 2-5 inclusive were competing for two places in the final, which will take place on 15th July at The Underworld in Camden.
After a blinding performance from Stormborn with their Iron Maiden-esque harmonies and speedy solos, followed by the punchy metalcore tunes of competition band number three - AppleCore, Whetstone took to the stage at The Dirty South once again. Soaring melodies and rapid drumming ensued, providing a more progressive sound than the former two bands mentioned. New material always goes down well with fans, and they closed the night with a never-before-heard nine-minute epic. As a strong supporter of Whetstone I thought this was their best live performance yet, and by the cheers of the crowd I would say it went down a storm. Bloodshed closed the competition as the fifth live band, playing with a very Metallica-like style and blasting their way through a fast paced thrash metal set.
Unfortunately my good friends in Whetstone did not make it to the final of the competition, but left with congratulations on a great performance from many fans and the two winning bands, Bloodshed and Stormborn.
The night was ended with performances from upcoming local bands Don't Know Yet, and Divine Solace, whose fans greeted their introduction with rapturous applause, and encouraging relentless cheering and shouting between numbers. Although they were not part of the Band Quest competition the night was based around, they performed to an equally large audience, and were received fantastically by newcomers to their music.
If you would like a taste of Whetstone's music, check them out on Last.fm at http://www.last.fm/music/Whetstone for a FREE download of their demo EP 'Hunted', and like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WhetstoneUK.
In a small venue like this, the lighting is never going to be spectacular, and I struggled through the 30 minute Whetstone set on boosted ISOs and huge apertures. This left a very low 'keeper' rate with my photos, but nevertheless here are four of my favorites from the night.