August 20, 2012 - Peace Mix
From Northern Ireland to Leeds, Glasgow to Bristol, Newport and Nottingham, the Peace Mix Play Off at the Eden Project on 16 July brought 16 to 25 year olds of all backgrounds and musical taste together for one love: music.
After three months on the road, exploring publicly funded music studios across the UK anyone can use free and seeing live showcases from local bands, our journey had reached it’s climax. From every region we visited, one winner headed to Cornwall’s Eden Project: a total of twelve contenders looking to win the first prize of a slot at the Roundhouse – to perform at the Peace Mix Presents gig on 28 August, headlined by Tinchy Stryder.
After dinner our gathering left the tropical Mediterranean Biodome to dodge the downpour and settle inside the Core for the live final. Stage set up and managed by GMC events, Peace Mix had transformed the hive-like building into an impressive live venue.
Mad and the Hatters took to the stage first. A folk rock band from the North East, charming frontman Matt ‘Mad’ Dunbar, bassist Alex Eastlake and guitarist Mark McGarry won the Newcastle-Gateshead Mic Relay event at the Sage Centre. Nurtured by the Northumberland YMCA, the trio wouldn’t have been able to create their catchy alt-pop without the help, guidance and facilities of this local studio – plus it’s manager, who now manages the band as well. With two mature, self-penned songs, on peace and its impact on generations, the Tyne trio made an impressive start to an amazing, eclectic evening of acts.
From folk to urban pop, second was the street sounds of Birmingham trio TMT – MC Junior Macee, Stevie-Wonder sounding Tashon Tyler and second MC Yates – who won our first Midlands Mic Relay event at Access to Music’s Heath Mill Studios. The combination of TMT’s super catchy soul choruses with savvy rhymes, plus an audience packed with hometown friends thanks to NDF meant TMT stormed it.
The urban theme kept going – with Bristol’s Niya Cato up third. The joint winner at Lakota, our South West Mic Relay event organised by Bristol Music Foundation and also hosted at Duppy Beats’ Hi Road Studios, Niya was originally a joint winner with fellow MC Rapstar Harts, but won out to nab the spot at the Peace Mix Play Off. More hip-hop than grime Niya and his partner shared positive words delivered with nice flow and total class.
Fourth was the winners of the final Mic Relay event at Platform Islington – Status and Yardie D (aka Jordan and Devonate Roberts), who actually from New Cross, had a lot of love from XLP’s South London contingent. Another smooth MC with bags of nous and swagger, Status super impressed the crowd, who threw shapes and sungalong their approval.
After a trio of talented MCs, the first half finished with something different: the incredible acoustic singer songwriter Georgie Rose – the 17 year old who stunned everyone in Nottingham at YMCA Digital’s brilliant Mic Relay event at NGY MyPlace. Despite playing guitar for just two years, and singing for just one, Georgie sounds like she’s been drinking bourbon and smoking Marlboro’s in Tennessee for decades – with pop vocals and choruses like Lissie or 80s queen Linda Ronstadt, but dark lyrics and audience-rapport inspired by her hero Johnny Cash. A total natural and transfixing enough to cause total silence inside the Eden Project’s Core, the acts on the second half were going to have a tough time following up this incredible raw young talent.
An epic evening at the Eden Project: but who won? Read part three to find out >>
Tags: Access To Music, battle of the bands, Cornwall, Duppy Beats, Eden Project, Georgie Rose, GMC events, Hi-Road Studios, Junior Macee, New Day Foundation, new music, NGY MyPlace, Niya Cato, Niya OTM, Nottingham, Peace Mix Play Off, Platform Islington, Status, talent showcase, Tashon Tyler, TMT, Yates, YMCA Digital, young music