The Salisbury Music Awards can only be judged by the quality of music that wins its coveted awards each year. If the winning bands and artists are producing quality music then the awards deserve a place in Salisbury's ever growing music scene. Each year Music Unbuttoned sponsor the award for best band. This award is gaining a reputation of being the ultimate recognition for Salisbury musicians, so it is important that the winning band are worthy of this title. For the last two years the ‘Stone Donkey Pilots’ have been worthy winners, but can this years winners ‘Lyrical Monsoon’ step up to the mark?
It was at the Salisbury Music Awards where I first heard and saw Lyrical Monsoon, they performed unaware that they would soon be crowned Salisbury’s best band. Their performance was fierce, MCs Gav and Carl’s individual characters conveyed by not only their words but by their movement, facial expression and hand gestures are just as important as the music. Gav and Carl are accompanied by a full band, consisting of – Merv on bass guitar and Ian on drums provide a solid groove for electric guitarists Giles and Jordan to deliver funky rhythm and shredding guitar solos. I watched in awe as this band of unlikely lads commanded the stage. I’m reminded of a time when Michael Jackson introduced Rock audiences to Soul music, and Soul audiences to Rock with his classic hit ‘Beat It’. Like Michael Jackson, Lyrical Monsoon have crossed genres, combining Hip-Hop with Rock instruments to bridge the gap between Hip-Hop and Rock. They are introducing rock fans to Hip-Hop and vice versa. With this in mind I return to my original question; are Lyrical Monsoon worthy winners of the title Salisbury's Best Band? YES!
We met with Gav, Ian, Jordan and Merv, after the awards for a beer. We had a great chat about Salisbury’s music scene and asked how they feel about their recent success at the Salisbury Music Awards.
We are very happy we won, being voted-for by our home town means a lot, it is very humbling. When we were offered the opportunity to play the Salisbury Music Awards we thought it would be a lot of fun, but thought no more of it. We didn’t think that we would even be nominated for an award, let alone win.
Lyrical Monsoon formed in 2006, in that time they have had various different lineups but Carl and Gav have always been at the forefront. With almost ten years of experience under their belts they had plenty of stories to share with us of the good, bad and ugly gigs they have performed at. This includes a recent performance at the O2 Academy in Bournemouth.
We got the gig at the O2 after someone put our name forward after another band had cancelled. The promoter said because we were recommended he didn't need to hear us, the gig was ours but only if we could bring one hundred people. We had two weeks to promote this. When you consider that sometimes we have struggled to get ten people to come to a regular gig, we were unsure if we should accept. We thought; although it’s a great opportunity if we screw it up we may never be asked back. We decided to go for it and managed to take one hundred and thirty people from Salisbury plus about thirty people from Bournemouth.
Not many musicians get the opportunity to perform in such a large venu, how does the O2 compare to some of the smaller venues you have performed in.
At the O2 I (Gav) felt very detached from the crowd, I didn't really settle into the gig. It's great to have loads of room to move around, but I prefer the crowd to be closer. I love it in small venues when we’re toe to toe with the audience and we’re trying to push them back off the monitor speakers, that is when a gig is at its best. Places like the Music Box in Salisbury and The Winchester in Bournemouth are amongst our favourite venues. Carl does some double time rapping he will often run into the audience when he does this, it is a great way to make the audience feel involved, but you can’t do that at the O2.
After winning best band and best live act, what’s in store for Lyrical Monsoon in 2015.
I like to think we could get to perform at a few bigger festivals. We got a little taste of a festival this summer (2014), now we've got the festival bug and want more. But before the festival season starts we will be releasing a new music video and a two track single, which should be available in March.