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Ben Goddard bags Blissfields berth
Ben Goddard and the Heartbeats won the Road to Blissfields contest at the Railway Inn, Winchester, picture by Paul Bevan
BEN Goddard and the Heartbeats will fly the Winchester flag after winning the city’s heat in the Road to Blissfields contest.
The singer and songwriter from King’s Somborne won the battle of the bands staged at the Railway Inn.
Organisers of the Blissfields festival, which takes place at Woodmancott near Winchester this summer, are holding several local contests.
It includes another heat in Southampton in a few weeks, and the winners will also be invited to play at the event.
As for the Winchester contest, held on Saturday, April 7, four acts competed for a place at the festival.
First on stage was four-piece guitar group Taming the Savage. The well-drilled unit pleased their crowd with the opening set, and put down a marker for their competitors.
Next came Joys of Sleeping, a late replacement for another act, Pony. Without bringing a support base it was a tricky wicket, but was still a professional performance.
The third band, Winterhours, also made some eleventh hour personnel changes but given their well-executed set, it wasn’t obvious.
The crowd enjoyed them, but while good enough to win some contests, they were destined to finish second.
First place went to Ben Goddard and the Heartbeats. The former member of Three Kings and Hellcyon, now playing with his new band, energised the crowd with an excellent set.
While the judges retired to consider their verdict, the audience was treated to a fifth band on a very busy night at the Railway Inn.
Arp Attack from Southampton are already confirmed for Blissfields and gave the crowd an idea of what to expect.
The band’s catchy blend of electronic and alternative music kept the crowd entertained while they awaited the result.
With Ben Goddard and the Heartbeats now signed up to Blissfields, the final line-up is taking shape.
The Noisettes and Patrick Wolf are already confirmed for the event, which runs from June 29 to July 1. Visit blissfields.co.uk to learn more.
AMPLIFIED invited budding music writers to review the show, and here’s what David Sullivan made of the evening: ANNUAL battle of the bands, Road to Blissfields, lands within the home town of the festival at The Railway, Winchester. The upcoming talent fight to grace the summer festival this year along with the highly anticipated headline acts.
With the tough job of opening, Taming The Savage work well to engulf the stage in an indie, grunge whirlwind. Laced with folk tinged vocals from frontman Josh Savage, the band proved an exciting entrance to the event.
The Joys Of Sleeping followed and although showcased as one man, only armed with a guitar, Sam Hatchwell fills The Railway with an anathematic, textured experience that could have easily been mistaken for a full band.
Winterhours offered a light indie rock with powerful vocal harmonies and tight musicality. They presented an emotive and encapsulating performance.
The final act of battling artists on the Road to Blissfields and winners of the sought after prize came in the likes of Ben Goddard & The Heartbeats. Goddard & co delivered fresh rock a billy jives reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Matched with quick vocal rhymes similar to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ben Goddard & The Heartbeats offer a pop tinged, country sound that will fit nicely within the Blissfields line up.
Special guests on the bill at The Railway come in the form of Arp Attack, already confirmed on the Blissfields line up. The band come to offer an insight into the wider sounds that can be experienced at the festival.
The Road To Blissfields offers an abundant array of upcoming talent. Ben Goddard & The Heartbeats claimed the crown on this leg and will be journeying back to the town this summer to join the likes of The Noisettes and Patrick Wolf to Hampshires finest festival.