Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge
Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge. Who are the five excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers ; Elles Bailey and Robert J. Hunter. The fifth band added to the list rose to the Jessica Foxley unsigned challenge having played on the main stage at Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.
Tell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?
ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that. We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style. We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..
Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?
LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …
Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?
RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….
Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?
EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…
Tell us what it means to Robert J. Hunter Band to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?
RHB: We are a struggling band on the blues scene, if we are even on the blues scene is up for debate. We work very hard and we are playing the long game, enjoying every step of the way. But to have an opportunity like this is an absolute honour, we have been given a chance and we promise we won’t disappoint. Thank you to JFU and UKBlues Federation for believing in us.. the opportunity to be able to play somewhere called Hell is exciting on it’s own. Read More…
More about The UK Blues Challenge
What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?
An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.
The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union (EBU)
We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!
How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?
As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.
Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.
The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend – These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.
The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.
The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.
What are the selection and judging criteria?
When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:
- The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
- At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
- Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
- Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
- Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.
Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:
- Instrumental talent
- Vocal talent
- Stage presence
- Blues content
You can read the full EBC rules here
This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union