Ralph won a headline slot on the main stage of FreeFest at the annual Loughborough Make Noise gig this year.

Scarlett and Dan came second meaning they will also appear on the main stage while third placed Frances Mitson will play an acoustic set on the Piazza stage following her performance.

Loughborough Make Noise is the annual gig in the run-up to Freefest that showcases some of the best musical talent from around the university with the ultimate prize, among others, of headlining FreeFest.

A selection of bands and acoustic acts performed in Room One on Thursday April 26. Some are already guaranteed spots at Freefest, while for others the competition provided an opportunity to gain a place at the festival, which is to take place on May 7.

The evening was kicked off by Josh Turnball and his acoustic guitar, with his unique and technically strong playing skills and warm vocals he played a mix of covers and own music.  Next on stage was Ralph, a five-piece indie cover band.  Fast paced and energetic, they leapt around the stage to songs such as I’m On Fire by Kings of Leon and Torn on the Platform by Jack Penate.

First year, acoustic guitarist and singer Frances Mitson surprised everyone with her stunningly clear vocals and heartfelt performance.  Amidst a series of covers of bands such as Fleetwood Mac, she sung an original song for what she said was the first time ever to an audience, but overcame nerves to capture the audience and own the stage.

Following on was FoxChase Bluegrass, a Bluegrass Country band. They entertained the audience with the distinctive music and lively rhythms. Following the pattern of the evening, Owen Wilson played next on the acoustic stage.  Playing covers by bands like Turin Brakes and also his own music, Owen’s rock voice effortlessly suited his acoustic style.

After Wilson came Grace 105; an alternative rock four-piece band.  Covers of songs like Mr Brightside by the Killers and Hysteria by Muse got the crowd moving and singing along.

Back on the acoustic stage, Rishi and Harry an acoustic guitar duo covered songs such as Skinny Love by Birdie.  Their two-part harmony blended perfectly and they performed some incredibly interesting takes on popular songs. Scarlett and Dan, a singer and guitarist pair played next.  Scarlett’s striking voice added a new feeling to songs such as Forget Youby Cee-Lo Green and Hey Soul Sister by Train.

Rounding of the evening in style was Cristobal and Sea, a two piece band (missing its extra two members) that used a variety of instruments from keyboard to guitar and even a hand-made wooden drumming instrument to create psychedelic electric rock similar to MGMT, with their own unique vocal style on top.  After the initial shock of the shoeless, topless painted duo, the crowd interaction left them dancing along to a series of covers and own music, finishing a successful evening.

Keep an eye out for the winners and many more acts around the union on the Monday of Freefest Bank Holiday weekend, May 4-7.


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