On Saturday 3rd February, I had my mind blown at the Battle of the Bands competition taking place in the Exchange, Twickenham. The event, led by charity organisation The Basement Door, served as a truly inspiring display of the incredible achievements of young musicians and emerging new talents. From heavy metal to alt-pop, it is clear that each band in this eclectic selection holds a promising future in the music industry.

As audience members filed into the room and claimed their seats, there was a keen buzz of excitement rippling through the crowd. The majority of attendees were friends and family of band members, eager to be a part of the next step of their musical journey. There was a highly professional set-up of the performance space, making this an exciting opportunity for the emerging bands, several of whom had not performed publicly before. Smoke rose from the stage and drifted across the crowd creating an aura of thick anticipation. Bright coloured lights glistened off a spectacular array of guitars, cymbals and microphones. 

On the screen behind the stage was a logo for The Basement Door, the charity behind the event providing young musicians with the performance space they need to experience the thrill of the stage, whilst also gaining essential knowledge in backstage maintenance. 

And then came the bands. Each performance demonstrated strong technical ability, passion but most phenomenally, creative versatility. I remember the absolute surprise of the audience when one heavy metal band managed to create an astonishing twist to the song ‘I Kissed A Girl’ by Katy Perry - such artistic abilities are beyond comprehension to a novice like myself. Personally, I was thrilled to watch my friend ‘rock it out’ on the stage, who later told me that she was having “an amazing time”, not only performing, but also meeting new friends from other local bands. Yet perhaps the biggest pleasure was watching the overwhelming support generated by the crowd for all the young musicians. It was truly a reminder of the incredibly supportive environment at events such as these, simultaneously highlighting the great importance of organisations like The Basement Door in providing performers with the crucial performance space they need to grow as artists.

At the end of the night, my friends and I both agreed that our temporary loss of hearing was a worthy price to pay for the incredible show we were given. However, the saddening truth is that opportunities like these for young musicians are disappearing. The Basement Door is relying on the generous donations of the public in order to keep providing invaluable experiences to the next generation of inspiring performers. If you would like to support this worthy cause, or simply learn more about the talented bands, please head to The Basement Door website or Instagram page. However, if what you’re searching for is a fun night out, then look no further than the Battle of the Bands finale - grab tickets soon!