So I have this new PR internship. The company I’m doing it with are absolutely lush. It’s only teeny tiny, but it definitely makes it more personal working for them. One of their current clients are a band called Her And The Colours, and after only having been there one day, I was lucky enough to attend the YouBloom awards a few weeks ago.
YouBloom is an online competition set up by Bob Geldoff (silently screams) in order to hunt down proper talent. By proper talent I don’t mean girls in short skirts propped up against the bar down your local, but no doubt some of those did enter. No, You Bloom is aimed to tap into raw musical talent, the kind of talent that you don’t see on reality programmes such as The X Factor, or Britains Got Talent.
So yes, a few weeks ago, one dark and windy Thursday evening, I trekked across London wearing my beautiful Topshop platform boots to the Cobden Club. Jumped off the bus at Kensal Rise and had 40 minutes to get from the bus stop to the venue. Ample time I thought, given that I hadn’t really thought through my footwear that morning, but they do look so good on.
Anyway, thank god I’d downloaded Google maps for my Blackberry. After many wrong turns, and several wrong streets (I really should start wearing my glasses all the time) I turned up 15 minutes later than I should have done to the Cobden
I was not in the least bit intimidated by several burly men on bouncer duty on the front door, but I did give my dad a ring to let him know that I was still alive, and my lifeless body hadn’t been flung into the Thames somewhere. He has a tendency to worry if I don’t check in when I’m out.
Upon entering the venue I was delighted by the fact that my name was on the PR guest list! There was lots of screaming going on in my head at this time. Obviously I didn't shriek out loud. The likelihood of being thrown out is higher if you do that. I then proceeded to “gracefully” make my way up two flights of stairs, past the VIP bar, up to the room itself. In fact, I had made it in time to see Bob Geldoff himself (more screaming in my head) take to the stage to present the awards to the 2010 You Bloom winners. Actually they are the first winners ever seeing as it was only founded last year.
Coincidentally, and I’m pretty sure that their nationality didn’t play a great part in their winning, but two out of the four artists that got first, second, third and fourth positions came from Ireland. Yeah, I’ll let you figure that one out.
At this point I’d found a little corner to stand in, trying to blend in with the crowd (that primarily consisted of either muscios, musico jouranlists, PR’s etc etc) so when I say I was overwhelmed, that is a massive understatement. And as I stood in my little bubble of over - excitement and listened to the genius that is Bob Geldoff, I realised something. That this is something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to hunt down amazing bands and get them out there. Bob even said that finding new, different and brilliant artists was becoming somewhat of a rarity. The beautiful thing was, was that this competition had managed to find some of the cream of the crop.
Second place went to a three lads from County Derry, known as Intermission. They sounded a bit like Muse had just thrown up Placebo, but this aside they were impeccable musicians. Their vocalist had a slightly whiny voice that reminded me somewhat of Tom DeLonge’s vocals for Angels and Airwaves, but after a few songs, it really started to grow on me. The bassist was divine, and I certainly heard no complaints from the crowd. In fact, looking around, everyone was having a fantastic time listening to their sound. Even the intimidating area right at the front of the stage got filled, so definitely a plus!
The winner was Neev Kennedy. Heralding from County Galway Neev’s style was folk meets rock, and if Norah Jones and Katie Melua had a love child, this is what she would sound like. With beautiful, and somewhat witty lyrics, spot on vocal harmonies and a melody to die for, Neev Kennedy is certainly on the one to watch list. Actually one of her songs entitled Happy Song, was so crazily infectious, I was humming it all the way home. It also did exactly what it meant to, made me happy. Well, happier than I already was, and given the circumstances, that was saying a lot.
Those were pretty much the two bands that stood out for me. I was still riding the adrenalin high that came with standing two inches away from Bob Geldoff himself!! I am absolutely certain that I remained cool and aloof: the perfect picture of professional. So yeah if you’re in a band, and you have a new sound and are finding it difficult to catch a break, then why not take a look at the YouBloom competition. What have you got to lose? There's even a cash prize for the winner!