Heat 4

The Lancashire Evening Post supported search for the region’s best band continued at Preston’s The Venue. The five bands were welcome relief to the grim summer storms, the Prestonian equivalent of Dorothy stepping into Technicolor a long way from Kansas.

Indeed, Peter Simple gave a performance not too dissimilar to a dream sequence, their lead singer bounding with exhaustive glee. Whether his band’s ska/pop hybrid had any redeeming features did not matter, with unsuspecting members of the audience dragged into a celebration of hyperactive exuberance. When the better choruses kicked in, they were at their best, but this happened only fleetingly.

Peter Simple had not come alone in the funk stakes, for the gloriously named What The Funk had also packed the slap-bass for the trip. Their self-titled opener promised much, which sadly collapsed into a bland mix of wig-outs and ballads, culminating in a passable cover-version.

Metal stalwarts Without Motive ended on a cover too, preceded by a jarring and repetitive array of passable heavy rock numbers. The stadium sound was carried off very well but it all seemed quite forced.

Old gents Valvetronics sneaked two notable numbers into an otherwise bland set of rock standards, offering inoffensive songs with pleasing charm.

Telekinetic Fortunato were intense and invigorating, a burst of instrumental brilliance weaving melodies into knots, as thunderous as the weather.