It’s not long now until the 35th Bath Half marathon.
On Sunday 13th March 15,000 runners will take to the streets of Bath to run the 13.1 mile course. But it’s not just the runners themselves who’ll be there. As well as the staff and volunteers who help to make the marathon possible by handing out water bottles, directing runners, taking photos, and a vast myriad of other important tasks of which there are simply too many to mention, there are also all of the spectators lining the course and cheering the participants on. It’s an awesome event to be a part of, and the atmosphere for all involved is incredible year after year.
Last year the race organisers decided to add to the carnival atmosphere with a Battle of the Bands competition, and this year it’s back again but even bigger. At different locations around the route nine very different bands will be playing in the hope of impressing the voting runners, and in doing so being the band who gets the most votes and so winning a £500 cash prize and a chance to play on BBC Radio Bristol.
So, bearing in mind that not everyone likes every genre of music, we’ve been having a look at the bands who’ll be playing and where they’ll be; in case that helps you to decide where you’d like to watch the marathon from.
Harlem Rhythm Cats at The Ayrlington on Pulteney Road
A Boogie-Woogie and Blues band with a vintage feel and a fantastic female vocalist. Expect the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, and discovering that you have a sudden urge to start dancing.
North Somerset Community Brass at Green Park
A non-competing band that raises money for charities and welcomes players of all ages and from all backgrounds. They have performed all over the region and they play purely for the love of playing. Which they do very well. Expect all the old brass band favourites.
The Corporations at Victoria Pub & Kitchen on Upper Bristol Road
Soul, Funk, Rock’n’Roll and Blues. The Corporations cover a wide range of songs they hope will get you dancing. Included on their set list at the moment are Dancing in the Street by the Vandellas, Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry, and Mercy by Duffy.
The Somerset Paddies at Andrews Estate Agent on Newbridge Road
Think The Wurzels, crossed with The Pogues and you won’t be too far out. This is a band who’ve mixed Somerset accents with a little Irish charm and come up with real success and variety. Definitely worth catching a song or two from them if you can.
Trenchard near the Boathouse Pub on Newbridge Road
Relative newcomers to the Bath music scene, this guitar-based band are four teens who, despite having only been together for a year, have performed all over and been praised by some big industry names. With all original songs this is one very much up and coming band.
The Disfavoured Party at Way Ahead Care on Lower Bristol Road
If you’re a hard rock fan then this is the band for you. If you like the Dead Kennedys or Pixies you’ll like these guys.
The Edsel Furys at The Carers’ Centre on Lower Bristol Road
This four piece 60s garage/fuzz/surf/rock-n-roll outfit from Bath describe themselves as “a speed train driven by surfer dudes!” They’ve certainly got a good range of instruments behind their sound: “fuzz geetar, bad ass bass and backing sounds, sticks and hits, voice, trumpet, kazoo, harmonica, vibra slap, and other noisy things”.
lDestroy at The Royal Oak Pub on Lower Bristol Road
If you like Joan Jett you’ll like this trio. Angry teenage rebellion songs with catchy riffs which manage to be sneering, charming and upbeat all at the same time. And to top it off they’re great performers too.
Bath Folk Youth Band at Platinum Toyota Bath on Lower Bristol Road
New and traditional folk tunes from a very talented group of performers. It’s easy to forget that they’re only teens, and some members even younger than that. Bath is a hub for folk music and these guys really do prove that.