It's Joe's gig.

The obligatory late start saw Awaken finally hit the stage 15 minutes later than planned which set the rest of the day back by that quarter of an hour. Even the late start couldn't help the mush of noise that Awaken tried to entertain the early arrivers with. The guitars and bass of Bentley and Boston were mainly to blame for this musical sludge, as nothing really stood out from a pure instrument point of view.

On the positive side were the vocals of Joe Hughes. Early in the set he used his voice to mainly shout and growl, which he did admirably. But as the gig carried on he showed the receptive, if not full crowd, every aspect of his voice (he may have done this unwittingly, but it's something I noticed). This guy really is a talent and was the reason that I stayed in the room right until the end of their short set. The band incorporate some sweeping keyboard and soundscapes in their music giving them a Mercenary feel, and it was with this idea coupled with Joe's vocals that Awaken really excelled and won admiration from the audience.

It was a good performance to kick off the Darwin Suite for Bloodstock 2006, although dogged by a poor mix, there was enough in Awaken to get excited about. However I do think singer Joe Hughes is a cut above the rest of the band, and they may struggle to hold on to him in future. It could be up to the rest of the members to improve their game sufficiently enough to keep him. I'm sure they're capable of doing that though. www.awakenuk.co.uk