DCSIMG

REVIEW: Open Mic UK national grand final, Guildhall, Portsmouth.

Chichester's Vicky Gladwin gave an impressively-assured performance in Saturday night's grand final of the inaugural Open Mic UK competition. Buoyed by strong local support, she gave a performance which will have won her many new fans.

But in truth, from the moment he took the stage, there was only ever one singer in contention – London busker Jon Curtis.

And the fact that he walked away with the top prize suggests that this kind of competition really can get it right.

The whole thing cried out for a greater transparency in terms of the relationship between text-voting and the decision of the six-judge panel. Just what weighting was given to each?

But it was definitely the right result on a great night for a guy with a very bright future – and a great night for Open Mic, which has been devised by Chris Grayston as spin-off to the well-established Live & Unsigned competition.

We are lucky to have it right on our doorstep, and let's hope it stays here.

In its first outing, Open Mic UK attracted a wealth of highly-talented vocalists. And Open Mic UK's response was to give them the very best platform on which to shine.

All the elements were there in a slick show which managed to be both polished and fun.

Big screen, excellent lighting, excellent sound and a bright and breezy compere who got the tone absolutely right ensured a great night for everyone, not just the winner.

Most attractive of all was the sheer range of styles that the night had to offer, from swing to operatic via rock, blues, ballad and rap. There wasn't a single duff act (oh, OK, maybe just a couple) – and the neutrals in the audience were happy to go home knowing that justice had been done.

www.joncurtismusic.com is the site to look at. Let's hope he builds from here. In the meantime, take a bow, Chris Grayston. You've come up with another great new event.

Phil Hewitt

 
 
 

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