The Scene Column: Battle of the Bands heads to MK

Music reporter Vicki McCarthy talks to MK music promoter Suzanne Fletcher and singer Travis Sanders about the upcoming Battle of the Bands events, aiming to promote and support local artists…

Happy new year!

Have you made any resolutions? I have a couple… One is to be more organised – so much so, I’m keeping it ‘old skool’ and I’ve bought a pocket diary!

My other resolution is to start getting back out to gigs, to my pre-lockdown frequency, and judging by the amount of live music events appearing on Facebook, this shouldn’t be a hard resolution to keep!

Last month, I caught up with MK music promoter Suzanne Fletcher, along with Travis Sanders – who’s the lead singer of local pop-punk band Calico Palace – as they both prepare for Suzanne’s upcoming Battle of the Bands.

The landlords at The Cricketers pub in Oldbrook have steadfastly been great supporters of local live music, with regular gigs put on for punters, old and new.

Meaning it was an obvious venue choice for Suzanne.

So, what was the background behind setting up the 2022 Battle of the Bands?

“Although I promote and work with local bands and artists,” Suzanne explained, “I’m also just a music lover who enjoys attending gigs. So, it seemed an obvious event to host!”

Taking place between 28 January and 15 April, the fortnightly Friday gigs will see local bands and artists vying for the highest scores from judges Suzanne, Stuart Mack and Jorge Vasques, to see them though to
the semis and hopefully, to the final.

With prizes on offer, it’s not just about potential material gain, as Travis elaborated: “We were excited to be asked to take part in the opening night on 28 January.

“Luke Jackson, William Todd and I only formed Calico Palace last year, during lockdown so to get out and play to crowds, meet and watch other bands and artists is really great.”

And there’s plenty to watch, with a minimum of three acts per fortnight, with some wildcard entries to spice things up, it’s sure going to get competitive.

“We have a very hard job as judges,” Suzanne smiled. “The local music scene is so rich in talent.

“I want the Battle of the Bands to be an additional way to showcase these great artists.”

So, head on down to The Cricketers, and support these bands. After its Covid-19-induced hibernation, you can be a big part of breathing life back into MK’s live music events.

For more information, visit Facebook and search for MK Vibe Podcast to see the gig dates and information. You can find out more about the local band Calico Palace at

This feature was published in the February/March 2022 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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