Construction Does Indeed Rock!

It’s been about eight years or so since I last went to a gig at Scala – and that was dressed up in a green neon tutu and leg warmers along with a friend wearing the same outfit in equally neon pink to see Cage the Elephant. This modest Kings Cross stage which has previously hosted rock royalty like Iggy and the Stooges and Lou Reed (where his iconic Transformer album cover was photographed by Mick Rock) was the host for Construction Rocks.

What is says on the tin…
In its tenth year, this is a charity battle of the bands style event, but the bands are all from firms within the construction industry. Due to the growing popularity of this event, the number of competing bands meant that there had to be two live nights to accommodate them. Nine bands were on the bill for the first night, the slots for each were only 15 minutes long. Not long to impress the judges and the crowd of supporters that turned up. The panel was made up of industry and musical professionals, Chris Liddle of HLM Architects, Gina Way from the Eel Pie Club, Peter French – vocalist for Leaf Hound and Sarah Richardson from Building Magazine.

Ticket to fun!
The chief reason I was there was not only to raise money for LandAid, but to support Max Fordham’s band – Public M&E. Comprising of 13 members complete with viola, brass section and even bongo drums meant they were by far the largest band of the night. Promising to ‘bring the funk’ their smooth and fun style set them apart from the other bands that relied heavily on more conventional rock and pop sounds. 

The other groups treated us to a variety of classics including Jimi Hendrix, Kings of Leon and Prince. A few surprises were also sprinkled in like a punked up version of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me a River’ and even some Macklemore and Rage Against the Machine whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

BIM Zombies, Tender Package and The Iterators
Public M&E were the most diverse band, in many ways, and very cleverly arranged song medleys to maximise on their allotted time. Most of the bands performed about four songs in their slot, Public M&E managed to double that and included dance floor fillers like Love Shack, Lady Marmalade and even some MC Hammer.

Strong vocals also worked in their favour with four powerful female voices harmonising with the addition of one male voice which added a new variety to a night dominated by male vocalists. Some of the other groups like Tender Package and BIM Zombies coordinated some great costumes, Public M&E still set themselves apart with a bold, kitschy, 70’s glam(ish) look featuring leopard print, gold chains and all the glitter. All of it.

Public M&E shining in every way
While us ‘Fordhamites’ immensely enjoyed our house band, they succeeded in winning over the rest of the room. Everyone was dancing, clapping and singing along. I sound a bit more ‘Marianne Faithfull’ today as a result of all the whooping.

After all the performances it was time to announce the winner. Collectively all our hearts started to beat a little bit faster. Prizes were awarded for most funds raised and most commanding stage presence, but we were all waiting for the announcement of who was going to be crowned champion. This may be part of the reason I sound a little raw today, when Peter French announced that Public M&E had won Best Band the room erupted like a previously dormant volcano. All those rehearsals had paid off and their polished performance was justly rewarded. Even though we weren’t on stage we all felt like winners.

Deserving champions
As a prize, they were awarded time in a recording studio – very exciting. Maybe we will have an official office Christmas single…

A massive well done to all the bands, good luck to those performing tonight in the second show and huge congratulations to Public M&E for engineering the best sound and for giving us a great night. I can’t wait for next year – and may even resurrect that tutu!

Proudly displayed in the office