The Sons of Icarus have been crowned the first ever winner of the UK’s largest unsigned band competition, the Marshall Ultimate Band Contest (UBC).
Sponsored by rock icon Marshall Amps, the Lick Library and Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky, the UBC came to a thrilling conclusion, with five finalists battling head to head at a live gig at Marshall’s Milton Keynes HQ.
Judged by a panel of influential industry heavyweights including Ian Williamson of Classic Rock Magazine, Kim Waller of The Lick Library and Chris George, International Demonstrator for Marshall Amplification, The Sons of Icarus were voted the unequivocal champions, winning not only the honour of being the first ever Marshall Ultimate Band but also get a full Marshall Endorsement (previously bestowed on the likes of Slash and Jimi Hendrix).
The Sons of Icarus will also receive a substantial equipment loan, a Limited Edition bottle of Smokehead Extra Black each, LickLibrary DVDs, a re-master of four tracks by famed Metropolis Studio and a covermount CD by Classic Rock Magazine.
Described as a modern rock band, The Sons of Icarus (formerly The Fury) are based in Guildford and consist of Andy Masson (vocals/ guitar), Alex Masson (bass/ backing vocals), Mike McQuillan (Drums), Steve Balkwill (Lead Guitar), who study together at the Academy of Contemporary Music, Surrey. The band reached the final thanks to fans voting online and the final was also broadcast by Lick Library via a webcast and was viewed by nearly 1,700 visitors.
Iain Weir of Smokehead Whisky and UBC judge said: “We were thrilled to be able support the first ever UBC and The Sons of Icarus were deserving winners. Over the last 12 months we have increasingly grown Smokehead’s rock credentials, not only with our work with Marshall and Lick Library but also by our continued support of key events in the rock calendar including the Classic Rock Hall of Fame Awards.
“The Marshall UBC was a great success and we cannot wait until Year Two of the Marshall Ultimate Band Contest – this is just the beginning.”
Smokehead Whisky, the powerful Islay Single Malt which has become the drink of choice at rock events including High Voltage Festival and, for the second time, the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards.
Described as being like a cannonball, Smokehead is an explosive combination of peat, smoke and spice with some delicate sweetness. The single malt flavour is described as fresh, fruity and immense, with notes of sherry, iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt. The taste hits the palate at once with cocoa, peat and some honey sweetness, before exploding with peppery spice and more earthy peat.
In his new book 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, Ian Buxton says of Smokehead 18 Years Old: “I saw Extra Black compared to the amplifier that goes all the way up to 11 in Spinal Tap. This is just as rock and roll as that.”
Heavy smoke and peat. Amazing richness. Lemon, fresh ginger, plum jam. Salty and spicy.
Like a cannonball – hits the palate at once with cocoa, peat and some honey sweetness then explodes with peppery spice and more earthy peat. Spreads to all the areas of your mouth with more peat and light sweetness.
Even more peat, spice, mandarin – then dries up. When you think it’s all over the peat comes back to hit you again.
A rollercoaster of peat and spice with some delicate sweetness.