Bands enjoy triumphant weekend at Butlins festival

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Notts punk favourites Verbal Warning successfully made it a local Introducing Stage hat-trick at the prestigious Great British Alternative Festival last weekend while local legends Hung Like Hanratty stormed the main stage.

Hanratty had been voted best band on the Introducing Stage by the audience at the sold-out festival at Butlins Skegness last year, following in the bootprints of previous year’s winners and fellow local punks Resistance 77.

Hanratty’s prize was a place on the Reds main stage this year which saw them draw a big, enthusiastic crowd just three short of the room’s huge capacity and six more than Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats drew in there the previous night!

Verbal Warning will now play on that main stage too next year, having stormed to victory, winning by a large margin against established names like Drongos For Europe, Desperate Measures and Vomit.

“We were shocked and delighted to win it amid such stiff competition on the day,” said John Lomas, of Verbal Warning.

“But apparantly we won it by some way and everyone we met afterwards told us we thoroughly deserved it with our entertaining performance whch was fantastic to hear. Thansk to everyone who voted for us and cheered us.

“We were the only band to give the audience 500 yellow plastic ducks to throw at us and it was a great moment when Djamel Abina of Friday’s winners The Blue Carpet Band put me on his shoulders and carried me around the room while I was singing.

“It was a day we will all never forget and it’s exciting to think about next year on the big stage and the doors it could open.”

Among the audience cheering on Verbal Warning were Hung Like Hanratty, sweaty and smiling fresh from their triumphant and hilarious gig in the big Reds venue.

Frontman Al Sation said: “When we came out on stage and found it was sold out it was a feeling that we have only dreamed of.

“We pulled more than Boomtown Rats etc. Unbelievable. We are still pinching ourselves.

“We would like to thank all the great people who have been supporting us from day one. Total respect.

“We have worked so hard for many years. We still can’t believe it.

“Dave Greenfield, who plays for the Stranglers, messaged us and told us he loved us. That is incredible coming from one of our heroes.

“Our new album What You See is What You Get has also had rave reviews and is selling great - it’s available from STP records. At Butlins we sold out of everything. We are so humbled.

“Congratulations also to Verbal Warning – our close friends who won the Introducing Stage. Great band. Great people.”