One of the most exciting musical events on the local gig calendar is indeed the annual Battle of the Bands. Recently held at the Courthouse ARTS in Gheringhap Street, it is a platform for young local bands on the rise to get up and showcase their talent. If you were sceptical about the lack of talent in Geelong, this article will shoot down your theory. This year saw Bound by Hound, Flawed Peace, Dayzed and The Ampersands take to the stage to fight it out for the crown, which was won by Jye Cannon.
With the running order pulled out of a hat 10 minutes before stagetime, there was no real time for nerves to take their place because you could be on stage within a couple of minutes of your name being read out. On stage first was Bound By Hound, who were making their return to the battle for the second year in a row. On the eve of the release of their debut single, ‘Jaimee’s Song’, at the Barwon Club, it was inspiring to see how far they had come within twelve months. From just playing at small parties to local venues around the area, excuse the pun, they are bound for big things in the future after the release of their demo, which should be out sometime in 2015.
One of the acts that totally surprised me was Flawed Peace. Based in Torquay, the youngest group collectively to take the stage that night proved that they are a talent to watch. Influenced by the likes of The Doors, The Beatles, The Stones, Santana and Bob Dylan to name just a few, it was a trip in the time machine back to England in the ’60s. Complete with vintage gear, the band was led by the infectious organ playing of Callum Watson. In many respects, it was like seeing the late Ray Manzarek of The Doors playing in Geelong. With awesome bluesy grooves, the band is set to play at many local events around the Surf Coast over the next few months.
Armed with just two guitars and a bass guitar, as well as a drum machine and two Space Echo effect pedals, Dayzed led us on a very psychedelic journey with elements of their performance emulating Tame Impala. Although the concept of having just three guitars playing together sounded a little messy, the reality, however, proved to be quite a spectacle on the night. Having played many shows recently with one of the Bellarine Peninsula’s favourite acts, The Tiny Giants, with a few little jokes about the pre-recorded drum loop, it will be intriguing to see whether Dayzed can become the Tame Impala of the Geelong region.
Already receiving some triple j Unearthed play, The Ampersands, led by the vocal growl of Chris Rugge, wrapped up the night for the contestants and showed why the Geelong scene is alive and kicking with fresh talent. Having already read up on the winner of the Geelong heat in the last issue, be sure to come down to the regional final on the 7th of November. Showcasing the best bands and musicians throughout Victoria, the winner will go on to play at Push Over on Labour Day weekend next year. Come on Geelong! Get behind Jye Cannon and discover some new local bands whilst you’re at it.
When&Where: Courthouse ARTS – November 7
By Tex Miller. Photo by Half Shots