A few weeks back I had the privilege of participating a musical competition called battle of the bands. Unlike the school eisteddfod that i participated in with the school choir this was unique. 9 bands 3 weeks, whittled down to 6 bands on one fateful Saturday evening. An onslaught of music for one night only.
But let me rewind a little. Week one we performed our 20 min slot to the surprise many and ourselves we made it through to the finals. Having had our fair share of these types of competitions and how they generally don’t focus on the music but only on the buns in the seats, we entered to exercise our music muscles, introduce a wider audience to our music and ultimately see if we can win over some fans. The R10 000 cash prize money (Obviously a great insentive) but we we’re more about the experience of being part.
Fast forward to the Finals. 6 bands, 20 min slots each, one night, absolute madness. I had rushed away from a wedding to be at the event and the place was packed. The first band had already played and the 2nd one was on stage and we were schedulled to play later in the evening. Now the funny thing about these competition is that if you don’t have your support, you will lose unless you can grab the crowd and win them over. That was what we did. By the time voting could take place, our support had gone home so it was the luck of draw. Did we do enough to win people over.
We did, but not enough. We placed 2nd. The guttered feeling in my stomach quickly passed away to be filled with joy. I looked back to our week’s performance and who we went up against, as well as the bands on the night. AH MAN, we as south African’s have so much to offer and to be proud of. The bands were truly on point, world class and the ego’s were left outside the door. It didn’t feel like a competition. It was like a jam session with friends, we all appreciated what each one brought to the table.
The band that won the competition is Arc the Forest. Truly deserved winners with a complete sound and stage presence like seasoned professionals. They are one of my favourite up and coming SA bands. One to look out for.