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Battle of the Bands @ The Arnhem Club

Battle of the Bands @ The Arnhem Club

Battle of the Bands Live @ TAC June 25

By Rob Stewart

As part of the Family Fun Festival that was held at the Arnhem Club last Saturday

the Battle of the Bands was nothing short of an epic success.

8 local acts came, and they sung, rhymed, shouted, sweated, danced, bled, played

and even got bass playing blisters for rock n roll! These acts were ably supported

by an extremely well fed and enthusiastic bunch of music loving crowd goers

that I’m certain are all keen to come back and do it all over again.

The afternoon was kicked off by Conflict of Interest, aptly named through their

ineligibility to take home the cash prize as this was one unit made up entirely of

Arnhem Club staff, namely Grant, Will, Rhi and Jimmy. If they were eligible it

would have made the judges hard job even harder, as they were brilliant. Grant

said they been playing together for two and a half hours but they played like

they’ve been together for two and a half years, they were as tight as a

pachyderms legs in lycra and armed with a swag of crowd favourite tunes.

Conflict of Interest would make for one sensational Sunday session band… Paula,

if you’re reading this, their grooves and a dry season Sunday arvo will be like

crack for crowds!

Next up was me, Handsome Rob. I did all right. I won best solo act of the day,

well, I would have if there were such a prize!

Following on after my dazzling measures of mediocrity was soon to be crowned

overall champions the MC Aris Experience… Matt, Olivia, Bob and Manny were

quite simply the most engaging group with a truly unique modus operandi. The

smooth grooves and tasty hooks were on point, and add into this mix is the ice

cool MC Aris who has a virtuoso lyrical injection that at times is delivered at

speeds not previously thought humanly possible! Paula, surely the club could

find a residency for these champions of tunes too?

The Vibes were up next and a bigger stage was almost required, not cos Luke is a

sizeable dude, but to fit all and sundry upon it… I lost count but there was more

than a handful of tuneful gringos that made up the Vibes, and boy did they

deliver some fine vibes to boot. I think if there was a peoples choice it would

have been maybe the Vibes by a nose over MC Aris and Harry & the Walkers.

This tip top outfit, were extremely well rehearsed and extremely well equipped

to play with skill and aplomb. Their smooth summer reggae grooves proved just

the tonic for a tidy dry season day and I feel this is yet another must have regular

band to appear around the traps, Paula… you still reading?

Once all of the Vibes had been removed stage left, the Battle continued with the

Cycads who got an early performance call after the scheduled Garrangali Band

were unable to make it (which bummed me out as I had been singing Muthi

Muthi to myself for most of the day in anticipation of hearing it live!)

But my disappointment was but ephemeral as the Cycads plugged in, turned on

and trotted out a very well received array of alternative classics plus a very

noteworthy original that hopefully ushers in many more to come. The Cycads are

basically the MC Aris Experience minus MC Aris so the grooves and hooks were a

plenty but the vocal duties were handled with Miss Olivia’s usual sublime silky

rockin skills. The Cycads are the sorta band that I want to play with!

No sooner had Olivia unstrapped the Bass and had a chance to rehydrate she was

required back onstage to join her best mates and another crowd favourite Papa

Said. If there was a prize for band who has the best fun on stage it would have to

go to Papa Said, these four glamorous ladies of rock always look like they’re

having the best time when they play and I’m guessing that’s because they are!

Their original tunes are insanely catchy nuggets of creativity… Not unlike the

girls them selves.

The penultimate act were former Battle of the High School Band finalists Good

Question and they were back together after a hiatus and ready to make up for

lost time. The crowd by this time were well lubricated and had been having some

mighty jolly times to date so they were more than willing to jump about and get

stuck into a great set of uptempo tunes delivered by an excellent line up of young

good looking musicians. Good Question left nothing in the tank and would have

given the judges more heartache as to how on Earth they were only going to

choose one winner.

Last band to hit the B.O.T.B stage were Harry & The Walkers… Lead by the

incomparable Harry Walker who proved to be the most consummate front man

of the day with his skill of endearing himself to the crowd with charming banter,

undeniable enthusiasm and a bucket load of charisma. However the Walkers

were not merely session musos backing a star, they were a tight well rehearsed

band who enable Harry to be the rock star he so clearly is when they all come

together as a wonderful band of lovable reprobates! All of Harry & the Walkers

songs were original tunes written by Harry and each and everyone of them

comes complete with a sweet catchy hook and plenty of infectious pop

enjoyability. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again just in case Paula has stuck

with us and read this far… Here is another band that should be marking in a

residency at the club!

Once the musical dust of rock n freakin roll had settled and the judges decisions

made final it was then revealed that Harry & the Walkers were runners up and

the MC Aris Experience were Victors. But I think all in attendance, that’s the

awesome folk at the food stalls, the Arnhem clubs brilliant staff, the sensational

sound crew, all the outstanding musicians, the fabulous anti fracking folk

creating much needed awareness, and the super brilliant crowd who chipped in

a stack of cash to raise money for musical instruments for local schools, and

clapped and cheered their hearts out… All will agree, that I was robbed and

should have won, sorry… did I say that out loud? What I meant to say was local

music is alive and in very good hands in this tip top community. Do yourself a

favour and get out amongst it at every given opportunity, you’ll feel better for

doing so.

A mix of Rob’s and TAC’s photos

 

For all of the Arnhem Clubs B.O.T.B photos click here

Rob Stewart

July 15th, 2016

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