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Loud Applause For First Battle Of The Bands

By JEFFARAH GIBSON

Tribune Features Writer and

NOELLE NICOLLS

Tribune Features Editor

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Mandisa of The Illest Band

IT WAS the first event of its kind. An unmatched outlet for a Bahamian bands to showcase their talents. It was the Global Battle of Bands, Bahamas festival, which drew scores of music enthusiasts to the Botanical Gardens, Saturday.

The all-day event saw 10 Bahamian bands compete for the title "Best Band in the Bahamas", over several rounds of competition that were adjudicated by crowd participation along with a panel of judges.

"The audience being part of the decision making process in the first and second round was a good feature of the event," said Major, a patron.

"It eliminated the chance for bias to exist. Fans got to vote for their favorite band to progress to the next round. If this event is hosted again next year I will surely be there," he said.

The competition started in the mid afternoon, and treated patrons to a mix of music including jazz, reggae, rock 'n roll, R&B and rake 'n scrape. The atmosphere early in the day was fun and festive, with children romping in the playground, next to the food and craft stalls. By evening, the competition revved up, and so did the crowd.

"Ira Storr and the Spank Band's performance was my favourite. They had the crowd jumping. I really thought they would have won the competition. Their performance in the second round had me dancing through the entire thing. All I saw was hands in the air during their performance. They really did a good job," said Tasha, a patron.

After all was said and done, Stinkin Wayz, the alternative/rock band, took home the title, ahead of Ira Storr and the Spank Band, Avante Gaurden and the Illest. These four finalists made it to the last round of competition based largely on crowd votes, but in the final round they faced the judges alone.

Stinkin Wayz will head to Bucharest, Romania in June to compete against 30 countries for a chance to be named "Best Band in the World".

"I thought the event was well executed considering we had a short time for planning and limited resources. We are really grateful for the support we have received from the community who helped make the event what it was on Saturday. Like any event that is executed, there are lessons to be learned," said chairman of GBOB Ricardo Berris.

The GBOB Bahamas event was originally scheduled for February, but event organisers rescheduled the event for April, which allowed additional partners to join the team. Participants and patrons applauded the organisers for the high quality production.

"I am a person who always has respect for good sound production, good engineering and good layout, and Zamar has always been able to bring that. They never slack on that and they take it seriously," said Anishka, lead singer for the Spank Band, referring to Zamar Production Company, one of the companies responsible for producing the event.

She said international artists are routinely afforded a high calibre of production, and it was long overdue for Bahamian artists to be appreciated and respected in the same way.

"Bahamian artists are not appreciated. Because of that we don't get what we deserve. That should change. This should be regular for us," said Anishka, praising GBOB, Bahamas for producing an event deserving of Bahamian artists.

Mr Berris said he agreed that quality sound and audio were strong execution points. He said the event will definitely carry that quality forward in the coming years.

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