On Sunday 13th of November, Club Punchbowl’s Main Ballroom was venue of choice for JumboNote’s first ever Battle of the Bands, and what an afternoon it was. With four bands vying for the first ever Band Jam Championship trophy, it was an afternoon filled with nervous excitement, butterflies and a few small surprises. This is a short principals report of each bands performance during the afternoon.
The Unknown have a sound that is light, dynamic, and fun to listen to. Their repertoire always compliments lead singer Olivia Modellino. Band Master Ben Corby has the band always working to their strengths like a well oiled machine. Lead singer Olivia is a pleasure to listen to and watch, as she has a stage presence second to none, and provides punters with plenty… always producing a gutsy performance in each song. A lead singer such as this always brings the best out of all the musicians on stage, and each musician responded well. Drummer Daylan Kelly provides a solid backbone, as his style is never over the top, which, is a common problem with many young enthusiastic drummers. Daylan never misses a beat, which allows the rest of the band to build upon and play effortlessly. The drum solo during the set was a key element in the band scoring highest in the entertainment category.
Guitarists Sam Hodgson & Georgie Krambousanos provide nice atmospheric, and jangly rhythmic guitar tones which work very well together and complement each other’s playing without treading on any toes. New keyboardist Katarina Krambousanos ads beautifully to the rhythmic feel playing mostly quavers in each song, which added some weight and atmosphere to the overall sound of the band. It is very pleasing to hear such a young band work so well as one unit, unlike many bands these days that have many individual elements, fighting to be heard within the mix.
The highlight of the evening, which came by total surprise was the original song ‘Here Right Now‘ The Unknown wrote and performed specifically for the Battle of the Bands competition. This song was a cracker and arguably the best in the set, as it had everybody singing along by the second chorus. Being the only band in the competition that wrote and performed an original, The Unknown deserved to receive top marks in the Originality category, and as a result ended up winning the JumboNote Band Jam Championship for 2016. Congratulations to ‘The Unknown’ and Band Master Mr Ben Corby. The Unknown are awarded the Principals Most Original Band Award.
Principals Tip: It would be nice to develop some backing vocal singing some harmony with lead singer Olivia. It would also be nice to hear the lead guitarists rip an extended solo in some songs.
The Wannabe’s have only been together for a few months and were the only band in the competition making their LIVE debut as a band. Being a vocal pop band, the Wannabe’s were the only band without any LIVE instrumentation, and performed all songs to backing tracks. This did not stop the Wannabe’s in being entertaining, but rather gave them a sense of freedom as they weren’t restricted to the stage and wisely used the whole auditorium for their performance. The girls jumped off stage to perform Spice Girls’ huge hit ‘If You Want to Be my Lover’ in and amongst the crowd! The repertoire was spot on with each song complimenting all the singers, and nobody was caught out of their depth in any song. It was great seeing each performer smiling, moving, dancing and having fun on stage as It felt like the girls have all known each other for years, and were at a high school reunion dancing the night away without a care in the world! Full marks to Band Master Chantell Nohra, who with a limited amount of time got all the girls to sing in harmony 100% of the time. Tara Wylie looked ever so comfortable on stage, and showed her stage experience by singing with confidence and moving with ease whilst providing the crowd with a warm smile. Jasmine Hourani and Larissa White have had fewer stage performances under their belts and started off their first verses a little tentatively due to nerves, but quickly found their feet and where off performing like professionals.
This trio also work well together, and blend their vocals exceptionally well by never trying to overpower each other. The Wannabe’s are awarded the Principals Teamwork Award. We look forward to seeing more of The Wannabe’s in future performances.
Principals Tip: Would be great to hear an A Capella song. It would be wonderful to see some guitar playing along to the backing tracks as Larissa White and Tara Wylie are both exceptional guitarists.
The Internet Scams have a total new look outfit with keyboardist Andrew Bellis and guitarist Jarod Ashby joining the band a few months ago…. And what a change this has made! It is quite evident that Band Master Daniel Imbert has worked these guys extremely hard as The Internet Scams had a totally new and improved repertoire from the Showcase Concert back in August 2016. In only two months, they’ve got better songs and have also developed a very atmospheric sound thanks to the influence Keyboardist Andrew Bellis imparts on the band. His bluesy piano solo during the set was also on point and added greatly to the new musical direction The Internet Scams are heading. Lead singer James Grbevski was in fine form, providing plenty of banter in between songs, and vocally producing his best and most mature performance to date. James is one of those unique characters with more personality than his shoes can fit, and it’s this personality that brings this band to life. These types of unique characters is what makes Rock n Roll so great! One can’t help but feel that if James doesn’t end up with a career as a rock singer, he will most definitely be some kind of entertainer or television personality.
Guitarists Vasilis Argyridakis and Jarod Ashby are solid with their guitar work, and compliment each other nicely and allow plenty of room for Keyboardist Andrew Bellis to do his thing. The guitars provide a great foundation for the band and lead singer James was never overpowered during his softer moments. This level of maturity by the guitarist in knowing when not to over play is what provides the band with a very clear mix of all elements. Drummer Jayden Foon, who has only started playing drums a little over a year ago looked ever so comfortable on his kit, and was confident in counting the band in and also showed lots of character with his drum showmanship. The Internet Scams are awarded the Principals Most Improved Band Award.
Principals Tip: The only time a rock musician should sit during a performance is if playing in an orchestra or if you play in a senior citizens nursing home band! Please learn to play your instrument whilst standing and ROCK ON!
Studio Beez boast the biggest line-up of the competition with 8 musicians, and are Band Jam’s most experienced band clocking up numerous performances and music videos in their year and a half short history. It was no surprise that Studio Beez came into the competition as heavy favourites to take out the championship as they have some of jumboNote’s most talented musicians! These guys are so good that it is hard for punters to tell who is the star of the show in the band. The vocalists always provide strong and dynamic performances, the guitarists rip solo’s that are out of this world and drummer John Kirc Cadornigara is one of the most skilful and dynamic drummers you’ll ever hear.
Studio Beez provide the heaviest sound out of the competition, as guitarists Benjamin Wong and Jared Anota have invested heavily in their guitar rigs, and are producing guitar tones that are rich and warm, where every note they play has meaning and purpose. It is great to see that these young guitarists are keen on developing their own sound. Band Master Manuel Andrade has done a magnificent job in getting these kids to play a sophisticated repertoire of Rock Classics that many professionals would have a hard time learning. For kids, as young as 13 to attempt to play ‘Stairway to Heaven’, with Benjamin Wong and Jared Anota nailing all the solo’s note perfect, one can only imagine how talented these kids are! The solo harmonies played by both guitarists in ‘Hotel California’ was a highlight from their set! Studio Beez got full marks from the judges in the Musical Proficiency as a Band category and helped the band come in as runners up for the Band Jam Championship.
Drummer John Kirc Cadornigara is such a great drummer that I wouldn’t hesitate sharing the stage with this guy! His drum fills are always powerful, with each hit distinct and purposeful. John Kirc uses every element of the kit well, and his drum work with the toms brought power to the mix when it was needed. Young keyboardist Keiran Cadornigara made himself counted, and introduced some nice atmospheric sounds to the mix, particularly during ‘Stairway to Heaven’ where his flutes and strings shone.
The three vocalists are all on top of their game and have all bases covered by providing plenty of power, dynamics and colour. Tara Wylie has a beautifully unique, characterful sound of the three and provides a gorgeous tone for the sweeter moments. Lara Jade Teves has all the finesse any singer could ever want, and weaves her vocals in and out with ease during the most difficult melodic parts. Amelia Giovenali has all the power in the world, and uses her vocal ability brilliantly for all the soaring vocal parts. There is nothing lacking in the vocal department, with each singer providing something unique that enhances the overall sound of the band. The Studio Beez are awarded the Principals Most Skilled Musicians Award.
Principals Tip: Smile more on stage, and don’t be too serious. Let everybody know you’re having the time of your life! You guys are too good as musicians not to be enjoying yourselves!
Please feel free to comment on this article. Are there ways we could improve ‘Battle of the Bands’? Do you agree, or disagree with my assessment? Please remember, this review is solely based on my opinion…
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