Push Start Western Region Battle of the Bands final
Friday 22 October 2010, Youth Resource Centre, Hoppers Crossing
Six finalist bands from western regional Victoria battled it out on Friday 22 October 2010 to win a position at the Push Start Battle of the Bands Grand Final in 2011. In 2010, 260 Victorian bands entered the Battle competition, with a total of 1458 young musicians competing at 59 FReeZA Push Start events across the state.
Wyndham's FReeZA committee, Infinite Entertainment, hosted the Western Regional Finals, which attracted almost 400 young people.
Opening the night were alternative rockers Osiris, winners of the Hobson's Bay Battle of the Bands. Originally from Werribee, the four-piece said competing in the battles had motivated them to develop their EP Make Up Will Kill You. Front man Jake Murphy admitted it was a shock that the band had made it through to the finals, because everything had gone wrong during their first heat.
"We feel comfortable playing this battle knowing we have our friends supporting us," he said.
The next act to take the stage was the incredible Mimi Velevska from Brimbank. She played acoustic renditions of her band's original funk rock music, and ended her set with an interpretive cover of Nelly's "Hot In Here".
Mimi sang deep and husky vocals as she played piano, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. Although the full band has four members, it was entered only as an acoustic two-piece.
Passport for Amy!
Wyndham's own Passport For Amy played an upbeat dance and indie set, which was well received by the local audience. With influences like Two Door Cinema Club and Foals, they proved to be versatile in playing different musical styles.
"We're pretty stoked to play tonight," said drummer Ben Williams. "We're just excited to get the opportunity to show people our band."
The only all-female act of the night was Melton Shire's winner, Atlantis Lights. Playing original acoustic alternative folk music that managed to get the audience clapping along, the three young ladies provided glamour to the event by getting dressed up for the occasion.
The band cite their influences as the Dresden Dolls, Belle & Sebastian and Disney musicals. They said the Push Start Battle had been a great way for them to connect to a younger audience, since they had been mainly playing overage gigs.
Alternative rock band Qlaye Face (pronounced "clay face") proved they had come a long way since forming in 2007 to enter a school band competition. The four boys represented Maribyrnong, but said they were excited to be playing in a different area where they could expand their fan base.
Their solid set bordered funk, hardcore and alternative rock styles, and included interesting tempo changes and electrifying guitar riffs.
Moonee Valley's winner MindPilot featured two guys and two girls playing a mix of alternative rock and metal, influenced by classic rock idols Nirvana, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and AC/DC. Some of their fans held up "MindPilot" signs in the crowd.
During each band change-over there were acoustic artists playing on a smaller second stage. In a lit-up corner surrounded by couches and cushions, three guitarists from Werribee kept the crowd entertained with original music and covers.
Rachel King covered No Doubt's "Don't Speak". Tim Clay from the progressive rock band Kaonashi covered Bernard Fanning's "Songbird". Braydon Ross received a warm crowd reception with covers of Owl City's "Fireflies" and Good Charlotte's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
While the three judges discussed the winner, the two headlining acts took to the stage to cause a frenzied mosh. North Melbourne hardcore five-piece Hopeless played a mix of songs from their debut album Dear World and their seven inch "Human". Nick from fellow hardcore band Lovers Grave filled in on the drums.
"It's really good to play a little closer to home," said vocalist Brett Sutton.
House Vs. Hurricane!!
Finally, House Vs. Hurricane tore up the stage with new music from their debut full-length album Perspectives. The six Melbourne boys have been touring relentlessly since the album's release.
Their crowd interaction was entertaining and very engaging, as they got everyone to give high-fives in the circle mosh, and even started a conga line in the mosh pit. Needless to say, they were too exhausted to give comments at the end of their set.
And the winner is...
The winner of the Western Regional final was Passport For Amy. The boys will now go on to play at Push Over in March 2011, where they will compete against the other regional winners to be crowned the Push Start winner.
Andrew Kitchen from The Push, who was one of the three judges, said he was impressed by all the bands.
"There was a very pleasing mix of music genres tonight, including a blend of rock and indie. It was great to see some bands with females too. Overall it was a well run event, rounded out nicely by House Vs. Hurricane."
Congratulations to Passport for Amy - we look forward to seeing them on the Push Start stage at PushOver 2011.
For more details about the Push Start Battle of the Bands and other events, check out www.freeza.vic.gov.au (new window).
4 out of 5.
For more gig reviews, check our our Reviews archive.