By Stuart Thomas
“The Apathy of Youth” may be one of their most reflective songs but it not an attitude their fans shared as the defending champions Undone won the Battle of the Bands 2006. This adds to their impressive achievements this year, including victory at the Splashy Fen Free Stage.
Breach had the misfortune of drawing the opening slot again but despite this they drew an admittedly small but enthusiastic pit. There is no doubt though that they belonged in the final.
Undone’s performance was less of a desperate fight to prove staying power and more of a recognition of their arrival at the mature and complex level of songmanship.
Peyote’s place in the final, shows that live music audiences in Grahamstown are not as narrow-minded as some people think. Their well deserved second place is perhaps the greatest demonstration of this. They were complemented by the recruitment of a drummer. The open-minded attitude of the audience was reflected further in the giving of the “going places” award to Orang-utang Bitch.
Motara, who came third, continued on their mighty march, reaching and exceeding the levels that had been hoped for in their heat. The passion exuded into the crowd, where the pit reached its greatest intensity of the night, filled with smiling faces as bodies crashed into one another.
One of the awards presented was the award for “Brightening up the Battle” which went to Brynley Coetzee, in his dual roles as lead singer of Peyote and the Omophobes, whose member Rich Pearce won the “Little pink t-shirt award”. Trevor of Undone and Toxic Sludge and The Killer Hadedas won the “Best t-shirt” award for “Even Jesus Hates Creed” and the “Bandwhore” award went to dial-a-drummer Omo.
Before this year’s battle there were fears that the live music scene was on the verge of collapse. However, if the bands who participated can stay together and continue to develop, then we may be spoiled again next year.