Band battle hopes are high

James Evans, Steven McCoombe

Our Hope’s High band members James Evans and Steven McCoombe are looking forward to Colac’s Battle of the Bands on Friday.

COLAC band Our Hope’s High will play its first gig at an annual Battle of the Bands this week.

The five-piece band formed six months ago at Apollo Bay and will play at Colac’s FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands on Friday.

FReeZA members James Evans, 18, and Steven McCoombe, 17, are in the band and James said the band had been busy rehearsing for the show.

They will play five original songs at the battle.

“We play kind of heavy stuff – our influences are I Killed the Prom Queen, Misery Signals and a bit of Confession,” James said.

“We’re looking forward to it, just trying to nail our practices down.

“We’re playing pretty good already but you can never be too prepared.”

James said the group would go into Friday’s battle without high expectations, despite the band’s name.

“We basically play to have a good time and see what people think, and play the music you want to play,” he said.

Fellow FReeZA member Bridie O’Sullivan will be among three Colac people judging the event, which is at Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre.

Straight Shooters’ Shannon Bell and Colac music promoter Angie Cooper are the other judges.

Bridie said she hoped to represent Colac’s younger generation at the judging table.

“I put my hand up for it because I thought it would be a great experience,” she said.

“I play music too so hopefully that will help my judging.”

Bridie said a band’s stage presence was as important as its sound.

“Stage presence is a big one, but there’s other elements like dynamics – we get a criteria sheet that we mark off on,” she said.

Colac Otway Shire Council events officer Vicki Jeffrey said Colac band the Jumping Rooftops had confirmed its appearance at battle, following the death of guitarist Patrick Tibbits.

Ms Jeffrey said FReeZA had received permission to name the event’s encouragement award in Patrick’s honour.

Eight bands will compete for a $250 prize and the right to represent Colac at a regional final, while last year’s winner The Fire Alive will be the headline act.

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