Three Colac musicians. Two months of practice. One chance to win a Battle of the Bands regional finals berth.
Colac band Erepato has completed that equation, winning Colac’s FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands.
The band, comprising Trinity College students Joshua Ryan and Toby Johnson, and engineering student Cameron Wade, bested seven other Colac and district bands with a brand of “epic pop”.
Apollo Bay’s Electric Filth came second and Colac’s Our Hope’s High was third, with Soul Release of Colac earning a Patrick Tibbits encouragement award.
Joshua said Erepato – which is an early word for “elephant” – was excited about the win, in front of about 250 people at Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre.
Toby and Joshua were members of Well Played Wally, which came second in last year’s battle.
“That’s the first time we’ve performed publicly in that band too, so it was a bit of a surprise but very good nonetheless.
“Cameron and I got together in January to start writing some stuff, but with Toby, we’ve been together two months.”
Joshua said the calibre of the bands at the battle was “brilliant”.
He described Colac’s Jumping Rooftops as “sensational” and Soul Release as a future winner of the event.
“Our Hope’s High, they were extremely tight, they had a really upbeat metal kind of music, the beat was just pounding the whole time – I was very nervous watching that,” Joshua said.
Colac Otway Shire Council events officer and FReeZA mentor Vicki Jeffrey said the contest was a success.
“There were quite a lot of adults there as well, not just accompanying the kids but people who came along to listen to the music,” Ms Jeffrey said.
“The Fire Alive were just fabulous and they bring with them their own crowd anyway – they’re such a well-tuned band now,”
she said of the headline act and last year’s winner.
Ms Jeffrey thanked FReeZA members, Scouts, Colac Area Health, Colac police’s Terry Woodcroft, Colac Youth Council and OCR FM for helping with Friday’s event.
Erepato will enjoy home-ground advantage at the regional final on November 5.