Rough road to battle of bands

olac band Erepato ahead of this weekend’s Battle of the Bands regional final. From left are guitarist and lead singer Cameron Wade, drummer Toby Johnson and bass guitarist Joshua Ryan.

THE road to this weekend’s Battle of the Bands regional final has been challenging for Colac band Erepato.

Guitarist and lead singer Cameron Wade is close to finishing his university exams, while bass guitarist Joshua Ryan and drummer Toby Johnson have to squeeze in practice around VCE exams.

Preparations have been further complicated with Johnson living at Apollo Bay and Wade studying in Melbourne.

But Wade said “we’ve been practicing every second weekend”.

Ryan, a year 12 Trinity College student, said he had an exam this Friday before the concert and on the Monday afterwards.

“It’s been good to be able to distract myself from being too serious about school life,” Ryan said.

But Toby Johnson, a year 11 Trinity College student wasn’t concerned.

“I’m doing pretty well, but as I’m in year 11 my exams aren’t as serious,” he said.

The FReeZA regional final is on at the Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre on Saturday.

Erepato will compete against Geelong band Altitude, Warrnambool’s Increments and Port Fairy band Stonefire for a finals berth in the FReeZA state showcase at Abbotsford, Melbourne next year.

The three-piece band made the regional final after winning Colac’s FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands.

Ryan said it was hard to know what their competition was like because there was little recorded music available.

“You can’t get too confident coming into it because you don’t know what you are up against,” he said.

Johnson said they are trying to build support for the band through facebook because one of the judging criteria is crowd reaction to the music.

“I’m pretty confident people who came last time are coming, plus a few more,” he said.

Wade said the judging criteria included presentation, originality, crowd reaction, musicianship and whether the judges thought the band could be recorded.

“We need to be able to represent all the categories to succeed,” he said.

Erepato will perform a 20-minute set at the Civic Hall at COPACC.

They are last on the bill but Wade said it was important for fans to turn up early to catch all of the bands.

Colac Otway Shire events officer Vicki Jeffrey said the alcohol, smoke and drug-free show started at 7pm.


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